Hillsboro native Reginald Lyle’s expertise on the bagpipe was highlighted last month in a feature story in the Orlando Sentinel.
The article noted that Lyle, a 1971 graduate of Hillsboro High School, “has been playing the instrument about 17 years, after falling in love with the bagpipe’s sound on a trip to Scotland…”
Lyle is the son of the late J. Harold Lyle, who was a minister and a former Hillsboro City Schools educator, band and music teacher, and Hillsboro resident Sharlene Lyle, who said Monday that her son has played locally at the Hillsboro Church of Christ and at Good News Gathering, where his brother, Jeff, a local attorney, is the pastor.
Sharlene Lyle told The Times-Gazette that when her son returned from Scotland to his Florida home, he was determined to find someone to teach him the bagpipe, and actually found an instructor from Scotland.
“It just raised the hair on my arms and I thought, ‘Wow, my heritage is Scots-Irish,’ and I thought, ‘I wonder if I’m too old to learn this?’” Reggie Lyle told the Sentinel. “So I came back and found a teacher and now this is what I do for a living.”
Lyle specifically plays what is known as the Great Highland Bagpipe. Over the years, he has played regularly at venues such as the Waldorf Astoria, weddings, funerals and the openings of many golf courses, his mother said.
Lyle and his wife, Jo Ellen, live in the Orlando suburb of Longwood, and the Sentinel story featured him performing for the first time at the Orlando Public Library, where he joked, “It’s a little ironic playing a bagpipe in a library.”
During performances, Lyle is decked out in full Scottish kilt and gear, and also recites Scottish poetry.
“Mostly, I just want it to be interesting,” Lyle told the Sentinel. “The thing about the bagpipe is there’s not much middle ground. People either really love a bagpipe or there are people that cannot stand it.”
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.