Meredith Wirth is a very talented high school senior who began playing the Great Highland Bagpipes when she was just nine years old. Today, at 17, she is a frequent solo piping winner at the Colorado Scottish Festival and other festivals in the region.
Sharon Rafferty, Meredith’s mother, says that Meredith always came along when Sharon was showing their Airedale Terriers at Highland games in Colorado that features Dogs of the British Isles. “So she was exposed to the music there,” Sharon says. Then one day in March, Sharon took Meredith to a performance of the Denver Brass and Celtic Colorado. After the performance, Meredith got to hold a set of bagpipes – and was hooked. She began taking lessons from the Colorado Youth Pipe Band and rose rapidly through the ranks until now she is Pipe Major (musical director) of the band. She also competes with Colorado’s top-rated competition bagpipe band, Queen City Pipe Band, and performs with Celtic Colorado and the Denver Brass.
Meredith has too many solo piping wins to describe. She has also been honored with the Scottish-American Military Medal from the Scottish-American Military Society in recognition of her excellence in musicianship, leadership and the study of the Highland bagpipe and Celtic heritage. Meredith has won the Young Piper’s Award at the Colorado Scottish Festival, and has been named the Chieftain’s Piper for the St. Andrew Society of Colorado for 2016.
Meredith was adopted from China at the age of about 2-1/2. Sharon says that Meredith comes from the southern part of China, while her older sister, Julia, who is a vocalist who has performed at opening ceremonies of some Highland festivals, comes from northern China. In addition to playing the bagpipes exceptionally well, Meredith is interested in Airedale Rescue and promoting her youth band. She is also a “math whiz” according to her mother, and tutors several other high school students and underprivileged elementary students in math.
Meredith is in the running to be valedictorian of her class at Faith Christian Academy in June and is planning to attend the School of Mines next year to major in mechanical engineering.
See Meredith at the Colorado Scottish Festival in Snowmass August 4-6 www.scottishgames.org