The annual Homecoming Celebration for Hopewell Cemetery Association was held at Hopewell Methodist Church Sunday, May 29.
As the Sunday morning meeting and service ended, the sounds of a bagpipe drifted from the cemetery.
A lone piper, dressed in Scottish dress, slowly walked among the gravestones piping Amazing Grace, Danny Boy, The Marine Hymn and other well-known melodies.
The young piper was Jared Malone from Forney, who had been sought out by Vanessa Hill Dockery of Houston. Her family, from her great-grandparents on, are among those at rest in Hopewell Cemetery.
Jared first became enchanted by the sounds of the bagpipes five years ago while watching the movie, The Longest Day, made in the 1960s and starring John Wayne.
He had never played a musical instrument before, but was soon learning to play the pipes and quickly mastered them with the instruction of a top-level professional player.
In 2007, Malone began entering solo competitions in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, medaling and getting referrals from his instructor for piping jobs.
In 2008, he was accepted into the North Texas Caledonia Pipes and Drums band. He performed with the band at such places as the Texas State Fair and the North Texas Irish Festival, and competed in a band competition in Stone Mountain, Ga.
Early this year due to school, work and a hectic schedule it was necessary for him to withdraw from the band.
He still competes in solo competitions, and at a recent one was asked by members of the Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums from Austin to join them in their trip to Scotland in August of this year.
The group will tour and compete in various competitions throughout Scotland for two weeks. The final competition will be the World Pipe Band Championship on the Glasgow Green.
The Homecoming crowd greatly enjoyed Jared’s piping which was a wonderful and unexpected addition to the day’s events.
Should anyone be interested in more information or desire to hear him play, Mr. Malone has a website, www.malonepiper.com.
There you can view his piping alone or with groups. This is an exceptional and very talented young man.