The pipes, they are a-calling me

Car loads of people following the music

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax Media

William Anderson enjoys practising his bagpipes at Caroline Bay.

William Anderson
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
PLAYING TO THE SUNSET: Locum GP William Anderson, who has been staying in a Timaru Motel while looking for accommodation, spends his evenings playing the bagpipes at Caroline Bay and the Botanic Gardens.

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Locum GP William Anderson is not busking his bagpipe but he is still drawing plenty of attention.

Dr Anderson, of Charleston, South Carolina, who is working in Timaru for six months, has taken to playing his bagpipes in secluded locations to avoid disturbing the peace.

However, not everyone wants to avoid the skirl of the pipes. Instead, car loads of people have been following the music and pulling up for a free concert.

"The other day I was in the park and eight cars came up. It was young people. They came up and rolled their windows down and listened to me playing."

Dr Anderson has adopted Caroline Bay and the Botanic Gardens as his training grounds - locations he believes complement his music.

The bagpipes "are loud so I have to go somewhere where it diffuses the sound, especially if you are practising because you have to go over the same thing again and again to get it right."

However, he has no problem packing up his bagpipes for outdoor performances.

"I particularly like playing outside where there's a beautiful setting and when the sound carries, especially over the water it carries quite a way. It's a beautiful sound."

Dr Anderson, who has been playing the bagpipes for 10 years, has made contact with the South Canterbury Highland Pipe Band and is receiving lessons from pipe major Scott Shannon.

"There's a world class calibre of pipers in this area. It's a huge asset for [South Canterbury]."

He hopes to join the band in the near future and has already started practising the group's songs.

Back home Dr Anderson performed with the Charleston Police Band and some smaller groups. He has also attended the College of Piping in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Dr Anderson is due to return home in five months but it is quite likely he will return to New Zealand, he said.

"I'll go home for a while and I might come back. I love it here. There's a lot to do."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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