November 23, 2023

Giving thanks

It’s Thanksgiving for our many American readers in the USA and around the world. It’s a beautiful holiday of gratitude and gatherings, people coming together with the commonality of family, food, American football and fun.

The most important aspect of the day is gratitude. Whatever one is grateful for, Thanksgiving is a time to pause at least for a few minutes to remember what makes one’s life graciously good.

There are innumerable items too many to list, but here are a few things for which we’re thankful:

  • The family of pipers and drummers – we’ve said it before, but by being a piper or drummer, you are forever a brother or sister bound by our music and the personal pursuit of playing perfection wherever you go on earth. What a gift.
  • Treasured players and pipe bands – we live in the greatest era of piping and drumming excellence in the history of the instrument. We’re here to hear what was another multi-band tie for the Grade 1 World Championship. There are Juvenile bands that are better than most Grade 2 bands. The Glenfiddich Championship saw 10 pipers have an equal shot at the title. We heard a World Solo Drumming Championship with off-the-charts performances, ultimately deciding on a 19-year-old Champion. Don’t take this stuff for granted.
  • Charity and fellowship – while much of the world rages in conflict, there appears to be a rise in camaraderie and giving in our art, evidenced by the many charitable sides to pipe bands, prominent solo players, and independent fundraising initiatives to help one another. This is such a terrific trend.
  • We keep on keeping on – pipe bands persevere. Just look at the determination of the Sons of Holy Land Pipe Band of Nazareth. While rockets fly, pipers and drummers find solace in their indomitable commitment to the art.
  • The freedom to fairly say what you wish without fear of reprisal – no matter what, associations around the world are not the appointed or elected leaders; associations are the members, and the members have a right to express their opinions and desires for what they feel is for the good of piping and drumming. Use your words.
  • Our readers and advertisers – yes, you. We’re grateful for your support. We don’t expect or even want you to agree with everything you read or hear on pipes|drums, but we hope you gain something every time.
  • Everyone is simply trying to do their best – competition can get the best of us. We subject ourselves to having our art judged every weekend, at every practice, and that can often eventually drive us away from the very thing we love. Remember always that every single piper and drummer in our game is simply trying their best to be better. We make mistakes. We learn. We improve. We do it again. And we all share that virtuous bond.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, wherever you are.



    1. Spot-on, Andrew. Happy Thanksgiving to my brothers and sisters in Grand Traverse and Spirit of Michigan, along with ALL others around the world. Slainte mhath!



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