Pipe Band Returns from Competition with 16 Awards

Pipe+band+performed+at+a+competition+in+Richmond+Virginia+on+Oct.+20%2C+2012.+The+band%2C+lead+by+Pipe+Band+Director+Lisa+Frazier%2C+went+on+to+win+the+competition+with+16+awards.+The+medals+include+two+first+place+and+seven+second+place+awards.+--Courtesy+of+Holly+Shropshire

Pipe band performed at a competition in Richmond Virginia on Oct. 20, 2012. The band, lead by Pipe Band Director Lisa Frazier, went on to win the competition with 16 awards. The medals include two first place and seven second place awards. --Courtesy of Holly Shropshire

Pipe band performed at a competition in Richmond Virginia on Oct. 20, 2012. The band, lead by Pipe Band Director Lisa Frazier, went on to win the competition with 16 awards. The medals include two first place and seven second place awards. –Courtesy of Holly Shropshire

Pipe Band went to the Richmond competition on Oct. 20 and dominated with a total of 16 awards.

For the band competitions, the RHS pipe band won two first place medals, seven second place medals and four third place medals. Due to the soloist’s excellent performances, three were invited to the U.S. Junior Solo Bagpiping Championship in Pittsburgh next month.

The pipe band was founded at Peary High School in 1961. When the school was closed in 1984, the pipe band moved to RHS. Though the pipe band uses RHS for its practices, it is open to all students in Montgomery County.

Pipe band director Lisa Frazier has been involved with the pipe band for 26 years and has been director for 19 years. Frazier played the tenor drum in the pipe band when she was in high school. “It was a wonderful experience, so I came back to teach drums,” said Frazier,

The pipe band performs at many venues, including events like the Annual Marine Corp Marathon. They also performed in more challenging venues. For example, they played for the Potomac Curling Club where they had to play and walk out on the ice with grips on their shoes.

The band performs at venues and also competes in competitions both in and out of the state throughout the year. There is usually an individual event in the morning and a band event in the evening. In the competitions the, the levels of bag piping vary from grade five, the lowest level, to grade one, the highest amateur level. From there the students can go on to the professional level.

If individuals do well in their events, they can take advantage of many opportunities like traveling to Scotland and meeting famous bag pipe players or receiving scholarships for college. They have traveled to Scotland three times and they have also been to Canada for the Canadian National Exposition.

Kathleen Brown, a senior at Oak Crest School, is in the highest ranking of soloists. She has applied to Alma College and College of Worster and hopes to get a scholarship for her performance in the pipe band.

Brown is looking forward to college and thinks her talent has led to great opportunites. “Bag piping is such a [unique] thing that you can really have a chance to play with some of the best in the world,” said Brown.

RHS sophomore and bag pipe player Willima Shropshire has also won many individual competitions. Shropshire is at the top of grade two and will soon be moving onto grade one. “The people in ita�� are really nice and fun to be around,” said Shropshire.

The RHS pipe band is the most decorated extracurricular activity in all of MCPS. Many people do not fully appreciate their skill because they are unfamiliar with the instruments and style. However, the pipe band remains a superb program that deserves the respect and support of the entire RHS community.