Last month the Coastal Breeze News sat down with 18-year-old Marco Island resident, Daniel Hodsdon and his grandfather Terry McCreanor. Hodsdon, now on the verge of beginning his freshmen year of college, has been playing the bagpipes since he was in middle school. The bagpipes have allowed Hodsdon a world of opportunity, both as a musician and a performer. Over the years he has been asked to perform for private parties as well as local events such as Relay For Life and the annual Christmas Parade.
Inspired by Jonathan Davis, lead singer of metal band Korn, Hodsdon, then in 8th grade, decided that he would like to pursue the bagpipes. “Their singer played the bagpipes on a couple songs and I was like ‘hey, I want to learn that,” said Hodsdon. “I told my grandparents and about two weeks later he [McCreanor] calls me and says ‘We’re going to Bonita, we have a bagpipe lesson.’ That night we went up and met Don Goller, world champion bagpiper and Harp & Thistle Band’s Pipe Major.”
For three straight years he and his grandfather would drive an hour up to Bonita for lessons. “Three years, everyTuesday, for three hours,” said McCreanor a mantra he would repeat many times throughout our conversation. And though he repeated it somewhat begrudgingly, he said it with a twinkle in his eye. It was during those drives that he and Daniel were able to bond over their love of music. As McCreanor drove he would instruct Daniel to look up different artists and songs to play on his cellphone. In doing so he was able to introduce Daniel to the music of his generation and the two were able to find common ground. They would play everything from the Everly Brothers to Jan and Dean to McCreanor’s favorite song, “Sleepwalk.” “We had fun going on the drive, out and back,” said McCreanor.
Over the years as Hodsdon’s reputation as a bagpiper grew, strangers began asking him to perform at events on Marco. “People would call and be like ‘Oh, I hear you play the bagpipes,’ said Hodsdon. “I was in the Christmas parade and I learned ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ on the bagpipe. Santa wore a kilt that night.” For the past two years Hodsdon has also performed at the Naples Relay forLife during the Luminaria Ceremony. “That’s probably one of my favorite things to do,” said Hodsdon. This past Relay for Life was the best performance I’ve had. It’s a very powerful moment during that event.”
Besides the bagpipe, Hodsdon also plays the bass guitar, guitar, piano and the trombone. It seems that he is into all things music, a quality he attributes to his grandfather. “I’m into literally any genre of music,” said Hodsdon. “In my car I’ll hit next and it’ll go from death metal to jazz to rap to classical music. There is no in between with me, I will listen to anything.”
Currently Hodsdon is enrolled in a six week program where he is learning how to build guitars. This fall Hodsdon will begin his freshmen year at the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media in Georgia. He plans on studying the bass guitar as well as recording and audio engineering. “They teach you to be an instrument. You become extremely versatile and valuable to anybody who needs you. At the end of this, if I really buckle down and do it, I’ll be able to be called in to be a studio musician,” said Hodsdon.