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Senior Prank: A Principal Was Followed Around By a Bagpiper


Richwoods High School Principal Billy Robison did a bit of a double take when he saw a man in a kilt playing the bagpipes.  It was Thursday, a normal school day at the North Peoria building, and bagpipes aren’t typically played in the school’s orchestra or band. But it was the last day of classes for seniors and he was being pranked.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said Robison a day after Scott Whitman followed him all over the school, playing nearly non-stop for an hour.

Whitman played Amazing Grace, Scotland the Brave and then a bunch of songs no one but a bagpiper might know. For an hour, he played nearly nonstop, quite the feat for an instrument that requires lots of lung power.

“I thought it was awesome and very creative, and all credit to the students for coming up with something that is not destructive to the school and the custodians don’t have to clean up after. it was all in good fun, so I thought it was amazing,” the principal said.  The prank was courtesy of Richwoods seniors Pierce Hill and Maggie Moore. So, a bagpiper?

Said Moore: “I grew up listening to a lot of Irish music and I realized that we have a lot of local Irish bands and thought bagpipes would be perfect because they’re loud and you either love them or hate them.”  Hill agreed and said there was another reason too.  “We wanted to try to annoy the principal,” he said on Friday.

That part failed. Robison admits he was a bit taken aback when he came out of a room and saw Whitman in a kilt and “full get up.”

But Robison also “loves the bagpipes” and took Whitman on a trip all over the school. They went up and down the halls, in and out of the building, and all to make sure everyone saw it and the kids got their due.

For Whitman, a former high school music teacher at Roanoke-Benson High School and now the head of music education at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, it was a blast. He appreciated the resourcefulness of the two seniors and also that it was a clever but not destructive prank.

The two kids found him through his band, Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums and being a college professor, and it’s summer time, he had the time so after checking with other officials to make sure it was okay, he was on his way here.

Now, he admits the bagpipes are a bit “obscure” and it’s “loud,” but that’s part of the fun of the prank, he said. Most people have no idea what songs he was playing.

“It’s not like he’s going to be singing along to tunes that he can hear on the radio,” he said.

Robison was a great sport about the whole thing, Whitman said. Everyone seemed to have fun with kids coming out of classrooms as it was bell time. Some were dancing in the hallways.  “Everyone loved it,” he said.



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