What is the Epic Project?
The Epic Project is a testament to the collaboration and passion of the Scottish Diaspora in America.
Our Mission is to encourage and uplift the Youth engaged with the promotion of Scottish Arts and Culture via the scholarship gifting of Uniforms, Instruments, and Accessories necessary to be competitive in their chosen field. The recipients can be Bagpipers, Drummers, Highland Dancers, and Drum Majors. They can only be nominated by their own instructors or adjudicators who believe they are exceptional in their chosen field of Scottish Arts. The gifts are made possible by the donations and networking between Scottish and American businesses, and the extensive Scottish American Clan System.
We found there is a Financial Ceiling for most youth in Scottish competitions. Where many have great talent but lack the means to acquiring expensive uniforms and instruments that are far out of their reach. In these competitive fields, uniform and appearance are weighed as part of the performance. Meaning the best competitor on the field can place lower on a technical uniform fault that is beyond their financial means to afford.
How the Epic Project is Funded
The Epic Project thrives by physical donations from vendors as well as financial donations from the Clans. The Tartan worn by each year’s recipient is chosen by the first Clan to make a sizable donation (Over $100) also known as the “First Money In.” Several other Clans make donations each year. This has created a source of pride for the Clans and has garnered the attention and participation of the Clan’s Chiefs in Scotland. For instance, the Marquis of Huntley and the Duke of Argyll, have given their approval and international attention to the charity as it is their family tartan being worn by the recipient.
The Recipients become an adoptive representative of their new clan and have gone on to have great success in their competitions. In turn bringing pride and engagement to the represented clan. As these are 501c3 organizations, there is no requirement to be a descendant of the Clan whose tartan they are wearing. Race, gender, orientation, have no bearing on the selection of the Recipient. Only talent, dedication, and passion.
FOUNDERS OF THE EPIC PROJECT:
Susan Rose, Chairman of The Epic Project, responsible for Organization of Donors and Uniforms, owner of MyKiltmaker.com is the founder of The Epic Project. Susan has been a kiltmaker for 27 years and focuses on high quality uniforms for Scottish Pipe Band Competitors, Dancers and Drum Majors. She identified the actual need for the investment in Uniforms and Instruments for the American Youth involved in the Scottish Culture.
She noticed a direct line correlation between Top of the Line Scottish Uniforms and Success in the Scottish competition events being judged. She noted that Pride in Self had affected the outcome of her adult customer’s competitions. So, her thought, if the effect of Pride in Self changed a Scottish Competition’s outcome in adults would it have the same effect on young Scottish Music and Heritage participants? She found that it did but with a much larger degree of higher successes than in adults. She organized The Epic Project and has encouraged others to assist her in the “Lifting Up” of the American Youth who love Scottish Culture.
Richard King Co-Chairman, in Charge of Selection of The Epic Project Recipients. Richard King started playing the bagpipes at the age of 13. His first teacher was Mark Bowers. Richard quickly picked up the pipes and started playing with the North Texas Caledonian Pipes and Drums. He played with the North Texas band for 8 years. At this time, he moved to San Diego and began playing with the Grade One Los Angeles Scots, Los Angeles, Calif. He traveled with the LA Scots to Scotland several times to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships. The band place in the top 12 in the world a couple of times while Richard was with them. He played with the LA Scots for approximately 15 years. He is currently the Pipe Major of the Cameron Highlanders Grade 2 Pipe Band out of San Diego, Calif. and he plays with the Grade One 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel Pipe Band out of Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada. In his spare time, Richard likes to do woodworking. He makes bagpipes, sgian dubhs, and other wood turned items.
He is tasked with the job of locating talented youth in USA who would use and advance in their personal careers in whichever Scottish Heritage interest they participate in, be it Piping, Dancing, or Drum Majoring.
Austin, 2015 Recipient:
Austin wears the Gordon Modern Tartan for Clan Gordon
Austin won the Sheriff Invitational in Canada, Back to Back in 2015 and 2016. He has won the Nicol Brown Invitational as well in 2016. Was promoted from Grade 1 to Professional Level. Invited to play for the Scots Guards Pipe Majors at Edinburgh Castle in 2016. Multiple Piping wins throughout USA, Canada and Scotland.
Linda, 2016 Recipient
Linda wears the Campbell of Inveraray Tartan for Clan Campbell
Grade 2 Piper and has won multiple 1st Place Awards at local and Regional Events. Played bagpipes for the full run of the Edinburgh Tattoo 2018. Linda bagpipes at Garden of Innocence Unclaimed Baby Funerals, the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County, and The National Cemetery. Multiple Piping wins throughout USA, Canada and Scotland.
Dana, 2017 Recipient
Dana wears Moffat Tartan for Clan Moffat
Met and Performed for the Marquis of Huntley at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is North Carolina. Dana is involved in her University’s Scottish heritage Program’s community outreach program and teaches drumming to youngsters from the surrounding area who are interested in learning the Scottish arts.
Filemon, 2018 Recipient
Filemon wears the MacKay of Strathnaver Tartan for Clan Mackay
Won Solo Winter Storm 2018. Placed at the Cowell Solo Invitational Scotland 2018. Won at Nicol Brown Invitational USA 2018. Invited to pipe at the Sheriff Invitational in Canada 2018. He is the Pipe Major to his High School’s Grade 2 Band, they won 2nd Place Grade 2 at the World Piping Championships Glasgow Scotland in 2018. He has won multiple Piping Championships throughout the USA and Scotland.
Kevin, 2019 Recipient
Kevin wears Gordon Red Weathered for the House of Gordon, USA.
Kevin is currently Pipe Major of the St. Thomas Episcopal School Pipe Band, recently placing fourth in the juvenile grade at the 2019 World Pipe Band Championships. He also plays with the Grade 2 St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band.
He was won Grade 1 Piper of the Day prizes at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and the Fair Hill Highland Games. He also won the overall amateur prize at the 2019 United States Piping Foundation Championships in Newark, Delaware with a first in the piobaireachd event. He also got the chance to compete at the Argyllshire Gathering this summer in the Intermediate MSR and the MacGregor Memorial. 2019 is his second year getting invited to both the Nicol-Brown and George Sherriff competitions.
2020's Epic Project Recipient is Charlie Morris.
2020 is the inaugural year of Aboyne Mor Proisect branch of the Epic Project, in which there can be recipients outside of the USA. 2020's Recipient is Bobby Allen.
We have been invited to do the gifting presentations for both at the New York City Tartan Week in April, 2020.
We are currently raising funds for 2020's recipients uniforms, music/instrument needs, and travel to the gifting.