Piping and Penning

Nancy Tunnicliffe Bagpiping

An Interactive Writing Workshop with
piper Nancy Tunnicliffe
& author Jana Laiz

Nancy Tunnicliffe is one of the very few professional bagpipers in the United States. She has appeared as a guest soloist with many of the country’s top orchestras, including the Boston Pops with John Williams, The National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall. She has been featured with the Pops in recording and national PBS broadcasts. Nancy has performed for members of the British Royal Family. and has made more than 100 television appearances. With an BA from Yale and an MA in Ethno-musicology from Wesleyan, Nancy is a sought-after educator and workshop leader. She is especially excited to be working with Jana to bring the sound of the bagpipe to school programs, as that is how she first heard the instrument as a third grader.

Jana LaizJana Laiz has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is the author of the triple Award-Winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon, Moonbeam Silver Medal Winner, The Twelfth Stone, Elephants of the Tsunami, written to raise money for tsunami relief, the co-author of "A Free Woman On God's Earth, The True Story of Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom" optioned to be a feature film, and Thomas & Autumn. Fascinated by other cultures, Jana studied anthropology and Chinese language at University. She is passionate about our beautiful planet and endeavors to make a difference in the world through her writing and to work with others who feel the same. She is the very first Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville's beloved Arrowhead. Jana is thrilled to be working with Nancy to bring music and writing together to the classroom.

Do You Believe in faeries?

Nancy and Jana believe in the magic of music and words to ignite the creative process. In this interactive workshop, students will let their imaginations fly on the sound of the bagpipe to the majestic land of Scotland, where traditions of faerie faith and folklore live on. Once there, students will encounter a compelling story of the faerie world, as told by Jana Laiz.

In Jana’s novel, The Twelfth Stone, the faerie world is fading. Human greed is giving rise to the most malevolent of faeries. A cautionary faerie tale, The Twelfth Stone takes place in both America and Scotland. The cast of characters is headed by an American girl, Fiona and her Scottish faerie counterpart, Rionnag.

Working within curriculum frameworks, this workshop, designed for 5th and 6th graders, introduces concepts of traditional music and storytelling. The entire school is invited to march into the auditorium led by Nancy in full regalia, piping a stirring marching tune. This will be followed by a demonstration of the workings of the bagpipe and a mini concert. While the larger audience exits the auditorium, the 5th/6th graders will gather for a more focused session.

Using Jana’s story and writing prompts combined with Nancy’s pipes as a jumping-off point, students will put pen to paper and create their own fairytales. Jana and Nancy will invite students to express their emotional reaction to both words and music in writing exercises. Students are encouraged to share their writing if time permits.  

For more information, including fee schedule and available dates; email  and visit www.janalaiz.com