Doug wrote this out for me and since I tend to cry easily I will just post it as he wrote it.
Bells of Dunblane
It has been said that a bagpiper has a tune for every occasion.
Andrew was the Pipe Major of the City of Denver Pipe Band. In his day job, he taught French at the Boulder Valley School District. He lived nearby in Littleton, Colorado where his daughter, Stephanie, was a student at Columbine High School. Stephanie was a highland dancer with the band and was well-known to other band members, of which there were nearly a hundred.
In 1998 a friend of Andrew’s visited Scotland. While there, this friend attended a pipe concert where he surreptitiously used a pocket tape recorder to record the event. He thought Andrew might be interested in hearing it, so he made a copy and sent the tape to him, but inadvertently forgot to include the names of the tunes. Andrew played the tape and found several tunes he liked. One in particular caught his attention so he wrote manuscript copies of it and shared it with members of the band. The band included the tune in its repertoire as “The Nameless Tune.” They played it at concerts that fall and into the next spring.
Then came the Columbine shootings. Fifteen people, including the two shooters, were killed and 20 others wounded. Stephanie and a friend had the good fortune to choose that day to go home for lunch and raid Andrew’s refrigerator (and skip returning to school that day). They missed the whole thing. Through her connection with the pipe band, Stephanie was asked if the City of Denver Pipe Band would perform at the memorial. The band agrees and “The Nameless Tune” was included in the services.
In the summer of 1999 the City of Denver Pipe Band toured Scotland, performing at several locales well-known to pipers, including Oban. After the performance at Oban a man came out of the crowd and said he recognized “The Nameless Tune.” It was the “Bells of Dunblane.”
You do remember Dunblane? On March 13, 1996 a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School and killed a teacher and sixteen children. A piper, Robert (Bob) Mathieson , visited Dunblane at the time of the funerals and heard the bells tolling. This inspired him to write the tune. Without knowing its history, Andrew chose this tune to commemorate the students of Columbine High School.
The Bells of Dunblane has become the tune of choice when pipers perform for memorials to the victims of school shootings.
It has been said that a piper has a tune for every occasion. Sadly, that is true.
Former member of the City of Denver Pipe Band
You can listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3I8H6TsQaQ
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html is a list from February 2, 1996 until October 1, 2015