There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
Each event has a different theme, revolving around a past era. Previously, Steam Garden did a Meiji-themed party — a fascinating time when Japan was opening its doors to the West, and fusing Victorian fashion with traditional kimonos and obis. This time, the code word was Celtic Fantasy. Luke describes it as “a blend of industry, fantasy, and epic adventure set to a soundtrack of exciting tribal and Celtic music.” - Japanese Steampunk, complete with bagpipes, medieval food, fire dancers and wood elves.
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John. How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes? (Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
I like bagpipes. And I'm not afraid to admit it. They can be traditional, rock, or cross-cultural. They may have been around since ancient Rome. It's the instrument everyone claims to hate, but who can really hate a good drone?
In May of 1940, "Mad Jack" Churchill became the only man in WWII to record a kill with a longbow. [more inside]
How to build your own violin, in 45 pictures. Or for guitarists: build your own hollow-body, solid-body electric, or steel guitar. For the budget-minded, PVC flutes. How about bagpipes? No? Surely you cannot resist the tribal sounds of the home-built didgeridoo? Other eclectic (and not so eclectic) home-built instruments.