This is an article that appeared in BLICK, a major newspaper over here in Switzerland about the newest batch of fifes that I just built for The Old Guard. It is the original article in German with a translation done by a friend, Richard Sheryka. I hope you enjoy! -- Skip
Well Sounded in Washington.
(There’s a pun here … “Wohl” is “Well” … “Wohlen” is the name of the town.
By Roman Rey of “Blick am Abend” (“A Look at the Evening”)
Translation by Richard Sheryka
Inauguration:Tomorrow, Donald Trump will be promoted to office as US President with great drumming, and with flute sounds from Aargau (the Swiss canton).
Tomorrow is prepared: Donald Trump is officially US President. In the United States, the introduction of the law has a long tradition and is accompanied by many celebrations. The show also includes the Honor Guard of the President, the "Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps", and will have the best music.
Their flutes, so-called Fifes, come from Switzerland. For the past ten years, the instrument maker Skip Healy has been supplying the guards with the flutes he produces in Wohlen, Aargau. For Donald Trump, the company had to produce 30 fifes in a fast-paced manner. The order was not received until mid-December, says the US American to the SRF Regional Journal.
In order to be ready in time, he spent Christmas at the workshop instead of with the family. "Normally, I need two or two and a half months for 30 instruments," says Healy. For the production of a specimen, 127 work steps are required.
Ten years ago, Healy became the Fife builder of the official honor guard, after having prevailed against competitors from all over the world. "It was a great honor for me", he says. Already Barack Obama got to hear the Fifes from Switzerland.
For the outgoing president Friday is the last day in the White House. In the morning, he and his wife Michelle are to receive the future President Trump and his wife Melania. Afterwards Obama accompanies his successor in the capitol. At 12 o'clock in the morning (noon) (18.00 for us), Trump will [take] his office - and from that moment he is President.
Then comes the highly anticipated speech of the new President. Trump, not well-known as a brilliant rhetorician, enters the footsteps of the gifted speaker, Obama. To get into the history books, however, he has to compete with John F. Kennedy, who said at the beginning of 1961: "Ask night what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Not everyone is joining the celebrations: More than 50 members of Congress (from a total of 525) have announced the boycott of the ceremony. The most prominent among them is the civil rights icon John Lewis, because of what Trump has already [done] on Twitter. Several groups have also announced that they will interfere [with] the celebrations in Washington with protests.
Captions: Number 45. Donald Trump will be in office tomorrow.
Proud producer Skip Healy from Wohlen, Aargau manufactures the Fifes.
My web master Cyber-Space Jedi Obi Wan Gamache has suggested to me that I need to do more blogs and that there is nothing wrong with doing several short ones instead of one longer monthly(ish) one. I asked for feedback and I got it! So here goes!
Sorry I've been gone for a bit but its been a hectic summer and early Fall for yours truly. I have just done some of the coolest gigs I have ever been fortunate enough to play in and will be writing about them over the next couple of weeks. They were the INAFA Festival in Eau Clare WI, the Queen Maeve School of trad Irish music and dance in Sligo Ireland, my debut in Carnegie Hall N.Y.C. and my 7th Annual Wind on the Bay Flute bash weekend in Rhode Island.
First off, thanks to all of you for reading the last blog and now for checking this one out too. I have been off line for a bit but hopefully am back full time now. My special thanks to web master Obi Wan Gamache for his tireless efforts of the past couple of months. In that time he has been doing battle with the Dark Side in the Cyber Wars on my behalf slaying sucky servers, battling busted blades and eradicating errant e mail errors. Well done Obi Wan, the Force is strong in you!
I have just returned to my winter headquarters in Orlando, Florida after a great weekend in the beautiful town of Lafayette, Indiana on the shores of the historic Wabash river. I was an instructor and performer at a really cool (well, really COLD) fife and drum event aptly called the "Freezer Jam". The event featured a dozen fife and drum corps from various states throughout the central U.S. First a few words about American fife and drum music in general and then this particular event.
In conjunction with the world famous resort community of Arosa, Switzerland and their "MUSIK-KURSWOCHEN" (music course week), I will be teaching a week long series of classes on Irish flute and tin whistle music. The program will take place JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2017. I will be posting information and videos about the event very soon!!! Imagine, learning about traditional Irish music high in the Swiss Alps, staying in a beautiful hotel called "Hotel Hohe Promenade" a 3 star hotel with AMAZING food and service...