Last Saturday, the reception for the Studio Lukach art show at Solo(s) Project House had a bagpiper playing. I wouldn't have expected that, given that the artist is Mike Lukach Stefanoski, and you wouldn't ordinarily associate bagpipes with a name like that. Nor would most people associate bagpipes with Newark.
Bagpipes aren't exactly commonplace in Newark, but they're not as rare as you might think. There is a Newark Firefiters Pipe Band that leads off the annual Fire Muster parade outside the Newark Museum and its associated NJ Fire Museum. That band used to rehearse on at least some Tuesday nites at Kilkenny Alehouse, tho I do not now see a reference to any such practice sessions at either the Pipe Band's or Kilkenny's website.
The Newark Public Library had the three bagpipers above playing in the lobby during "The Irish in Newark" reception in 2007.
And there is a Scottish and Irish store and restaurant complex, the Piper's Cove store and Argyle Restaurant, in Kearny 2 miles from Broad Street. You can actually special-order a bagpipe of your own ($1,550) or buy a child's playable toy bagpipe ($50) from there.
I took two videos of Saturday's piper (Kevin Murphy, a member of the Studio Lukach team), but apparently did not press the button for a third short video, from a third angle. On my present camera, unlike with my older cameras, videos are started and stopped by a red button separate from the shutter button, and there is no flashing red lite to show that you're taking a movie. Only a movie-camera icon in white outline and a counter that increments, appear in the monitor to show that you're taking a movie. So I thought I was taking another video but it wasn't on my chip when I went to review things later. Annoying. If there's a way to screw things up, I'll find it — no matter how hard that might have seemed to the engineers who designed the camera. Surely I'm not the only nonprofessional fotografer/videografer to be tripped up by the way things are made to work by designers who should know better, but plainly don't.
In any case, I show below the two short clips merged in Windows Movie Maker. They are actually out of sequence, but the first shows the end of a selection with appreciation from people in attendance, so I put it at the end.
Once I'd uploaded that video to Blip.tv, I checked for others I had placed there that included bagpipers. Here's the one from this year's Fire Muster, June 5th. It originally appeared in my post of July 9th. The foto below is clickable to take you to that video.
Last year's Fire Muster video (click on the foto below) includes the Pipe Band starting at the 2:42 mark. The sound is partially obscured by the fierce winds that day. You may detect a difference in resolution between last year's and this year's Fire Muster videos. Or not. I stumbled a bit in backing up, and shook up the picture. Someday I must get organized, and use my monopod to steady the camera. I can walk with my monopod extended, but not with my tripod extended.
With any of these videos, if you click on the blue "El Craigo" under the video title, you will be taken to a clickable list of the 60 short videos I have online, about various Newark/NJ matters.
I'm going to see if I can get my Canon videocamera into use before next year's Fire Muster. I was recently able to recharge the batteries for the first time in years (I misplaced the power cord; I don't know how, since I would never have taken it outside), but I had forgotten how to work that camera, which I'd used only once before! Fortunately, I have the .PDF instruction manual on my computer Desktop.
I'd like to see the Newark Firefiters Pipe Band in other marches than the Fire Muster. Do they perform in Newark's little St. Patrick's Day Parade? — which should be much larger, and bring in bands and spectators from the entire Newark Metropolitan Area (about 2 million people). Our St. Patty's Parade could also make a publicity splash by permitting Irish gay groups to march, which Manhattan's does not allow. That might bring in marchers from NYC as well as North Jersey, and show Newark to be a better, more tolerant place than New York.
The Barat Foundation might invite the Pipe Band to accompany the Arts Parade this month. The Foundation could create an "Animodule" of an iconic Scottish animal or two, to go ahead of and/or behind the Pipe Band. The Arts Parade should also be much larger, and bring in at least a couple of Newark high school bands, and maybe acrobats to do cartwheels and such to enliven the march. Does Arts High have a marching band? Heck, Arts High could have musicians and dancers in its part of the Parade.