Dana Leigh Smith, from Searcy, Ark., has been named the 2017 award recipient of the Epic Project.
Smith is a freshman at Lyon College pursuing her bachelor's in mathematics. She is also the bass player for the Lyon College Pipe Band and a tuba player for the Lyon College Marching Band.
A highly motivated student, Smith hopes to one day pursue her graduate degree in bioengineering. Her goal is to become a designer of advanced prosthetics.
Smith began playing the bass drum shortly after arriving at Lyon and has worked hard to learn the techniques unique to pipe band drumming. Known as “Li’l Red” in the pipe band, she is very popular among her colleagues due to her friendly disposition, ready smile, and surprise baked goods. She also does an outstanding job as the heartbeat of the band.
The Epic Project was founded in 2015 by Susan Gordon Rose, a kilt maker from Valley Center, Calif., with the support of Clan Gordon. The project’s mission is to support and encourage young bagpipers, drummers and Highland dancers by supplying them with uniforms and equipment. This support allows them to further their blossoming careers in both Celtic music performance and competition. Pipe majors and instructors recommend promising candidates, and a committee of professionals considers the nominees and selects one recipient per year.
Prior winners of the Epic Project award include Austin Diepenhorst, a piper from San Diego, Calif., and Linda Snoddy, a piper from Bakersfield, Calif. Diepenhorst received Highland apparel sponsored by Clan Gordon, and Linda received apparel sponsored by Clan Campbell.
Smith’s outfits will bear the tartan of the Epic Project’s 2017 sponsor, Clan Moffat. She is the first percussionist and the first Arkansan to receive the award.
Smith will receive complete handmade kilt outfits from My Kiltmaker as well as a new bass drum and accessories. She will also fly to Pleasanton, Calif., for the gifting ceremony at the Pleasanton Highland Games next fall.
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