And another chapter in the life of the Keydet Piper has come to a close. As of yesterday, after submitting my students’ semester grades and attending the final faculty meeting, I am no longer employed by Fryeburg Academy. It’s been four years since I moved to Maine, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here, but it’s time to move on.
I’ve received many comments and compliments from my students and colleagues over the past few days, and many of them have said they’re going to miss my bagpipes. My piping has come a long way since I moved to Maine actually, in spite of the fact that there’s not a very high concentration of pipers in northern New England.
When I moved here, I was competing in grade 3 solos with no real intentions of moving up. I won piper of the day at the New Hampshire Highland Games in 2006, then again at a very small indoor contest at the end of October, and at the recommendation of the judge there I decided to apply for an upgrade. My initial request to move to grade 2 was denied, but I appealed and was moved up. I had no intention of moving beyond grade 2 at the time, until a judge at the Maine Highland Games in 2008 made a rather casual comment that I wouldn’t be in grade 2 for much longer. I set the goal of moving up after 2009, and I achieved that goal.
I also joined a band not long after moving, the newly-promoted grade 4 Graham Highlanders of St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont. I played with them for 2007 and 2008, then left to focus on my solo competitions. I met some good people in the band, and have a few very close friends from that experience.
Enough suspense already: where am I going? I’ll be moving to the Washington, DC area to start a graduate program at the University of Maryland in College Park. I’m pursuing a master’s degree in nuclear engineering, with the intention of working in the nuclear industry. I’m pretty excited about that,
I’ll still be actively piping, and will be competing with MacMillan Pipe Band at the following venues in 2010 (there may be some others I have missed). Hope to see you there!
- Glengarry Highland Games, Maxville, Ontario, July 31
- Virginia Scottish Games, The Plains, VA, September 5
- Ligonier Highland Games, Ligonier, PA, September 11, 2010
- Celtic Classic, Bethlehem, PA, September 24-26