Bagpipe Band enters 15th season of entertaining fans

first_imgWednesday nights, the unmistakeable sound of bagpipes echoes out of the back of Washington Hall. The Notre Dame Bagpipe Band is preparing for Saturday home football games.The band currently consists of 13 members, according to sophomore band pipe sergeant Tyler Johnson. And while the band may contain differing levels of experience, the passion that radiates off each of the members, decked out in their kilts and belts, as they lead the Irish into the stadium with their rendition of “Scotland the Brave” is undeniable. Photo courtesy of Dylan Klee The Notre Dame Bagpipe Band poses in Notre Dame Stadium on Sept. 5 prior to the Texas game. “We have nine pipers and four drummers,” Johnson said. “Most bagpipers have experience, but I do some teaching with new people who want to learn. I don’t think any of the drummers have any experience with bagpipe bands.” Sophomore Allegra Wallingford, who plays snare drum for the band, said she joined this year because she loved the idea of being a part of a Notre Dame tradition.“I joined because I love playing music and wanted a way to do that while I’m here,” she said. “I also really enjoy being part of something very traditional and playing in bagpipe band makes me feel very connected to Notre Dame.” The band’s roots can date back to the early 1950s, according to their website, when the Irish Guard was began as a bagpiper unit in the Notre Dame Marching Band. But the bagpipes did not fare well in the cold and were abandoned by the Irish Guard until the 1990s, when Paul Harren formed a band and started teaching students how to play. The band first performed at football games during the 2001 season.Sending off the football team to meet their opponents isn’t the only thing the band does on game day, Johnson said. The band’s Saturdays consist of several short performances throughout the day. “For typical football weekend with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, we’ll start at 11:30 a.m.,” he said. “We’ll play a fifteen minute concert in front of the dorm, we’ll play marching through LaFun and then we’ll do the player walk.”Johnson said playing for a group that’s so well-known and beloved by the Notre Dame community has been a lot of fun. “I’ve been playing for twelve years — I’m the pipe sergeant of the band,” he said. “So I’ll do all the tuning and some logistic work, stuff like that. I play with a band back home, but on game days, it’s probably the best crowd I ever play for. It’s just insane the number of people who crowd around, especially because most people hate the bagpipes.”In addition to football game days, the band plays in a variety of other concerts through the year. They’ve even performed in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, Johnson said.  “My experience has been pretty cool, being able to play for so many people and having such a receptive crowd,” he said. Tags: bagpipe band, football, Football Friday Feature, Game Daylast_img read more

Stone reaches UW status

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoAll year long, Lisa Stone has been aware of the University of Wisconsin’s overall athletic success around her. Now, she can proudly say her team has become one with its surroundings. This year, the UW men’s basketball team, football team and women’s hockey team all set new school records for most wins in a season. After Sunday’s come-from-behind victory against Virginia in the quarterfinals of the WNIT, Stone’s squad joins that elite group as the UW women’s basketball team tallied its record-setting 22nd win of the season. Stone couldn’t be any more pleased. “Breaking record after record and to be in the same sentence with men’s basketball and football and women’s hockey in terms of school record wins in a year — I’m very, very proud of our team for those accomplishments thus far,” Stone said at her press conference Monday. “I think [we’re] showing our fans here, locally, as well as on a national scene, that we’re making a breakthrough in the way we’re playing right now,” Stone said. Stone is especially happy for what she calls her “semi-senior class.” With no seniors on the team, juniors Jolene Anderson, Janese Banks and Danielle Ward have stepped up as leaders and have elevated their respective games during this memorable postseason run. “They’re my seniors on the floor,” Stone said. “I met with all three of them this morning already, and I said, ‘Let’s just keep having fun here.’ The longer we play, the better it is for all of us.” Instead of faltering after just missing out on an NCAA tournament bid, the Badgers continue to improve with each game as they strive for the WNIT title, a feat they last accomplished in 2000. “This is a tournament that’s perfect for our team right now,” Stone said. “They always talk about the NIT and the WNIT champion being the 65th best team, and however you look at it, we’re looking forward to a championship.” A championship, no doubt, would be the frosting on the proverbial cake that has been Wisconsin’s season, especially because of the stiff competition. “I think if you look at the teams that we’ve played and the conferences that they’ve come from … these are really good basketball teams,” Stone said. “You look at the power of this tournament, and, you know, we’re in the final four of that,” Stone continued. “You get this close; you can taste it. And we’re going to make the best of it and do our best on Wednesday.” Follow the leader As if UW sensation Jolene Anderson needed to prove something, she has stepped up her game during this tournament and led her teammates to three impressive victories. Prior to the beginning of the WNIT, Anderson’s career high was 29 points. In three postseason games, she has already scored 30 twice, while continuing to increase her school record for most points in a single season. “The fact that Jolene is expected to do what she does and continues to do it, I think it’s a great credit to her,” Stone said. “The pressure has been on her, and she hasn’t flinched. I mean, McGuire (Virginia) was in her shorts yesterday the whole game, and it just took a little bit of patience offensively on everybody’s part to find ways to get it to her. “You know, good players and solid players and the Alando Tuckers of the men’s, they’re used to doubles and triple teams.” Injury update In Sunday’s 84-78 victory over Virginia, freshman forward Mariah Dunham left the game for a short period of time to have her leg taped. Stone said she was worried but had a sigh of relief after she heard the news that Dunham was OK after the game. “Her status is great, and it was the best news I got after the game [Sunday],” Stone said. “I got a call from the training room … nothing will hold her out.” Stone added that Dunham will practice this week and play in Wednesday’s game. “She’ll practice,” Stone said. “She just tweaked her knee a little bit, but she’s OK, and she’ll start and be ready to go.”last_img read more