Mornings, he’s a mild-mannered employee at Classic Rent a Car.
But during his lunch hour, he slips off to Veterans Park, dons his pipes and becomes an award-winning solo piper.
At the Lake Orion Township Highland Games, he recently won first place for his performance of a 2/4 march and took second place for his piobaireachd (PEE-broch), a form of music unique to the bagpipe.
Piobaireachd consists of a theme and variations on the theme. It can express joy, sorrow, or, sometimes in the “gathering” tune, a peremptory warning or call to arms.
The music gives the piper an opportunity to dazzle his audience with a display of embellishments or grace notes.
He’s lead piper for Willoughby’s Black Sheep Pipes & Drums, a group that performs at parades, festivals, memorial services and general entertainment. You’ll find their schedule at blacksheeppnd.com.
Todd also performs with the North Coast Pipe Band. The mission of this competition-oriented group is to preserve the Scottish arts of bag piping, Highland dancing and drumming; their performance schedule’s at NCPB.org.
You might have heard Semega perform at the Ohio Celtic Festival last Sunday at the Fairgrounds. If you missed him, you can catch him between 1:30 and 2:30 PM most Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays practicing at Veterans Park for his Thursday lesson.
I’ve enjoyed his practice sessions twice. Like me, I’ll bet you can’t hear him just once.