Archive for the ‘Band News’ Category


open a new door…

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. — Walt Disney

There are so many great lessons we all learn from life. These lessons have helped our members become the band we are today. Reading about other peoples’ experiences and lessons in life can give you a better understanding of how you can choose to live your life – what doors you should walk through.

To really appreciate the value these lessons can bring to your life, you need to experience life and embrace the challenges  life throws at you, make mistakes, fail, and bounce back. It is these life lessons you learn from–  all of your experiences which will have the most impact.

So get ready, be open and look forward to passing more life tests and learning more life lessons.

  1. Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.  There are many things in our lives that we have to do, even though we may not want to do it. The trick to managing these aspects of our life is to have activities in our life that we actually enjoy and love doing. It is all about keeping perspective and balance in your life. Health, wealth and happiness are the key ingredients to living a life you love and when you have activities in your life that bring you all three, then you are definitely living a life you love.

  2. Over thinking ruins you.  Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.  “Paralysis by analysis” is defined in Wikipedia as: “the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” The result is that because decisions are never made opportunities are lost. Don’t spend too much time analyzing whether you should or shouldn’t act on an opportunity, or step out of your comfort zone to change your life. Manage your risk, listen to your intuition, find your courage and take action.

  3. Practice like you’ve never won.  Perform like you’ve never lost.  This life lesson is all about self belief and having a positive attitude in life.  Self belief and a positive attitude are the key ingredients to living a successful and fulfilled life.

  4. Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.  Have you ever felt fearful about what others think or say about you? If you seek validation from others before you make a decision or take action, then you will never truly be your own person. If people are speaking unkindly about you, ignore it because the comments they make aren’t really about you, your value or self worth. You don’t need other people to validate you, you are already valuable. When you find your courage and step out of your comfort zone to take positive action in your life, there will be people who will support you, ignore you, reject you and disagree with you – and that’s okay. Focus on those who are supporting and encouraging you to be courageous and to be different.

  5. Listen carefully to how a person speaks about others to you.  This is how they will speak about you to other people.  This lesson is all about being self aware and surrounding yourself with the right people. Those who support and encourage you, will speak their truth to you and to others with integrity and respect. If you are surrounded by people who are only massaging your ego and speaking ill of others, then that is a sure sign that they will be saying very similar things about you behind your back. Managing your ego is key to learning this lesson as it is your ego that will allow you to have these negative and untrustworthy people in your life.

  6. Two things to remember in life — take care of your thoughts when you are alone, and take care of your words when you are with people.  Negative self talk is not going to get you anywhere. If you listen to the negativity in your head, then it will definitely creep into the language you use to communicate with others – particularly in difficult and trying situations. Your negative thoughts without a doubt will influence your relationships. A positive attitude creates positive thoughts which results in positive relationships – even in the tough times!

  7. You should always be learning, if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong place.  Become a student of life rather than a person who knows everything. Life lessons can only be learnt the hard way – there is no other way. Embrace the joy of learning new things and stepping into the unknown. There is no joy and there no lessons to be learnt when you know everything there is to know. It is a safe and incredibly boring way to live your life.

  8. Never lose yourself while trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.  This is a tough life lesson because it is all about understanding the emotions that come with being in love. For some people it takes many times of falling in and out of love before the lesson of “staying true to you,” is learnt. This lesson is also about being self aware and keeping your relationship in perspective. There will always be signs that the person you love may not love you as much. What often happens is that our love blinds us and we choose to ignore these signs. Stay true to you and don’t hand your power over to those people who don’t care for you.

  9. Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.  Stress kills. Deal with whatever it is in your life that is creating bad stress. Practise appreciation and gratitude on a daily basis. It is appreciation and gratitude that provides the energy source for you to live an abundant and fulfilled life. Stress will not provide you with abundance and fulfillment in your life.

  10. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to thing they can change the world, are the ones who do.  Dream big, think big; be courageous and believe in you. Surround yourself with people who support, encourage and believe in you – don’t worry about those who reject you or dismiss you. Embrace failure and learn from your mistakes. Accept that the lessons in life are only going to be learnt the hard way and there is no easy way to live a full and abundant life. Become a champion of change and go make a difference in the world.

