Baltimore City Pipe Band Surprises Patient Who Founded Their Band 55 Years Ago
For Gilchrist volunteer coordinator Lindsay Ellis, a favorite part of her job is arranging memorable experiences for patients that bring them joy. So when a nurse shared that one of her patients loved bagpipes, Lindsay made it her mission to find bagpipers to perform a special tribute for him.
The Baltimore City Pipe Band answered the call and arrived at Oakcrest donned in Scottish kilts and plaid to play for hospice patient Jim Quigg. In a delightful twist of fate, it turned out that Jim was the band’s original founder and first Pipe Major 55 years ago.
The musicians were visibly honored to play for Jim, who taught the band the music they now play. They hadn’t seen Jim in many years, and they were thrilled to reunite with the man who started it all.
As the bagpipes’ solemn melody filled the room, Jim watched his former band intently and appeared to be humming along—perhaps momentarily transported back to his youth. “To see his reaction to the music was really special,” said Lindsay, who attended the performance along with other Gilchrist team members and Jim’s guests. “When he started singing, everyone kind of lost it.”
Experiences like these remind Lindsay of the importance of helping patients cherish every moment. “I love to find what is special for someone and embrace that,” she says. “You never know what bringing that back into a person’s environment can do for them.”
Of course, not all of Lindsay’s work involves creating special memories like these. Often, she is pairing volunteers with patients and families to offer everyday companionship and connection. Some patients are living alone, so these relationships can make an enormous difference. Through visits, calls, meal delivery or whatever else might enrich patients’ lives, Lindsay and her team of volunteers are ready to serve.