Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hunter Mountain International Celtic Festival

(Not my band as I was playing, but a competing band in the same contest. Notice the ski lift in the BG.)

One of the cool things about living in New York City is getting out of it. BUT...only because you know you are going to come back.

My lip from my virus seems to have almost healed so I am able to play bagpipes again. The band I play with had a competition today at Hunter Mountain for the International Celtic Festival. It is about a 2 hour drive with about 45 of that up a mountain. (In the winter this place is a ski resort!).

A beautiful, but HOT day up there. Lovely wildflowers and weathered barns - all of what you would expect from picturesque upstate New York.

For some reason my vertigo kicked in big and I was in a kilt in ghillie brogues wobbling on a slanted mountainside playing bagpipes in a contest. It was like a Japanese reality game show. And I was really self-conscious of walking around as I thought everyone would think I was drunk. Oh the ironies!! And at a Celtic fair I can't imagine it would be too noticed, but still, I didn't like it.

But I played well and then had to sit out the rest. The guys in the band were great. It all was fine and we got home at 1:30 in the morning!

But... the coolest thing about this festival is the Massed Bands at the end. Since I couldn't really balance, I sat this out so I was able to see it. It made sound "dorky" but it is really an impressive effect. The bands are bussed to the top of a ski slope where you cannot see them. The crowds gather along the sides of the slope as if they were going to watch a slalom event. Then "out of nowhere" this feather-bonneted drum major appears with this Wall O' Bagpipers playing down the ski slope into the village for the end of days speeches and competition results. Excellent.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Pics! I was there also and the proud father of one of the pipers marching down that hill. A moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.