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Congratulations, to Highland Dance Boston for putting on a really fantastic program.  The dancing and music was excellent.  I piped for a variety of Traditional and National Highland Dances using both my Highland Pipes and my Scottish Smallpipes.  I even played a duet on the Highland Pipes with one of the dancers, Hailey Harris.  We played Jimmy Finlater and then we launched into the jig Glasgow Police pipers with a really nice variation that Hailey taught me to play.  Hailey and I then played the Cockney Jocks for the dance of the same name.  I really enjoyed the experience of piping for such an incredibly talented group of dancers.  They are really nice and a real pleasure to work with.

Thanks again to Highland Dance Boston and Congratulations for a job well done!

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HDB in Concert!

We are very excited to be putting on our own concert for the second time! Come join us as we perform our favorite dances and choreographies to a combination of live and recorded music. Musicians include fiddler Barbara McOwen, pianist Beth Murray, pipers Tom Childs and Mike MacNintch, as well as members of HDB. We also feature special guest dancer, Andy Taylor-Blenis.

Tickets: $15
May be purchased from an HDB member, or reserved by email: hdbtickets@gmail.com

3:30 pm Sunday, June 14, 2009
Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Commonwealth St, Boston, MA
(Entrance is on Buick Street)

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A Thankyou letter from the President Jimmy Carter for our participation in his inaugural parade

A Thankyou letter from the President Jimmy Carter for our participation in his inaugural parade

I was looking through some of my piping stuff and I came across this letter and I thought it would be an interesting post for my blog. I remember that this parade was my very first parade, first time in a kilt and first time in a parade with bagpipes. I had joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1976, so I could be a piper in their pipe band. I was given a Pakistani made practice chanter and was told if I could play The Rowan Tree on the chanter I would be issued a Pakistani made bagpipe and kilt and I could travel to Washington DC to march in the parade. We actually were only a parade route band and did not march the parade, we stood outside the J. Edgar Hoover building and played. I remember it was brutally cold. I also saw President Carter as he walked past us. This was the beginning of my piping career.

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Today, I visited my Sister’s breakfast restaurant in Rockland, MA, it’s called Anita Maries Coffee Shop and they serve a really great breakfast. While having my coffee I noticed that my supply of business cards that I leave at her check out was empty once again. This is the third time I have restocked my cards at her restaurant in the last month. Apparently, they are popular and I got to thinking that maybe it’s the photograph I used on my card, or maybe not.  So I thought I would provide a little explanation of the photograph right here on this blog.

The photo that I used for my business card is a photograph of me playing my bagpipes on the steps to the Temple to Music at the Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island. The picture reminds me that Bagpipes and bagpiping are a timeless classic art forms, just as the classic Greek architecture of the The Temple to Music.

I am also very fond of the photograph because I am of Greek descent and it ties it all together for me.  Whether it’s the photo or the piper, I think the photo is very classic and I really like it.

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On Friday, March 13, 2009, I will again have the pleasure of performing on stage at Symphony Hall with The Chieftains. I will be one of a group of pipers to perform on stage accompanying the legendary Chieftains with two music selections.
I did this last year as well, and I thought it was a once in a lifetime thing, but now I get to do it again. I just got the sheet music for the tunes we will be playing and I can’t wait to get started.

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I am really excited to announce that I have joined the Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band under the direction of Pipe Major Iain Massie.  The band is one of the oldest pipe bands in North America and has a reputation of excellence.  I am also very excited about the Band’s potential in the upcoming competition season.  There is much to do and alot of tunes to be learned and I know it will all be worth it.

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On Monday, February 2, 2009 I had the honor of piping for the funeral of Army Specialist Matthew Pollini who was killed in Iraq while serving his country.  It was by far one of the most difficult and saddest events that I have ever been a part of.  I am very saddened by the loss of this young man and I am extremely proud of my hometown Rockland, Massachusetts, which was also Matthew’s home town.  Please take a moment to look at the slide show by Stephanie Olsen from Rockland, MA who documented the funeral for the family — she did a beautiful job.

God Bless America and Rest in Peace, Matthew Pollini.

A Soldiers Funeral

A Soldier's Funeral

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I was visiting my parents and we found some old photos from my early years in piping.  These photos were taken when I was a member of the Stuart Highlanders Regimental Pipe Band, then based in Sudbury, MA. My Mom wanted a portrait of me in my uniform and as I recall it was kind of embarrassing. The Band Picture was a real find, so I put it up for all to see.

The Stuart Highlander Regimental Pipe Band Ipswich, MA 1977

The Stuart Highlander Regimental Pipe Band Ipswich, MA 1977

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On January 10, 2009, I had the pleasure of piping for Highland Dance Boston at the Boston Celtic Music Festival at the First Church in Cambridge.  We performed a number of Highland dances and the performance went well.

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I will be performing at the Cambridge Boat House for a private function, a Whisky Tasting and Burns Supper. I’ll be piping in the haggis and to support a performance by Highland Dance Boston.

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