Big crowd turns out for Scottish Arts Indoor Festival in Nashua
By BARBARA TAORMINA
Union Leader Correspondent | April 06. 2014 9:19PM
Lezlie Webster, director of Scottish Arts, warms up with the New Hampshire Pipes and Drums band at Saturday's Scottish Arts Indoor Festival at Nashua High South. (Barbara Taormina Photo)
Sponsored by Scottish Arts, a Manchester-based hub of Scottish culture, the event featured musicians and dancers from throughout the Northeast, who made the annual trip to Nashua to compete as individual performers or in bands and to share their passion for all things Scottish.
Despite the appreciation of the music and pageantry, Edwards said Scottish games and festivals have been hurting for the past few years.
Still, there was plenty of participation and support at Saturday's festival.
Edwards, who was busy on Saturday helping individual musicians and arranging lunch for a team of judges, said people find their way to piping and drumming for all different reasons.
"After 9/11, he was a young kid, 9 or 10 years old, and he was watching all the pipers pipe for the first responders," recalled Edwards. "He said, 'I want to pipe for the heroes.'"
"It's all inclusive," she said. "It's a matter of enthusiasm for the culture. You don't have to have the genetics."
"My grandfather used to pipe down the sun," she said. "He taught me how to pipe."
Windham resident Peter Bruyn said southern New Hampshire is home to a lot of individuals and families that celebrate Scottish culture in different ways.
"It's a close-knit group, and it's competitive," said Bruyn, who is a fan of the annual Highland Games at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, where contestants compete in traditional feats of power such as hurling tree trunks and carrying boulders.