Adventures in Chick Piping
This page is for anecdotes of female pipers in the male-heavy world of piping. Everyone is welcome to send their best/worst/funniest/most charming experience stories. Your charming hostess and webmaven will post those which tickle her fancy. She reserves the right to edit for content, spelling, or grammar, but will not exercise that right unless forced. Please be sure that stories are true, and that they are not harmful to anyone named within (no ruined reputations or hurt feelings, please!) Send your anecdotes to email@example.com. Thanks for your contributions.
From Adventures of a Street Musician (copyright 1995, Mickie Zekley):
I was busking at The Cannery as a bagpipe duo with Lisa Emmons (now Ellis), alias "Delicia Toad Feathers", the delightful and diminutive 4'8" lady bagpiper. An annoying young man started to try and get Lisa's attention and flirt with her while she was playing. When she wouldn't stop and acknowledge him, he kept on hassling her and eventually reached out to touch her bagpipes. Lisa and I were playing a sprightly duet of the Rakes Of Mallow at that moment and without missing a beat she kicked him squarely in the shins and laid him flat out rolling on the ground and went on playing.
Maureen Connor plays and teaches in New York, and has a web site at www.thebagpipeconnection.com. She offers us this tale:
I had a busy day playing several weddings and made it to the last wedding a little early. It turned out to be my most bizarre wedding experience to date. The bride asked me if I would like to join them for dinner. It's not an uncommon question and I usually decline (I have no idea who these people are). However, I knew it would be a long day and late by the time I was finished playing so I said: "Sure, why not". Well, I was seated with the Second Cousins. When Uncle Bob said the Grace, he asked everyone to join hands. The cousins looked as though they had been asked to take off their clothes! In my family we do this all the time so I didn't think it was weird. The teacher in me came out and I said: "It's okay everyone, let's join hands, it'll be okay".
Basically, there wasn't any dinner conversation and that just inspired me to get things going. Miss Social Butterfly asked all kinds of questions and tried to get them talking. Then, the mother of these young cousins came to the table to say hello and she asked the youngest boy (who was in Middle School) to dance. Of course he put her off--he was in the 8th Grade.......but no one said anything.....no one gave him a hard time......no one said "come on, dance with Ma". So what did I do? I blurt out: "Of course you're going to dance with your mother, you never turn a lady down". If looks could kill......
[Later] I went out the patio for a smoke (yeah, whatever) and engaged in conversation with Uncle George. Don't ask me why, but we ended up talking about investing in Mutual Funds. We're chatting, we're smoking, I'm the piper and still in my kilt, and then he says: "I would never trust a woman who could take care of her own finances". Have a great life Uncle George, I'm outta here.
Piper Kathy Buck says:
I have been in the Taconic Pipe Band for many years - at one point we had more women than men in our band. In April 2008 I signed up as a solo piper for the Tartan Day Parade in NYC. It was really fun. They put me in the NYC Department of Corrections Pipe Band and I was the only woman in the group! I had a great time. After the parade we went into Central Park and played some more.
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