Call of the pipes lifts spirits in Newington

Jo-Anne Lauzon and her mother, Rachelle Monette, of Newington, Ont. listen to bagpiper Hugh Metcalfe during a special backyard performance on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

NEWINGTON – The air in the South Stormont village of Newington was filled with the sound of bagpipes Thursday night as part of a special gift for a local woman.

Rachelle Monette has been holed up in her Fairground Drive home since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, only going out for essential items or appointments.

As a way to lift the spirits of the 76-year-old, her daughter, Jo-Anne Lauzon, ordered a bagpipe concert in Rachelle’s back yard.

Jo-Anne says she got the idea from seeing other people on TV have violinists or bagpipers perform concerts for loved ones.

Winchester bagpiper Hugh Metcalfe, a pipe major for the Kemptville Legion Pipes & Drums, played for around 45 minutes with some recognizable music, reminiscent of the Glengarry Highland Games, as Rachelle and Jo-Anne sat in chairs near a backyard pond.

“That’s my favourite!” Monette exclaimed as Metcalfe played Amazing Grace. When asked if she had any requests, she said “all the good ones,” with a laugh.

The concert could be heard clear across the village, with some neighbourhood dogs reacting to the pipes. It even lured in a couple of curious neighbours who enjoyed the music as well, socially distanced on the lawn.

“I have the best daughter,” Rachelle beamed.

Winchester bagpiper Hugh Metcalfe plays for a mother and daughter in Newington, Ont. on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Jo-Anne Lauzon and her mother, Rachelle Monette, of Newington, Ont. listen to bagpiper Hugh Metcalfe during a special backyard performance on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Rachelle Monette (left) is all smiles with her daughter Jo-Anne Lauzon as bagpiper Hugh Metcalfe marches around their back yard (not shown) during a bagpipe performance on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
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