Pipers at Piper’s perform something old, something new | NevadaAppeal.com

Pipers at Piper’s perform something old, something new

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

The Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band will offer a blend of the old and new during its performance Saturday afternoon at historic Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City.

Traditional pieces like “Amazing Grace” are on the program, together with “Itchy Fingers” and “Clumsy Lover,” tunes with a new style and driving beat.

The new method of playing the bagpipes originated in Canada, said performer Ron James.

“When describing this music, every analogy breaks down quickly,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”

Another new addition is Carson City musician and prodigy Joe LoGiurato, 24. A driving force in the Scurvy Bastards, a West Coast punk Celtic music fusion group, he’ll join his father, John LoGiurato, who plays drums.

Joe LoGiurato plays piano, guitar, keyboard and flute in addition to the bagpipes.

“He’s one of our youngest pipers, but he has quickly risen to be one of our best,” James said. “He is an amazing talent.”E

LoGuirato said his mom is of Scottish heritage and listened to Celtic music so he grew up with it.

“The others in the band grew up with Celtic music, too, but we’re also into punk so we mixed it together,” he said. “When I was a little kid, I was impressed by bagpipes. I wanted to play and parents supported that.

“Learning to play was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, as far as music goes,” he said. “The bagpipes are the most time-consuming and frustrating.”

A joint effort between the Sierra Highlanders and Piper’s Opera House, the concert will benefit both organizations. Piper’s manager Sam Folio said stabilization of its balcony is ongoing.

“We have some events coming up that will require extra seating,” he said.

An old-fashioned ice cream social is July 6. Olympia Dukakis will be at Piper’s July 19 to discuss her new Broadway play, “Tempest.”

“We want to attract as many people as we can,” he said. “We hope to get people interested in sponsoring different parts of the renovation.”

Founded in 1961, the Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band has captured first-place trophies at the Sacramento Valley Highland Games and Gathering at Roseville, Calif.; the Costa Mesa Games in Orange County, Calif.; and at Reno’s Celtic New Year Celebration.

The Reno-based Highlanders continue a Nevada tradition dating back to 1865, and for most of its 35 years has been the state’s only pipe band.

What: Pipers at Piper’s Opera

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Piper’s Opera House, 12 N. B St., Virginia City

Tickets: General admission $15, VIP seating $25. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at http://www.activitytickets.com, or by calling 1-800 go tahoe. Information: 847-0433.