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Featured Teen - archive / current featured teen

November 2003 - Justin Vega

justin.jpg (16312 bytes)

Age: 14
Instrument: Bagpipes
Make: David Naill 3A
Grade: 4
Teacher: Campbell Naismith
Band: Stirling Bridge Pipe Band
Justin was nominated by Tammy Vega

Justin began taking snare drum lessons from Eli Fugate in 1999 to kill time while his mother, Tammy, took bagpipe lessons from Eli's mother, Merri Miles.  Shortly thereafter, Stirling Bridge Pipe Band was formed by Merri, Tammy, and a couple of other people.  The band has worked solely on instructing new recruits and building up a repertoire over the past few years.

During this time, Justin competed in solo drumming contests and swept his first two years of competitions.  One day (around age 12), on a whim, Justin picked up his mother's pipes and played Amazing Grace by ear (minus embellishments) with all 3 drones going and not one melody mistake.  He began playing around with the pipes and chanter on his own, but was not interested in pursuing piping, as drumming was his first love.

The next year, Justin attended The College of Piping, Bagpipe Summer School.  His only reason for attending was to fill in for his mother, who was enrolled but could not attend due to other obligations.  He auditioned on chanter and was plased in the upper intermediate class.  He "wowed" the intructors and was given the "Most Improved" student award at the end of the session.  The next year (2003) he returned as a student and was moved up 3 levels and was placed in the most advanced class, again being awarded "Most Improved."  After the 2003 class, Justin decided to turn his talents towards piping and gave up the position of Drum Sgt. and is now in the pipes section of SBPB.  Justin began taking lessons this summer, Aug. 2003, from Campbell Naismith, and intends to enter the solo competition field next season.


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