Raleigh’s Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums currently has 70+ members who come from all walks of life and bring an indeterminate amount of experience with them. Our members are police officers, lawyers, engineers, students, machinists, Doctors to name but a few and all are tremendous individuals who share the common goal of being a successful and competitive pipe band. The band continues to exist thanks to the ongoing support of the public safety professionals throughout the Raleigh region; we are proud of our long history with them. Each year the band participates in a number of events on behalf of the the Public Safety Services. These events include recruit graduation ceremonies, awards and promotion ceremonies and community events, however none are more important then our participation in the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation march and memorial each spring. These kinds of events pay tribute to public safety professionals who have given their lives in service to others.


Every time we are out we learn, gain confidence and are starting to define our “sound character”.  We field 3 competition groups; Grades 5, 4 and 3.  Our competition program is under the direction of Pipe Major Ken McKeveny and drumming instructor Tom Foote; both professional level players and EUSPBA judges.  We are always seeking musicians who can contribute at these levels — and who are prepared to make a commitment to the band on and off the field.  If you are interested in becoming a part of our program – tell us, ask us questions. Music is currently available upon request.  If you wish to become a part of our group – do not hesitate to contact us.   Local and traveling players welcome…


WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest…

Organizers are bringing one of the nation’s premier hot air balloon festivals to Zebulon’s Bennett Bunn Plantation with planned public events also scheduled for Spring Forest Road Park in North Raleigh.  More than 40 balloon pilots and teams from across the nation will attend.  Members of the Wake and District pipe band will be participating  SATURDAY @ Spring Forest Road Park (4203 Spring Forest Road Raleigh, NC 27616) — and SUNDAY @ Bennett Bunn Plantation (1915 Old Bunn Road Zebulon, NC 27597).

We will bring the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums to the opening ceremonies and play as a send off to the “Glow” — opening ceremonies start at 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Bagpipes and Balloons – what could be more fun?!

For more information check out the Freedom Balloon Fest website @ or visit them on Facebook.






Sharing some words from one of our newest traveling band members – Bill Gehringer Jr. —  Arlington National Cemetery is the most solemn place that I have been. I’m Honored, Privileged to have done three funerals for fallen Heroes there. I am indebted to everyone that has died protecting my family and the American way of life. The most striking thing about any military funeral is the manner in which the families endure the great pain of the death of their loved one, I witnessed a young mother going through all the pain and ritual etc. only to collapse in agony when all the other mourners left the grave. Grave 608454. I’ll never forget. Thank you for your service.


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,”Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their“Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stampwith her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senatewhich proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.

To date, there has been no further developments on the bill. Please write your Representative and your Senators, urging them to support these bills. You can also contact Mr. Inouye to let him know of your support.


dream big, strive for excellence…

“Vision without execution is just hallucination.” ― Henry Ford

From (by ) — We all know Henry Ford best for founding the world-renowned Ford Motor Company and transforming the way products are built in the United States. While it’s certainly easy to idolize someone who had so much business success, Henry Ford actually experienced many of the highs and lows people (organizations) face everyday. However, his experience and his triumphs make for some incredible life lessons.

From enduring the Great Depression to dealing with a high turnover rate at his factory, Henry Ford had to experience several failures that all added up to his incredible, historic successes. The best part is that if you need help overcoming an obstacle today, many of his life lessons are still applicable…

1. Seek Advice from Others — One of the biggest mistakes Henry Ford made was not listening to some of his most trusted advisers. Many people, his son included, warned him about the rising popularity of other cars, yet Henry Ford did not adapt well to these changes. By the end of his life, although he was a wealthy man, Ford Motor Company was third and not first in the automobile industry. His company certainly did not lose any of the prestige it had in its earlier days, but had Mr. Ford kept up with innovations, he could have been more of a leader in the industry.

