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Bands ‘Rock the Kilt’ in Dunedin May 17
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Photo courtesy of SHAUN HOPPER
Shaun Hopper, a freestyle guitarist, performs at Rock the Kilt.
DUNEDIN – Several bands will take the stage Saturday, May 17, at a Highlander Park event in an effort to raise money for the Dunedin High School Scottish Highlander Band’s trip to Scotland in June.

The Highlander Band will perform along with Chris Jones & Stormbringer and other bands during Rock the Kilt, which also features food, raffles and Tampa Bay Bucs players. The master of ceremonies is ABC Action News’ Brendan McLaughlin.

Admission is $5, which includes a free beverage – soft drink, beer, wine, soda or water. Gates open at 1 p.m. and the festival ends at 10 p.m.

Chris Jones, who plays in a local band, will be the lead vocalist for Stormbringer at the event. The finale features the Highlander Band and Stormbringer playing hits from Journey, Led Zepplin, Queen, Chicago and other classic rock bands.

Ten to 15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including former tight end Jimmy Giles, will be signing autographs. Plans also call for a silent auction.

“One of the big attractions is Shaun Hopper. He just came off the road with B.B. King. Extremely talented,” he said.

A freestyle guitarist, Hopper’s music encompasses a variety of genres, from alternative, folk classical, Celtic, rock, pop, jazz, blues and percussive-new age. Born and raised in Adel, Ga., Hopper began playing guitar at age 12. He started playing bass in several rock and country bands in 2002, touring the Southeast. In 2007, the Atlanta Journal Constitution awarded Hopper the title “Best Musician on the Rise.”

Shaun Hopper’s new album, “The Wood & The Wire,” will be released May 31 at The Capitol Theater in downtown Clearwater.

After several shows with BB King & Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews) he returns to the Capitol Theater.

He'll be joined by Joe Smothers, Noel Bisesti, Matt Glisson & Jalon King. Killer line up of musicians.

Jones, director of sales and marketing for Index Datafiles, started playing drums at 10 years old and had his own band at 11. He said he made a living in the late 1990s performing and enjoys getting gigs with his group called Soul Bender.

“I love it. It’s a good way to burn off stress,” he said.

Stormbringer performs at corporate events, clubs and concerts, such as at Rib Fest and Taste of Pinellas.

Stormbringer and its individual members have opened for many well-known acts, such as Yes, Grand Funk Railroad, Starship, Mr. Mister, the Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Kansas, Charlie Daniels, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The Dunedin Highlander Band is taking about 140 people to Scotland, including band members and chaperones, in conjunction with Dunedin’s sister city relationship with Stirling, Scotland, and the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, a decisive battle in Scottish history.

The cost for the 10-day trip, which features the band giving more than a dozen performances, would be $2,300 per student, but with the fund-raising efforts, the cost is expected to be reduced to about $450 per traveler. The band departs for Scotland June 22.

To contact the Band Boosters about the Scotland trip, to make a donation or inquire about sponsoring an event, email Steve Beaty, band booster president at
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