12/13/06 — Music chairman earns honors

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Music chairman earns honors

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 13, 2006 1:45 PM

Dr. Alan Armstrong, chairman of the Mount Olive College Music Department has moved up in the world of bagpiping.

Earlier this month, at the meeting of the Executive Council of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association in Alexandria, Va. Armstrong, along with 15 other Grade III pipers, were upgraded to Grade II for the 2007 competition year. Out of the 276 registered Grade III competitors for 2006, Armstrong finished fourth overall and second in the performance of piobaireachd, the classical music of the bagpipe.

Last June, he was named Piper of the Day at the Glasgow, Ky., Games and earned more gold medals in piobaireachd than anyone in Grade III. He finished with seven gold, four silver and five bronze medals.

Armstrong said while the accomplishment is an honor, it also presents greater challenges.

"Most Grade II competitors are between 18 and 25 years of age, with nimble fingers and quick minds," he said. "It's going to be difficult to beat them, but I'm looking forward to trying."