An overseas trip was postponed for pipers around the Okanagan, but one Vernon piper has taken it upon himself to play his songs from his balcony while in self-isolation. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

WATCH: Bagpiper’s tunes played from Vernon balcony amid self-isolation

Pipers around the community are playing together from a distance to bring cheer to community

What was meant to be a momentous excursion for Okanagan pipe band members has been brought to a halt by COVID-19, but one Vernon piper isn’t letting a pandemic stop him from bringing music to his neighbourhood.

Dozens of pipers from across B.C. were preparing for a trip to the Netherlands in May, to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Nazi Germany, but the trip has been postponed until 2021.

“Our contacts over in Holland that have been working so tirelessly for us to get our whole trip set up, have continued to do that and are already in preparations for us to attend next year,” Kelowna Pipe Band Society manager Miriam Campbell said.

“As much as we would have loved to go this year and been there, this was totally out of our control.”

While the Netherlands pilgrimage has been put on hold, Vernon’s Tom Skinner is using his time spent in self-isolation to spread neighbourhood cheer with his bagpipes.

The Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band member has been in self-isolation since March 19 after returning home from holidays. In line with recommendations from public health officials, Skinner is self-isolating for 14 days.

“I am going to keep playing my bagpipes every day of self-quarantine,” Skinner posted to Facebook March 23. “I am also going to post one picture a day for the next 10 days to remind us all that it’s still a beautiful world out there.”

On March 24, Skinner took to his balcony to perform a trio of songs, including Geritol Kid #7, which he shared in a Facebook video.

For those who heard the sound of more than one bagpiper around 7 p.m., March 24, Skinner was joined from a distance by other members of the Highlanders. On March 25, Skinner put out a call for other musicians in the area to join him.

“Keep your social distance, but let’s show our support to our front line workers, and share a wee bit of music at the same time,” he said.

READ MORE: Vernon barn open for weddings amid pandemic

WATCH: Okanagan pipers meet in Vernon to prepare for Netherlands trip

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Community of Oliver salutes frontline medical staff

“Honk for the unsung heros. Thanks to each and every one of you”

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

COLUMN: Responding with the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Support available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Most Read