2. Invest in What Works — What makes Henry Ford so successful is he took his business idea and made it bigger. Had he stayed with his original small factory, he wouldn’t be the icon that we know today. Every time he wanted to improve his company, he invested in a much larger factory to produce more products. He even diversified and started offering more services than just automobiles. Even though all of these changes were cost intensive, Henry Ford was willing to take the risk and invest in what worked.

3. Create For Everyone — Many successful business people have made their fortune catering to the rich, but Henry Ford created products that appealed to everyone. He even raised the salary of his factory workers to the point where they could actually afford the cars they were making. This led to reducing the turnover rate that plagued the Ford Motor Company in the early years.

4. “Don’t find fault; find a remedy.” —  This is one of our favorite Henry Ford quotes, and it’s one of his best-life lessons. It’s so easy to place blame on other people or to point the finger at someone else for your mistakes. However, one of the most integral skills you can learn in life is taking responsibility for your actions. Even better, take it one step further and find a solution to the problem. This will guarantee you much success in life.

5. Always Produce High Quality Work — Henry Ford once said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking,” and that is absolutely true. We should all be at our best at all times, not only when our Pipe Major or Drum Sergeant are watching or judges are watching. Creating good habits and developing into good players is much more important than getting ahead through unethical methods.

6. Have Passion For What You Do — If you don’t have enthusiasm for your band, then it’s time to find a new one! While you won’t have a perfect practice, rehearsal or contest every time, having a passion for what you do will make everything more worthwhile. It might take some time to find this passion, but Henry Ford’s life lessons show us they are worth fighting for.

7. Anything is possible — Last but not least, Henry Ford showed the world anything is possible. He built an iconic company from the ground up, running it himself, buying out investors, and making it bigger and better every year. He did his research, learned from great business owners who were using assembly lines, and adapted it to fit his product. He was an innovator and someone who championed personal growth. He treated his people well and raised their wages. He encouraged others to do the same. Like any person, he was not perfect, but his story offers some great life lessons that can still be used to this day.

In our opinion, Henry Ford is definitely worthy of his status as one of America’s giants. His life lessons can certainly help all of us to stretch ourselves, dream big, remain accountable, and strive for excellence.

 We certainly stretched ourselves this weekend at the Smoky Mountain Highland Games.  Congrats to our solo players for their placings — Tom Foote (Professional Drummer of the Day), John Lovett (Amateur Bass Drummer of the Day), Martina Murphy (Amateur Tenor Drummer of the Day), Timothy Hinson (G3 Piper of the Day) — along with  Christina Raig and Steve Turnball for second place medals in snare and bass drumming respectively.

Our band bands finished as follows:

  • G3 Medley – 1,1,1,1 (out of 2) — 1st place
  • G3 MSR – 1,1,1,1 (out of 2) — 1st place
  • G4 Medley – 4,2,4,1 (out of 5) — 3rd place
  • G5 QMM – 3,3,3, 2 (out of 3) — 3rd place

Sharing a note from the games vice president — John V. Rose, who did an AMAZING job of keeping things organized…

Thank you to everyone.  To the stewards:  Thanks for your hard work.  All of you did a great job in helping run a very smooth competition. To the Bands:  Thanks for your all day participation in competition, mass bands, in pleasing the crowds.  To the Judges:  Thanks for a long day.  Your efforts were great.  I never heard any complaints from any of you.  To the individual competitors:  You made the day run smooth.  No crazy questions.  No issues.  To all — please come back next year.  We are in this to have fun.  Even though the competition is tough we do this for the fun.  The board members of the games tries very hard to make them run smoothly and make everyone feel at home.  Please feel free to offer suggestions for improvements.  We will listen and do the best we can. Now I’m tired and will sit as peacefully on the couch as I can.   Again, thank you all very much for a successful games.

Thank you John, we had fun…


why we teach music…

Music is a science
It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph
which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once
and with the most exact control of time.

Music is mathematical
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously,
not worked out on paper.

Music is a foreign language
Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English–
but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas.
The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music is history
Music usually reflects the environments and times of its creation, often even the country
and.or racial feeling.

