September 27, 2021

Eagle Pipe Band Wins First at the Virginia Scottish Games

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation and Eagle Pipe Band Leader Lauren McMillan. Photo by Karen Pearlman Photography.

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation and Eagle Pipe Band Leader Lauren McMillan. Photo by Karen Pearlman Photography.

The UMW Eagle Pipe Band, led by assistant professor Lauren McMillan, competed at the Virginia Scottish Games on September 4th. The band won first place in their grade. This was the first time the band has competed since 2015. Two UMW students also competed in solo contests and took prizes in their grades: AJ Gluchowski (2024), bagpiper, took 6th, and Audra Young (2023), snare drummer, took 3rd.

UMW Piper Opens Memorial Day Concert at FredNats Park

AJ Gluchowski, a rising UMW sophomore and member of the Eagle Pipe Band, will open a Memorial Day concert at FredNats Park with ‘Amazing Grace.’

AJ Gluchowski, a rising UMW sophomore and member of the Eagle Pipe Band, will open a Memorial Day concert at FredNats Park with ‘Amazing Grace.’

When AJ Gluchowski conducted his college search, he found a website listing East Coast schools that had bagpipe bands.

The University of Mary Washington stood out. Once he was accepted, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, native made plans to join UMW’s Eagle Pipe Band, eager to perform with other avid pipers at Mary Washington and in the Fredericksburg area.

Then COVID hit.

Gluchowski, a rising sophomore majoring in music, spent his first year of college doing lessons and rehearsals entirely online. But now that pandemic restrictions are easing, he’s been making up for lost time. On the heels of performing at Mary Washington’s recent Commencement ceremonies, Gluchowski made his Fredericksburg Nationals debut Monday evening, opening a Memorial Day concert at the stadium with a rendition of Amazing Grace. Several UMW music students also performed with Virginia Cello Ensembles Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Christine Hartigan.

“I haven’t performed for an audience in months, so it is very exciting,” said Gluchowski, who first started playing bagpipes six years ago when his mom suggested it was a good way to get in touch with his Scottish heritage. With his high school pipe band, he frequently played sporting events and concerts. “I love sharing my passion for the bagpipes with as many people as possible.” Read more.