Member Spotlight: Tammy
An interview with bagpiper, Tammy Micelli:
1.) When did you get into bagpiping?
I started learning bagpiping about 15 years ago.
2.) What made you start?
I was with my daughter at her piano lessons. Somebody else was learning the bagpipes. I thought…that’s cool! So, I talked with the instructor and asked if I could learn. She said “yes” and gave me some direction.
3.) What makes you stick with it?
I love bagpipes! I love the way it moves my soul. I love the connections I have made with bandmates and complete strangers around the world. Piping makes me a humble, yet stronger person.
4.) What bands have you played with?
My first band was with the Chicago Highlanders. Next, I played with the Firefighters Highland Guard of Naperville. I left there to compete with Dundee Scottish. Today, I have gone full circle as Dundee Scottish and the Chicago Highlanders compete as The Alliance Pipe Band.
5.) Who have been your mentors?
I have been blessed to learn and be mentored by several people. That includes Wes Williams and Scott McCawley. Some other mentors I want to mention are Allison Jackson and Kim Greeley, both PMs on the Hawaiian Islands, PM Brian Donaldson, Jack Lee, John Adair, Barb Szpyrka and last but not least, Bill Smillie.
6.) What makes Dundee Scottish Pipe Band a special place for your piping endeavors?
DSPB is a place to grow as a piper and band member. Wes Williams, pipe major of Dundee Scottish, is a phenomenal piper who wants you to be at your best. He’ll put the work into you if you work. When I first walked through the doors at a band practice, Wes asked me what my goals were. I had never thought about it until that moment. The other band members are totally awesome as well and we have a lot of fun together.
7.) What does piping do for you as an adult learner and excellence seeker?
Piping parallels with my life adventures as I grow to be the best me. Here are a few of those parallels:
– Opening myself up to learn something new
– Getting out of my comfort zone
– Asking for help
– Disciplining my failures and disappointments
– Looking at what I have accomplished and am doing well vs beating myself up
– Revisiting my ‘why’ to see if this is a path I want to continue on
– Progress not perfection
– Finding joy in the journey
8.) Anything else you’d like to share with the world about you and your piping journey?
I never knew this path would open up in my life. Music is a common language across the earth. It is a tremendous gift and honor to participate with people in so many aspects of life. From goodbyes to welcome homes, honoring our military, celebrating with a new bride and groom, parades, fundraisers, competitions and more. But the friendships are the best. We are making the world a more musical and kinder place that echoes the sounds of pipes with joy.