Then & Now 8/8: Bagpipes!
On this date in 1967, St. Petersburgh resident and Czech-born composer Jaromir Weinberger committed suicide at the age of 71. Weinberger settled in this area in 1939, and had one very popular work to his name, his 1927 opera "Schwanda, the Bagpiper.” He was apparently despondent that he was unable to produce any other equally successful works.
Bagpiping is certainly not uncommon here on the west coast of Florida. The town of Dunedin in Pinellas county is home to the City of Dunedin Pipe Band which started in 1964 as an outlet for young adults that had taken up piping and drumming while attending Dunedin schools. Members of the Band are all volunteers and donate their time and efforts to maintain their status as a first-class band. When they compete throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, they act as ambassadors for the City of Dunedin and the State of Florida. Each year, the Band competes in highland games’ competitions across Florida and several events throughout the United States. Every summer, the Band travels to Canada, Scotland, England, or Ireland to compete in contests to continue improving their international status.