Music is a physical education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek, and facial muscles,
in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach and chest muscles,
which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all these things, but most of all MUSIC IS ART
It allows a human being to take all these dry technically boring (but difficult) techniques
and use them to create emotion. That is one thing that science cannot duplicate:
humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.

That is Why We Teach Music…
Not because we expect you to major in music
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life
Not so you can relax
Not so you can have fun
Not Because we expect you to major in music
BUT–so you will be human
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So you will have something to cling to
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good–in short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless we know how to live?



Raleigh’s (newest) bravest…

The City of Raleigh Fire Department will hold a graduation ceremony for the 40th Fire Academy on Thursday, 15 May 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Fletcher Opera Theatre at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.   The 36 graduates have completed more than 998 hours of classroom, practical and physical fitness training. Upon graduation they will be certified by the State of North Carolina as a firefighter level II, emergency medical technician and hazardous materials responder. The diverse class of 32 men and 4 women includes local high school graduates and recruits from Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and Washington.

 “We are very proud of these new firefighters that have endured rigorous training with dedication and perseverance,” Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said.

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


The graduating recruits will help fill open positions, including firefighters reassigned to Station 29, when the new companies Engine 29 and Ladder 9 are placed in service next month. They are:

Rontaegus L. Alford
Jacob T. Atkins
Ryan W. Ault
Scott D. Bartow
Dillon N. Brown
Jonathan W. Brown
Eric R. Champion
Christian C. Christopoulos
Andrew E. Davis
James L. Davis
Rebecca E. Davis
Bradley T. Faucette
Britney M. Fitchpatrick
Randy D. Fobbs
Tyler L. Gouge
Eric T. Griffin Jr.
John T. Hauser
Cody A. Heakins
Eric A. Hisey
Alexis R. John
Daniel E. Kennon
Christopher R. King
Joseph A. Lane Jr.
Timothy M. Lee
Justin J. Melanson
Ryan L. Nelson
Tyler C. Parrott
Christopher K. Patterson
Rafael Perez-Valdivia
Aaron W. Proctor
Nicholas W. Robinson
Diana N. Trout
Aaron M. Voss
Jordan L. Whitley
Nicholas K. Williams
Aaron M. Winfree



class photo by Mike Legeros — candid photos by Lee Wilson


be grateful…

Everyone that has ever worn the badge, or had a family member who wears one, knows the ultimate sacrifice may be asked of them. We know that in an instant, any assignment can turn into danger, then death, then unending sorrow.  When a police officer dies in the line of duty it is a tragedy for the entire community, but it is forever a memory of fellow police officers and their families.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

These heroes are no longer with us. But we can tell you in our hearts, we will always remember and be grateful for your husband, your wife, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son. We will make sure that their names and their memories live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of our community for generations to come.

To learn more about National Police Week — please visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Foundation website here.


I Was a Police Officer
author unknown

 Today, I will not answer the radio call that your boyfriend has come home drunk and is beating you again.

Today I will not answer the radio call that your 16 year old daughter, who is very responsible, is four hours late coming home from school.

Today I will not answer the radio call that your store has been robbed or your house has been burglarized.

Today I will not stop a drunk driver from killing someone.

Today I will not catch a rapist or a murderer or a car thief.

Today I will not answer the radio call that a man has a gun or tried to abduct a child or that someone has been stabbed or has been in a terrible accident.

Today I will not save your child that you locked in a car or the child you were to busy to watch who went outside and fell into the swimming pool, but that I revived.

No, today I will not do that.


Because Today I was killed by a drunk driver while I was helping push a disabled car off the highway.

Today I was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop to simply tell someone that they had a taillight out.

Today I was killed in a traffic accident rushing to help a citizen.

Today I was shot and killed serving a warrant on a known drug dealer.

Today I was killed by a man when I came by to do a welfare check because his family was to busy.

Today I was killed trying to stop a bank robbery or a grocery store robbery.

Today I was killed doing my job.

A chaplain and an officer will go to a house and tell a mom and dad or a wife or husband or a child that their son or daughter or husband or wife or father or mother won’t be coming home today.

