Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Desert Thistle Pipe Band

Desert Thistle Pipe Band

31st Annual Concert: An Evening of Celtic Music

I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent listening to a variety of bagpipe music, Scottish highland dances, and Irish dancing.

The concert drew a large audience, gathered at the Chief Joseph Middle School Auditorium in Richland, Washington, Saturday, March 13.

Bagpipe music is an acquired taste, much like wine. At first, I could not distinguish at all between the different pieces played by this 18-member band, including pipers and drummers. The music is definitely foot-tapping and rousing, but after the third set I realized that they all sounded the same to me. Not a criticism, just an encouragement to me to listen to more of it.

It all sounded the same...except for the classic: Amazing Grace. Nothing does justice to the emotion of that song like a bagpipe and drum band. Great music!

The drummers added visual excitement by twirling their drumsticks, switching hands, flipping and twisting.

The Desert Thistle Pipe Band debuted in 1976, the name reflecting the thistle of Scotland and the desert of the inland northwest. For thirty years the band has performed at state fairs, rodeos, parades, festivals, picnics, clubs, schools, and weddings.

Guest performers included Scottish and Irish dance groups, and a powerful three-piece Celtic band, the Rose and Thistle Band.

The Rose and Thistle Band are Rob Barrick, Elizabeth Nicholson, and Eddie Parente, from Portland, Oregon. They play Celtic dance music, irish and Scottish slow airs and song, and classical wedding favorites. Their technical skill and emotional presentation was a great treat.

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