Originally from Penn- sylvania I have been a part-time professional singer for most of my life, primarily with church choirs. I sang in small groups at Yale and was a founding member of the men's vocal ensemble Chanticleer. The rest of my career has been rather checkered. I've been a federal employee in the Trade side of U.S.Customs for over twenty years. When able to retire, I plan to work on some writing projects-- including two plays-- currently on the back burner.
This unique event is presented by the St. Andrews Foundation of San Francisco.
The 2009 DRM will be held on May 2nd at the
Marines Memorial Club and Hotel.
Initiated in 1997, the Cameron/Gillies event was named after P/M Alex Cameron, piper to the St. Andrews Society of San Francisco for 31 years, and his Father-in-Law, the renowned P/M John MacDougall Gillies.
The DRM Mission
The objective of the Dr. Dan Reid Memorial Challenge Recital is to maintain and preserve the classic compositions of the Great Highland Bagpipe for future generations of pipers throughout the world. To provide a forum in which the instrument, the recitalists and the judges have the advantage of best possible conditions in which to practice their art. To present, through it's restrictive tune list, tunes that are classic in their composition and to make available a musical audio library of these compositions as played by the finest exponent of the art in the modern era.
The DRM is now in it's seventeenth year and still going strong. With the support of our patrons, recitalists and judges we hope to continue long into the future. We have been able to provide a wonderful collection of recordings of the Masters of the Highland Bagpipe.
Tonight I am going to the Awards Banquet for the Dan Reid Memorial Bagpipe Challenge Recital, as a guest of my St. Andrew’s Society friend and fellow Bohemian, Bruce McCubbrey.Bruce originally sponsored both Dennis and me for membership in the St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco. I have occasionally been a tenor soloist for some of their annual events, such as St. Andrew’s Day in November and Robert Burns’ birthday in January.
Dennis loved bagpipes. In fact he bought me a trainer set as a birthday present many years ago. He drove all the way to Mendocino to get it. I had a few lessons with an eccentric piper from Dundee. But I’m afraid my plate was already full, and learning to play bagpipes was a bit beyond my patience at the time. I gave the pipes to an eclectic musician friend from the Bohemian Club.
I’ll wear one of my kilts tonight. I have four sets-- two of my own and two from Dennis. I was just going to wear my tux with a tartan vest and tie, but Bruce let me know that I’ll be sitting at the table with the British Consul General, so I suppose I should do all nine yards. (I believe the expression has something to do with kilts, anyway.)
The picture above shows all four of my tartans. My nephew Matt is wearing my Dad's Gunn tartan kilt. I'm wearing the relatively new Bell Family tartan, from which Dennis had a kilt made for me in Edinburgh. Our friend Lyle is wearing his Graham of Menteith tartan, which matched one of Dennis'. Then Dennis is wearing his other Graham tartan kilt with a custom vest and matching hand knit socks. The photo was taken five years ago at the annual St. Andrew's Day Banquet in November. I actually look younger today without my beard.