Michigan Heritage Awards
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1995 awardee, Lansing (Ingham County), Highland bagpiper
The Scottish heritage of D. J. Krogol's mother provided him with his first introduction to bagpipes. D.J. (1949-2012) began to play the Great Highland bagpipes at age seven when he joined the St. Andrews Junior Pipe Band, sponsored by the St. Andrews Society in Detroit. At the time, his mother, whose family name is MacEadin, said, "Jerry has liked the pipes for as long as I can remember. We have them at our family get-togethers and I guess he just takes to them naturally." (1) He continued his study with noted piper Walter Rose during his youth. From this beginning, he has become committed to the preservation of the traditional music of the Scottish pipes.
D.J. has shared this essential element of Scottish culture through many venues, playing at weddings, funerals, christenings, and anniversaries throughout the Scottish-American local communities. He has been his clan's piper since the age of ten, playing for clan reunions and other gatherings. He has shared his talent professionally with others by participating in Senior Citizens' Programs, local school programs, charity fundraisers, and many theater productions, including Brigadoon.
D.J. is a committed performer with a firm and consistent command of the instrument's technique. Virtuosity and skill are revealed in the performer's mastery of more than 80 difficult grace note combinations. Few pipers have reached D.J.'s level of proficiency.
In addition to his skill as a performer, D.J. is a noted and dedicated teacher. Instruction on bagpipes remains primarily an oral tradition, passed from master to pupil. Beginning at age 20, D.J. actively maintained this vital tradition, engaging students and reaching out to community groups across Michigan. In 1995 and 2002 he was awarded Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants to further this tradition in Michigan. His students are also committed to continuing this traditional music form and speak highly of D.J.'s skill as an instructor. They note his attention to detail, his enthusiasm, and his particular concern for emotive quality.
D.J. Krogol is honored for his skill as a Great Highland bagpiper and his singular dedication to the preservation of this musical form through performances and other teaching opportunities.
(1) Krogol, Delores MacEachin. Cited in Floyd Thomas, "This Piping School Is No Pipe," Detroit Times. n.d.
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