Highland Storm

Highland Storm! It’s a wonderful show put on by the College of Piping in Summerside every summer. This was our third visit. There is always an underlying theme to the program. This year they depicted the arrival of the Scottish settlers and some of the other groups. There was only one mention of Belfast where the Selkirk settlers arrived. It is a huge story in itself and was supplanted by the people who settled Summerside, as if the Selkirk settlers barely existed. I was disappointed in that. They had a major hand in settling PEI.

Otherwise, it was superb. As a former piper and would-be dancer and drummer I could follow it all. The piping was note perfect. The tuning was precise and the chording was exact. I could even still follow the pipe major’s signals to his musicians.

The drumming was exact as well. My biggest fault as a musician was that while I could hear the beat and tap it with my foot, it never made it from, my brain to my fingers for some reason. So my phase as a drumming student never went very far. However, I can still do a decent momandatta. I got lost in triplets until I studied violin. I did not make it as a dancer either. But I was a good piper and I played in quartets as well as the band. I also did a little solo piping.

It was an enjoyable evening. It brought back many happy memories of times spent with other band members, parades, parties and long road trips to competitions and Natal Day parades. It made me a little sad too. Those times are all over for me. I stopped piping about thirty years ago mainly because there were no other pipers where I lived and I was an oddity. Now if I tried to blow a set of pipes I’d probably faint.

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