“Playing together while apart”By Liz Robertson
Merran Moir from the Celtic Piping Club in Australia sent us this report from one participant in an online project

 “Not good enough” was my message to self when the post inviting orchestra participants to a session, hosted by Oscar West, appeared on the Club’s page. I was to learn from fellow pipers that the session was easy-going, supportive and positive in every way to encourage pipers to learn the waltz to be performed. I was thinking, maybe I should give it a go! The club anticipated that there may be hesitant players and offered a “package” which included the tune and all easy instructions on how to be involved. Here was my second chance!
My challenges included, learning the tune “Miss Fiona McClure Walker” competently, without the dots, so it would be difficult to make a mistake….Second, to play along with Oscar’s guide track using headphones plugged into my mobile (after two weeks I felt Oscar was an old friend!)…thirdly, to video my “performance” and send to the Club for inclusion in the final Orchestra video.
The learning for me as a novice piper following the decision to be a part of the project has been huge. The satisfaction of achieving all that was necessary feels so good. Making the time for extra practice towards a musical goal kept me focused, determined and monitoring my progress. The experience has improved my playing particularly in relation to playing evenly and to tempo and has given me a lovely new tune to play. Also, a big hike in confidence in playing for and with others. (Not to mention the boost in my technology knowledge!)
What a hoot on International Uilleann Piping Day to tune into the Club event and to see and hear the video completed. I was very proud (tickled pink) to be “up there” as participant with other club members. Thank you to Oscar West, Geoff Jones and all at the Celtic Piping Club for such a great fun idea which included lots of learning for me…Without your encouragement and incredible support for members, I would still be in the “too hard” stage and missed out on an inspiring and challenging opportunity to enhance my piping.

The Bagpipe Orchestra video can be found here: