Winter Storm 2023 – Kansas City, Missouri

Eight of our pipers and drummers travelled to Winter Storm in Kansas City, Missouri with Mr Wilson (piping instructor) and Miss Augaitis (drumming instructor). Winter Storm is the biggest piping and drumming event in North America, and our pupils took part in solo competitions and workshops, and also performed as a group at the closing concert.

Mr Wilson writes:

Winter Storm certainly did not disappoint. We travelled to the Midwest of the USA for a packed week of piping, drumming and cultural activities with a good helping of fun along the way.

A visit to an indoor water park on the first day certainly helped the jetlag to be kept at bay followed by a brisk round of crazy golf. Rory McIlroy has nothing to worry about!

After some piping and drumming practice on day 2, we headed to the WW1 Museum where we donated a set of bagpipes that belonged to a Former Pupil. They had belonged to his grandfather and played during the first world war. These will now be displayed in this fascinating museum in the wing that contains the European artefacts. The views from the tower at the museum were simply breath-taking and allowed us to see across the city.

Day 3 was busy with solo contests for our pupils. All of our pipers and drummers put in solid performances as they competed in the Amateur Grades against adults.

Everyone did extremely well, especially as they were amongst the youngest taking part, and particular congratulations go to Duncan (Form VI) who finished 3rd in the Amateur Grade One piping, Ollie (Form III) who finished 2nd, and George (Form IV) who finished 5th in the Amateur Grade One snare and last, but by no means least, Anna (Form II) who won the Amateur Tenor Drumming Championship.

Next up on Friday, it was time for our instructors to compete in the Gold Medal contests where Mr Wilson and Miss Augaitis both finished in the top 5 of the piping and tenor drumming contests respectively.

Day 6 saw our pupils attend workshops led by some of the best in the piping and drumming world. Our pipers were also invited to help Piper Major Richard Parkes MBE deliver his practical workshop on pipe corps setup, a great memory for our pipers to work with the 13-time world championship-winning Pipe Major.

After the workshops, it was straight into rehearsals for the evening concert. It was a privilege to share the stage with the world’s finest. DAPB had a slot in the concert and played to a packed audience and again we came back on stage for the finale piece led by Fred Morrison and Roddy Macleod MBE. This was definitely a highlight for our pupils and the audience.

Sunday gave us a chance to have a little rest before heading for lunch to try out a traditional American Diner. Retail therapy followed which seemed to drum up an appetite for more food as we were going to the award-winning Q39 Barbecue restaurant for our farewell dinner.

Before our return journey on Monday morning, we took a walk to the lovely sculpture garden of the nearby Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Our thanks go to all involved with the organising and running of Winter Storm and a special mention to Mrs Winters who helped us immensely to navigate around the various activities.