Local piper, drummer to perform at Meeker Classic this year

MEEKER I Every year at the Meeker Classic Championship Sheepdog Trials, the sound of bagpipes and drums can be heard from everywhere on the field. These tunes often catch the attention of younger patrons due to the unfamiliarity of it all. Meeker siblings Zeke and Iris Gianinetti are among those patrons who became fascinated by the melodies. 

About two years ago, the Gianinettis started to take lessons from Sean and Kaydell Stewart, who play at the Sheepdog Trials every year. Zeke spent the first year learning anything and everything about the bagpipe, and started playing the instrument this year. At the same time, Iris spent the last two years learning how to play the drums from Kaydell. 

Zeke and Iris will play with the Stewarts this year at the Sheepdog Trials for the first time. The Gianinettis have played together in surrounding towns this last year. Most notably, at the annual tree lighting ceremony at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, where they played with the Glenfinnan Highlanders from Grand Junction. But this year’s Meeker Classic will be the first time the pair will play in Meeker. 

The bagpipe is said to be one of the most complex instruments to learn. It consists of four different reeds, the chanter and the bag. The bag acts as a second pair of lungs but also poses the challenge of letting the air out of the bag at a consistent pace so it doesn’t die off and squeak. The instrument also has a double reed, which lets out the loud and high-pitched sound. 

The sibling duo isn’t sure what the future will hold for them in bagpipes and drums. “I wouldn’t mind becoming a professional bagpipe player,” says Zeke. But for now, they will play with the Stewarts at the Trials this year and maybe take over somewhere in the future. 

Fun Fact:

The bagpipe is the national instrument of Scotland, but its origins extend much further back in history, with mentions made in the Old Testament books of Genesis and Daniel.

By Sophia Goedert – Special to the Herald Times