LANSING, Mich. — This week's Good Neighbors are a group of musicians who love a unique instrument and the music it produces.
The Glen Erin Pipe Band is rich with pageantry and the love of all things Scottish, especially the Scottish bagpipes.
Bill Collins is the band's leader and says the sound of the bagpipes can bring out emotions in people.
"It's pretty moving. The bagpipes are like that. They just kind of strike a chord with folks. It's all the more when you're the one playing the instrument. You are kind of wrapped up in it," he said.
Glen Erin Pipe Band members volunteer to play at various community celebrations - like parades, festivals, and many police, fire, and 911 memorial events. This week they played at this veteran's day celebration at Lansing's Board of Water and Light.
Brandie Ekren says she is a fan of all sorts of music, especially the sound of the bagpipes.
"Music is universal, no matter what the ethnic or cultural origin is. It's universal. It touches everyone, no matter what your background is. And it's even better if it's coming from the heart. Some might say it's soul music."
The Glen Erin pipe band members each have their own special reasons for loving the instrument and wanting to share it with the world.
Drummer David Price says he learned early on that he was fascinated by the bagpipes.
"When I was a young lad in 1963, Kennedy was assassinated. I watched everything, and I was especially following the funeral," he said. "The Black Watch from Scotland played in his funeral procession. I was just so taken by that by that sound, and that pattern, that I got hooked on bagpipes."
Bagpiper Janeen Steenhagen says she also was intrigued by the instrument at a young age.
"My mom was all Scottish, and my grandparents immigrated here. I was brought up to respect the pipes," she said. "Even if they're on TV, my mom would say, 'Stand up, girl, stand up straight. Here come the pipes!"
Calvin Jones works for the Lansing Board of Water and Light and says he loves the Glen Erin Pipe Band volunteering their time to play for numerous events in the community.
"The group is good neighbors because they come in, and they actually play to the sentiments of whatever the event is that you have. They have music that is uplifting, refreshing, and they have music that lets you bring back memories of what this country has been through and what it is today."
Members of the Glen Erin Pipe band say they enjoy giving back to the community and sharing the sounds of the bagpipes with the public.
If you want more information on the Glen Erin Pipe Band, visit their website at http://www.glenerinpipeband.com or follow them on Facebook at Glen Erin Pipe Band.
We want to thank the Glen Erin Pipe Band for volunteering to bring the sounds of the bagpipe to many area parades and festivals. You are all this week's Good Neighbors.
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