Help wanted: Bagpipers for fun and festivities

Courtesy Western Sierra Celtic Society

The newly formed Western Sierra Celtic Society, based in Murphys, will host several community events that require bagpipe music.

“The most asked question when someone sees us wearing our kilts is: `Do you play the bagpipes?’” said club chief Don Burns. “Unfortunately, none of our new members are seasoned bagpipers, which takes years of learning.”

The Celtic club’s goal is to sponsor its own bagpipe band that can play in area parades and at other regional festivities.

“We especially will need bagpipers at our Dec. 10 Celtic Christmas Candlelight Walk in downtown Murphys and Robert Burns Supper ceremonial dinner in January, which the public is invited,” Burns said.

The nonprofit cultural organization has quickly gained wide interest and support throughout Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. At its inaugural July 11 meeting, 25 people attended, with more expected to join soon. Membership is open to all, regardless of family ancestry or kilt ownership.

Western Sierra Celtic Society meetings are at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Murphys Irish Pub, 415 Main St., Murphys. Each meeting includes a program of Irish or Scottish history or culture.

The Aug. 8 meeting features the history of Scottish and Irish tartans and suggestions as to buying a proper kilt will be offered. The history of the Irish and Scottish clan systems will be explained at the club’s Sept. 12 meeting.

Bagpipers are encouraged to contact Burns at 925-809-5654 or kiltguy@aol.com.

For more information about the Western Sierra Celtic Society and a list of its upcoming activities, visit SierraCelts.org.

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