Archive for December, 2010

Chicago Fire Department Loses 2

On behalf of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums we would like to express our condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Chicago Fire Fighters Corey Ankum & Edward Stringer who died in the line of duty on 22 December 2010; several others were also badly injured.

When I’m called to duty God wherever flames may rage give me strength to save a life whatever be its age. Help me to embrace a little child – before it is too late – or save an older person from – the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert, to hear the weakest shout and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me to guard my neighbor and protect his property. And if according to your will I have to lose my life bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.

Please keep the Chicago Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers…

Congrats One and All…

Photo by Mike Legeros

On Friday, December 17, 2010 band members participated in the opening ceremonies for the City of Raleigh Fire Department 36th Fire Academy graduation at the Raleigh Convention Center. Wake & District is honored to take part in events like this for the City of Raleigh because we understand the importance of tradition and are proud to share our traditions with the Raleigh Fire Service. We would like to wish all the graduates a safe and fulfilling career serving the public and we will always be at your side.

Photos by Mike Legeros can be seen here.

Photos by Lee Wilson can be seen here.

This was also the first gig for our newest uniformed member – Patrick O’Leary. Patrick comes to the band from the St. Columcille Pipe Band of New Jersey where he was a snare drummer. Wake & District is thrilled to have Patrick joining our cadre of drummers. Welcome Patrick – and welcome to our newest band groupie, his wife Corianna!

photo by Mike Legeros



The band is happy and sad to report as of today – 17 December 2010 – our 5 year anniversary concert has SOLD OUT!!! To our many family, friends and fans who procrastinated…we are sorry. For those who do have tickets – the concert is on – rain or shine, snow or ice. PLEASE – no ticket scalping.

We are excited about a great night of Celtic song, dance and music from some of the finest folks from North Carolina, Chicago and Cananda!

RFD Graduation


The City of Raleigh Fire Department will hold a graduation ceremony for the 36th Fire Academy on Friday, December 17th at 7 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center. The 24 graduates have spent the last 30 weeks attending classes covering topics ranging from fire suppression to emergency medical training. Upon graduation from the academy, the new firefighters will be North Carolina state certified emergency medical technicians and state certified Level II firefighters. “We are very proud of these new firefighters that have endured rigorous training with dedication and perseverance,” Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said.

The band is honored to participate in the graduation ceremony – and would like to extend our congratulations to all the graduates; we wish you a safe carrer while protecting the public.

Garner VFD Graduation and Promotional Ceremony


On Thursday, December 9, 2010 band members played for the Garner VFD Graduation and Promotional Ceremony at the Garner Historic Auditorium. The ceremony was held for the new FF’s, promoted Engineers, FF 1st Class, Lieutenants, Captains, Deputy Chief & Fire Chief. The band would like to extend our specific congratulations to newly promoted Captain – Mike Bishop, our band manager. Congrats to Mike and all the members of the Garner VFD!

Photos by Lee Wilson can be seen here.

Concert Practice

In addition to being a founding band member and bagpiper, Jeff Hammerstein has a little rock and roll in him and has been working on a rendition of My Home and the Highland Cradle Song for our 5 year anniversary concert which includes a little guitar/drum-kit and song/dance. The above video was filmed at Garner Fire Station 4 on December 11, 2010. Alan Armstrong on keyboard, Chris Ridley on drums, Jeff Hammerstein on guitar…this is going to be a nice piece for the concert!

Time and tickets are running out for the concert, so if you haven’t purchased yours yet you might want to go to and order them now!

Wake & District upgraded to Grade 4


On December 7, 2010 the EUSPBA upgrade reviews were completed by the Music Board and Wake & District was upgraded to Grade 4! Congratulations to all the competing members of the band for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the past 3 years on the competition field. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and enthusiasm we played well and represented the band with distinction (although left some of our best performances in the trees). Kudos to our ever exceptional drum section – under the leadership of James McMillan and Johnny Lovett – for leading the way from the rear of the pack and marching us out of the circle taking great pride in knowing we were always in the running thanks to our drummers.

Congratulations to our friends >> the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums and Ian Sturrock Memorial PB for also being upgraded; we look forward to a fierce competition season in 2011.

10 Pipers Piping…


A great big WARM – THANK YOU to the band members who braved the first snowfall of the season to participate in the Flowers Plantation Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, 04 December 2010. In the spirit of the Christmas season the band had 10 pipers piping (along with a cadre of snare drummers, and mid-section drummers). It was cold, it was wet, but the band members survived the wintery mix march through the Flowers Plantation fields.