Taking up these bagpipes lets Matt Greer release a solemn sound on a recent sunny fall day. He's only been playing the pipes for five years, but his pipes are more than 100 years old.
"They were sitting in my dad's attic for 30 years," Greer said. "My grandfather brought them over from Scotland."
Greer hopes to visit his family's homeland someday.
"I haven't yet, but I probably will," he said.
He would like to take his family’s pipes with him, but that might be more complicated than you’d expect.
"This is ivory," Greer said. "I found the best bagpipe guy in the world, but he's in Canada. I shipped them up and had them restored."
The ivory comes from endangered elephants, and that means it's protected under the Endangered Species Act. A part of the act regulates international wildlife trade to discourage the sale and transport of ivory and other parts of endangered animals. The regulations apply to ivory even if it's old and part of family heirlooms or musical instruments.
Greer had to get two permits to send his pipes to Canada, but now he can apply for what is called a musical instrument passport.
"It could be used for multiple transits across the border," Kim Theurer, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said.
The news is music to the ears of pipers, guitarists and violinists who play antique instruments. In addition to ivory, some are made with tortoise shell inlay.
Even Brazilian rosewood is on the list, Theurer said.
"We're not looking to take your guitar,” she said. “This multi-use permit would allow you to travel with your instrument."
"I know there are pipes like this all over the place, so for people coming in and out of town, I would imagine that would make things easier," Greer said.
When he finally decides to take that trip to Scotland, he’ll be ready.
You can call your local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspection office with any questions.
You can find your local office here.
For more information on transporting musical instruments click here.