Pipes of Christmas – alumni article by Jason Hite

The 16th annual Pipes of Christmas concert took place on 20 & 21 December in  the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. It was produced by the Clan Currie Society of America and sponsored by the University. In 2013, an Edinburgh Napier University student performed at the concert and this year, the musical extravaganza was again met with rave reviews. Alumni and University representatives were in rapt attendance at this pre-Christmas treat. Here, alumnus Jason Hite describes the experience. 

In December, my family and I spent the weekend before Christmas in New York City and attended the Pipes of Christmas concert, sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University.  Of all the places I’ve been around the world, New York City always feels as like the quintessential Christmas destination to me.  We were only there for three days, but it was a trip we will remember for years to come.

The streets were bustling with people running between stores carrying presents.  All of the major stores had ornate Christmas displays in their windows.  At the corner of every other street was a vendor selling roasted chestnuts that you could smell blocks away.  The whole experience was like walking through the set of a Christmas movie.

On Saturday afternoon we attended the Pipes of Christmas.  The event epitomized everything that most people talk about when asked what Christmas means to them.  The church, where the performance was held, was filled to capacity, like many Christmas services I remember as a child.  As you walked through the audience you could hear people talking about their favorite memories of Scotland, and how several musical compositions genuinely brought them tears.  The performers and narrators were spectacular, you felt as if you were actually part of their performance.  When our four year old daughter was asked what her favorite part was, it was no surprise that she said “the BAGPIPES!”

Having the opportunity to attend the Pipes of Christmas event, and meet with Edinburgh Napier University representatives and alumni, was a great end to 2014.  Over the past year I have felt very fortunate to be able to reconnect with the university.  Although I only get to see some of the people once or twice a year, it feels like I’m talking to an old friend each time.  Leigh Dilks and Karen Cairney’s ability to connect with alumni is wonderful.  Leigh and Karen have made me, and my family, feel as if we are a part of the Edinburgh Napier University family and not just alumni.

The event in New York was not only a great close-out to 2014, but was also a perfect opportunity to look forward to 2015.  My family and I are very excited to continue our relationship with Edinburgh Napier University in the new year!

 Jason Hite graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2006 with an MSc in Human Resources Management. He is currently serving as the Chief Human Resources Officer, in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C. Jason currently resides in Virginia with his wife Suzanne and their daughter, Sophia. 

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