Scotland Sang. And Oh My Gosh, were they ever good! The program started with the Beaver Valley Pipe Band. 5 bagpipes and 5 drums. Boy, did the rafters ring with that. I was surprised to see that two of the pipers were youngish - in their 30s I would say. And one of the drummers was a teenager.
It occurred to me as I listened to them play that the reason I like bagpipes so much might go back to my childhood. I grew up on a tobacco farm in Southern Ontario. The farm next to ours - or perhaps the correct phrase is -the property next to ours - as I don't recall any farming ever being done there, was owned by absentee, supposedly-wealthy people. There was a manager of sorts who lived there. He was not married and rarely seen. But he played the bagpipes. Sometimes on summer evenings - hot, humid, summer evenings - the faint sound of the bagpipes could be heard drifting across the creek and hill that separated our properties. It was magical. Mystical. My love of bagpipes probably took root then. Last night, I was no less entranced. Kilts, and red 'drapery-tie-back thingees' being swirled in the air. And wonderful, stirring music.
Then the main performers took the stage. Two gentlemen from Scotland. Who Knew? I thought they were locals that sang Scottish songs. But they were straight from Scotland with very thick burrs to their speech. They sang and sang. With guitar and mandolin but sometimes acappella. It was an outstanding performance. At one point, I thought
"Only $12. What value." It was a performance one could see at Roy Thompson Hall only with a high-priced ticket.
And the cookies were gobbled up. When we took our seats after intermission, the lady in front turned to us and said
" Thanks for those refreshments, ladies. The cookies were great."
When the performance was over, she turned again and said to one of the 'cookie committee' ladies
" Thanks for selling me the ticket for this. It was a great evening. " It sure was.