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Highland tradition plays out on the softball field

While taking a quiet walk around campus or hustling to those evening classes, you may at some point have thought you were in Scotland, or simply hearing things. You hear bagpipes playing in the background and know for sure Eastern does not have a bagpipe band, and so you say to yourself, “Where is that coming from?”

Well, the source of the music is none other than first-year history student Andrew Lyter, who has been playing the bagpipes for three and a half years. Andrew, who is half-Scottish, a quarter-Irish and a quarter-German, was motivated to start playing the bagpipes after going to numerous parades that involved bagpipe bands. He is involved in the Susquehanna Pipes and Drums out of York, Pa., just joined the Emerald Society Pipe band of Philadelphia and needs to practice as often as he can.

When asked about his hobbies, Andrew was quick to say it was reenacting, which he does with Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at WWII and Scottish Regiment reenactments. When asked what his friends say about him playing, he said, “All three of my best friends play, as well as a brother. We all do it!”

While practicing his bagpipes on the soccer field, Andrew has come to be known him as “the aviator dude” because of the glasses he wears. When asked about this, he said, “I wear them mainly because it’s sunny, and they’re my lucky glasses that I wear in parades.”

First-year Elisha Chrenoff had this to say about Andrew: “I would be in class and I would hear him. I thought it was hilarious and cool at the same time that someone would play the bagpipes.”

When asked what bagpipe playing means to him, Andrew said, “Bag piping is a way for me to carry on an ancient tradition. When playing the bagpipes, I am playing and marching in the same steps as Scottish soldiers of long ago, playing and preserving the same music. I play the bagpipes to honor the Scottish and their ancient tradition.”

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