Young drummer Troy makes debut with Bermuda Island Pipe Band
Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion, when the community reflects on the sacrifice Bermudian soldiers made to defend their country, but this year's Remembrance Day was of particular significance for Troy Anderson, as it marked his debut as drummer in the Bermuda Island Pipe Band.
“It's my first official performance,” he explained. “I'm very excited because I've been training for that since I've been in the band, and now I'll get a chance to perform.”
The 15-year-old Bermuda Institute student joined the BIPB for two reasons: “I wanted to be in a marching band and to travel, and this seemed a good opportunity and very good experience because the drumming is different, the way you hold the sticks and the type of music.”
Troy knows what he's talking about, as he is a member of his school concert band and the steel pan orchestra.
The BIPB has offered him an opportunity he couldn't find anywhere else. “I was looking to get into the Regiment Band,” he explained, “but I was too young for the band, so my Mum, knew Aidan (Stones) and he talked to Philip (Cook) about joining the band so I could go to the Regiment when I'm older. I'm enjoying where I am now, though if I get the opportunity to go into the Regiment, of course I'll go.”
Troy is not the youngest remember of the band; that distinction probably goes to 12-year-old Jordan Simmons-Trott, who joined the band this autumn.
“I like music, and I want to try to play every instrument,” was the reason he gave for joining.
He plays the recorder, the trombone and the trumpet, and is now learning to play the bagpipes.
“I like how it sounds. I also like how it looks,” he explained. “It looks funny, but in a good way. So far I think it's nice.”
His sister Jada is one of the Highland Dancers, and when he went to see her dance, he was intrigued by the pipers, and took it upon himself to learn the pipes, though he's still just learning the fingering on the chanter.
Listening to pals on the sidelines, yet another teen member of the band got the impression that his peers think playing the bagpipes is not cool, but he has bucked the trend and meets weekly with a handful of other youngsters to learn the traditional instrument of the Scottish highlands from older pipers. Born in Bermuda of Scottish ancestry, he finds the pipes appealing and challenging.
All the fingering has to be learned by heart, and then there's the challenge of developing the lung capacity to use the bag.
And the ultimate challenge might be donning the kilt, not so much the actual wearing of it, but the reaction of his peers.
Nevertheless, though it may not be something he'd listen to on his iPod, he enjoys the music, and the camaraderie of the band itself.
The Bermuda Island Pipe Band meets for practice on the Saltus Grammar School campus off Woodlands Road behind the school's Music Department on Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm. For further information, contact pipe major David Frith at onthebank[AT]ibl.bm.