Henryetta’s piper, Kenth Pharoah, educated members of the Rotary club on the bagpipes Wednesday.
Pharoah, who was born and raised in Henryetta, has a Scottish background that led him to the love of the traditional Highland instrument. He said his grandparents came from Scotland to Henryetta to work in the coal mines and he traveled back to their native land twice as a young child. Determined to learn how to play the pipes, he found a person to instruct him in 1991 then another instructor in 2005.
“This has taken me places you would never believe,” he said. Pharoah has played at a number of special events throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas as well as Arlington National Cemetery. He is a member of the Tulsa Pipes and Drums and the OSU Pipes and Drums. At OSU, that group plays for every commencement ceremony.
He wore the traditional uniform of a piper pointing out the kilt is the colors of his Kerr family. The kilt is 16 ounces of wool and eight yards long. Also making up the uniform are his shoes, called Ghillie Brogues, the white socks and garter with a Skean Dubh, pronounced "Skeen Doo" or "black knife" in Gaelic, his sporran or purse worn around the waist and the Prince Charlie jacket. It is topped off with a glengarry cap.
He explained the bagpipes can only play four notes that limits the number of songs which can be performed.
Earlier this week, Pharoah and fellow band member George Rice performed, "When the Battle's O'er," to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War One. They were in front of the doughboy statue Sunday morning.
He played that song as well as two others for the Rotarians.