Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Dunedin High band will strut its Scottish stuff on national TV Christmas Day

DUNEDIN — Over the blaring wail of bagpipes and the thumping of drums, band director Ian Black shouldn't have heard the phone ring.

But he did. And it's a good thing, too.

The person on the line, a representative with Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, was calling to inform him that Dunedin High School's Scottish Highlander Marching Band was one of only two high school bands in the nation chosen to perform in the 29th annual nationally televised event.

On Dec. 1, more than 70 musicians from Dunedin High, Dunedin Highland Middle and Clearwater Fundamental Middle schools traveled to Orlando to tape a special parade segment showcasing Scottish heritage.

The television special — which also features prerecorded appearances by Disney characters, celebrities and professional music artists, and scenes from Disneyland in California — is scheduled to air from 10 a.m. to noon Christmas Day on ABC.

"I was excited for the students because for them this is a really great opportunity," Black said, adding, "I think it will really bring a lot of pride and recognition to our community."

Dunedin High's marching band plays normal instruments like any other, except that the ensemble also includes bagpipers. Band members wear kilts and Scottish military uniforms, and color guard members double as highland dancers.

That unique tradition is what officials say prompted the invitation to play a score from Brave, a recent computer-animated Disney release about a redheaded archer heroine in the Scottish Highlands.

For a week after the initial call, Black says he dropped several hints that the students were "going to make the magic happen." Once details were shored up, Black made the official announcement and "the whole field erupted in cheers and (students) were high-fiving each other," he said.

The band spent four weeks perfecting the musical piece chosen by Disney and submitting regular video updates of their progress.

During taping, Black said the students screamed excitedly at the sight of parade host Nick Cannon. Students were able to enjoy the park following the roughly 90-minute shoot — a real treat for some who had never been to Disney or even outside Pinellas County.

Band sergeant Jacob Hollis, a senior, said in a statement that the experience topped winning first place in last year's Heritage Music Festival following a performance on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This was "a great way to end my senior year," Hollis said.

Black said he also enjoyed the opportunity to consult Disney composers on the intricacies of writing music for bagpipes and to get a behind-the-scenes look at television production.

"And it's a good moment for me as a director because I know what I'm doing is helping to make the experience of the students in the program that much more meaningful and worthwhile," he said. "This is just one more really great feather that these kids get to put in their caps."

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or [email protected] To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offere...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled the endearing qualities of some of the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school, as authorities on Saturday released the names of the 10 killed. Eight ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18

Up to two tons of fertilizer spilled into channel leading to Tampa Bay, Kinder Morgan reports to state

TAMPA — As much as two tons of fertilizer accidentally spilled into a channel that leads to the upper part of Tampa Bay, according to a report sent Friday night to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP spokeswoman Dee Ann Mil...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18