Local bagpiper explains what the Celtic tradition means to him

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- You hear the Celtic tunes every year on March 17th  that’s when the bagpipes take center stage in celebration of St. Patrick’s day. But for Wesley Harris, this instrument goes beyond just the day in green!

“There is a sense of keeping the tradition going, it is interesting knowing a couple centuries ago, my family in Scotland knew about these, so the long history is interesting to me,” says Wesley Harris, member of the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band.  

The Notre Dame freshman is a member of the bag pipe band. But his love for the instrument is for more than just his new fighting Irish roots, but his family, too. With ancestors from Scotland, Harris has always had an interest in learning the music of his family’s past. But he stumbled upon the instrument in a moment of…boredom.

 “I was just driving by my teachers house one day, and she always advertises her lessons out front and I always drive by it on my way home from high school back home. I saw it back and forth; the pandemic hit, and I needed something to do and I thought it would be cool.”

At the time, Harris had not even decided on attending Notre Dame. Today, he says being a part of the campus culture is one of his favorite parts. The Notre Dame Bagpipe band can be seen all across campus, most notably for the role during the football season. On this St. Patrick’s Day Harris explains the most surprising part of these tunes? They are technically Scottish bagpipes.

 “But the fact that they are Scottish especially at a school with the fighting Irish it can be confusing.”

Wesley does perform at private events too, whether that be a memorial, wedding, birthday or of course your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!

Contact him here: wesleyallenbp@gmail.com 

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