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Scottish American Society


Featuring members of the Scottish American Community who have made outstanding contributions to the furtherance of our heritage and culture.


John Whitacre studied violin in North Canton schools and in private lessons and played in school orchestras, the Canton Youth Symphony, and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra. He learned guitar through lessons and self-teaching and taught himself mandolin and mountain dulcimer based on his experience with the other instruments. He studied music theory for two years in school and has continued its study on his own over the years. John has played Celtic music since 1989 with Dennis Kempthorne and with many other people. He and Dennis performed in 1989-90 with three other musicians as the Tightly Wound String Band and reformed that group as a duo in 2002. They play for dances, festivals, and private parties.

Dennis Kempthorne began playing music in fourth-grade music class and played throughout high school. Dennis had a reawakening in the 1980's and fell in love with the traditional Celtic and old-time tunes and has been playing them ever since. His love for the music took him to music festivals, and he got to know and play with many wonderful muscians who were steeped in the tradition."He became silly with it." Dennis' background was in choral music, having directed several choirs over the years and playing in the low brass section in several concert bands. John and Dennis met in 1989 at a Quail Hollow State Park music session and have been playing together since. They have had the pleasure of playing at music festivals, dances, school programs, open air concerts and private events.

To visit their web site, click here.


David and Kathi Macgregor

Early in 2020 we lost our wonderful David. On December 16, 2007, David Macgregor was honored with a 25 year award by the Trustees of the Ohio Scottish Games at the Oberlin Inn. David was not only a trustee of OSG also a 20 year member of the Board of Trustees for The Lorain International, which is a week long festival honoring the various nationalities of the city of Lorain. One nationality is spotlighted each year and David was President of International in 1983 when the Scottish Community was focused upon. David was also President of the Great Lakes Chapter of Clan Gregor. David was also a Board member for The Black River Historical Society in Lorain, which is housed in a Museum known as the Moore House; the home of the first mayor of Lorain. He is survived by his widow, Kathi, who was Captain of the Canadian Legion Drill Team, a kilted, precision drill team marching to the tunes of local bagpipe bands. David was a tenor drummer in the Lochaber Pipe Band of Lorain, again following his ethnic background. David also served on the Lorain Goodwill board for 10 years, was Past President of Lorain Cotillion Club, University Club, Lorain County Insurance Agents, Lorain Towne Club, United British Society, was a Lorain Kiwanis Trustee, and a member of the American Clan Gregor. He was a member of Lorain Lions Club and Masonic Lodge. David was also very proud to be a graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. When he wasn't involved with all of these entities, he ran a one-man landscaping company from spring to fall, planting annuals and maintaining landscaping duties for a few area businesses and local condo associations. Yes, David was a busy man and he will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends.



The saddest news of all -The coronavirus pandemic has claimed one of our favorite people. Joe Nicholls was a good friend for many years. He was WCPN’s host of the program “Sounds of Britain and Ireland” along with Kevin McGinty. We lost Kevin back in 2018, now we’ve lost Joe. Although he was actually Welsh, he attended almost every Scottish event in the area and for years contributed to the Ohio Scottish Games. He helped us greatly with publicity, behind the scenes contributions, and advice for our yearly Beltane Festival. In fact he helped with any event our Scottish American Society held from the very first time we held a meeting. He and partner Kevin McGinty were wonderful radio hosts working together for more than 30 years. In broadcasting from their studio they made off-mike remarks that kept those of us present unable to control our laughter. Fortunately most of their programs were taped and could be edited. Joe died on December 3rd. I guess he and Kevin are back together now, presenting a program for the angels. We will miss them both.