The Norman Transcript


November 19, 2012

St. Michael’s celebrates Kirkin’ of the Tartans



Like God’s love for Andrew, Sutherland extends a caring hand to his congregation. When the band filled their bags in preparation for playing another tune, young congregant Nathan Gray, 3, ran up the aisle into Sutherland’s arms at the altar to watch the band up close. Resting his head on Sutherland’s shoulder, the pair listened intently.

Churchgoers and band members participated in the service. Band members come from all walks of life, and some have been with the band for a decade or more.

Martha Griffith, tenor drummer, is the band director at Longfellow Middle School by day. She’s been with the band for two years.

Richard Witt, drummer, said he joined the band because at the age of 14, his son, Hunter Witt, wanted to learn to play the pipes. Father and son have been members of the band for 10 years now.

Benny Hughes, drum major for the band, has been a drum major for more than 50 years. Hughes emigrated from Scotland to Canada in 1956, then to Oklahoma City, where he played tenor drums for a couple of years. Later, he served 40 years with the Highlanders Pipe and Drums before joining the Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums about 15 years ago.

Southerland, originally from Middlesborough, England, had participated in Kirkin’ of the Tartans services on the other side of the Great Pond and decided to bring the tradition to St. Michael’s. The word “kirk” means “church,” so the Kirkin’ of the Tartans is the “churching” or blessing of the tartans, sometimes accompanied with a roll call of the clans.

Sutherland said he plans to have the band help celebrate St. Andrew’s Day on the Sunday before Thanksgiving each year “to give thanks for heritage and for the church of God.”

For more information about St. Michael’s church, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums, visit

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014