Bagpipers’ ball – WyoFile

Did you know that only 14% of WyoFile subscribers support our work with a donation? Member donations are what make our reporting possible. Will you consider a membership donation to help sustain WyoFile reporting?
You’re as obsessed with the facts as we are!
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest stories straight to your inbox every Tuesday.

WyoFile
Indepth News about Wyoming People, Places & Policy. Wyoming news.
Want more WyoFile? Subscribe to our twice a week newsletter and stay informed on the stories that matter most.

By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with the site owner and Mailchimp to receive marketing, updates, and other emails from the site owner. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.
You rely on us for the facts. We rely on readers like you to keep our reporters in the field unearthing the stories that matter to you. Make a donation today and help us keep digging.
On a warm May night in Casper’s “Big Tree” neighborhood, the mournful cry of Eric Willcox’s bagpipe pierced through the twilight with the opening stanza of John Newton’s hymn “Amazing Grace.”
It was an usual refrain in the neighborhood, a quiet collection of streets near downtown lined with historic homes, manicured gardens and, naturally, big trees. Casper residents Matt Mitchell and Paul Marquard — the band leader and owner of the house — ready their instruments next to Willcox and soon, Willcox’s lone cry swells to a three-piece crescendo. 
The front-yard performance marked the trio’s first time playing together since the start of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, which put a pause on their musical collaboration and other events that typically required their services. All three men perform with groups associated with the Casper and Lander fire departments, but pandemic precautions kept them away from one another. 
Thank you for your support!
We couldn’t produce stories like this one without help from members like you.
While Mitchell said some bands drifted apart, theirs carried on: Their pipe major, Lander resident Melissa Bautz, conducted lessons over Zoom throughout the pandemic.
And this summer, for the first time in more than a year, the three men have a gig, playing with the Lander Volunteer Fire Dept. Pipe Band at Casper’s Annual Beartrap Music Festival on Aug. 8. 
Currently, the three are helping to raise money for first responders and healthcare workers to attend the festival for free, and have already raised $6,000 toward the effort. 
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Melissa Bautz lives in Lander. 
1 Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




{{#message}}{{{message}}}{{/message}}{{^message}}Your submission failed. The server responded with {{status_text}} (code {{status_code}}). Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. Learn More{{/message}}
{{#message}}{{{message}}}{{/message}}{{^message}}It appears your submission was successful. Even though the server responded OK, it is possible the submission was not processed. Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. Learn More{{/message}}
Submitting…
Awesome piece. One correction- Melissa Bautz hails from Lander. We love our pipers!

source