The flags at many police stations were flown at half-mast today but most people won’t know why.

There will be a funeral and my fellow officers will come, a twenty-one-gun salute will be given, and taps will be played as I am laid to rest.

My name will be put on a plaque, on a wall, in a building, in a city somewhere.

A folded flag will be placed on a mantel or a bookcase in a home somewhere and a family will mourn.

There will be no cries for justice.

There will be no riots in the streets.

There will be no officers marching, screaming “no justice, no peace.”

No citizens will scream that something must be done.

No windows will be smashed, no cars burned, no stones thrown, no names called.

Only someone crying themselves to sleep tonight will be the only sign that I was cared about.

I was a police officer.



on that day…

On Saturday, 06 May 2006 the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation held the inaugural ceremony dedicating a new fallen firefighter’s memorial; honoring firefighters from across the Old North State who sacrificed their lives serving others.

On that day — local firefighters Joe Harwell, Mike Bishop, Lloyd Johnson, Jason Lane (among others) were in attendance — watching the march from the sidelines. Until that day the Wake County region had rarely seen the pipes and drums at a fire service — event except on TV or in the movies.

The march was led by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band along with a local guest piper — Joe Brady. Throughout the day Mike, Lloyd and Jason “hemmed Joe up” about the bagpipes.

2007 NCFFF Memorial March

2006 NCFFF Memorial March with the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums

About 2 months later a group of like minded folks got together and held a  meeting about forming a public safety pipe band serving Wake County and the surrounding region; Wake and District was born. Ten years later — changing uniforms, changing members, changing tunes – never missing a year.

From our Drum Major — Jason Lane:  I know May is one heck of a month and we all have families outside the band — I just want to say thanks to all my brothers and sisters who put in all the hard work practicing and playing events.  Events like the NCFFF march and memorial are long and can be trying — I am very proud of our band and what we do.  

31 people on deck today with 18 pipers, 12 drummers and my ugly self, we looked good and sounded good. Today was a first for some of our members and the fourth, fifth and tenth for others.” I cannot thank you enough” were the words from the families, honor guards and firefighters who thanked me after it was over. So please have a great rest of the weekend and I do love you all.  As I told Joe years back standing on the same streets —

Today is not about you,
it’s not about me,
it’s not about us,
it is about the families  —
Those sitting in chairs holding flags.
That is who we are here for.
–  Jason Lane

Over the past 9 years Wake and District has seen tremendous growth which has been exhausting at times, yet remains fulfilling.  Little did we know where this chance encounter would lead us — year after year — AMAZING people on a journey of sorts — doing the right things for the right reasons — remaining true to our mission.  FOR OUR FALLEN remains everything we stand for.  God Bless our band family.

#ForOurFallen  #RightThings  #RightReasons #NoExcuses



spirit of the south scholarship…

The Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums is investing in the next generation of pipers and drummers; young people working hard to improve piping and drumming quality, as well as promote Scottish culture and tradition. We are striving to make funding available (for piping and drumming camps) to those who may not otherwise be able to attend due to financial reasons.

The band has created the Spirit of the South Scholarship for EUSPBA pipers and drummers 18 years of age and younger who share our spirit and love of this tradition.  We will award $1200 in scholarships based on criteria which will be evaluated from the the application questionnaire.

The scholarship committee is comprised of leaders in the Southern branch of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association piping and drumming community including:

  • Jerry Finegan – EUSPBA judge and member of the G3 Atlanta Pipe Band
  • Ken McKeveny – EUSPBA judge and pipe major of the G3 Wake and District Pipe Band
  • Robert Minnear – EUSPBA judge and pipe major of the G3 Atlanta Pipe Band
  • Sally Warburton – EUSPBA judge and member of the G3 Grandfather Mountain Pipe Band
  • Billy Gehringer – D/Sgt of the G3 SAU pipe band and member of the G1 78th Fraser Highlanders

Candidates are advised to submit their applications along with a letter of recommendation from an instructor.  Additional supporting materials such as multimedia links are welcome.

The deadline for applications is May 15th.
Scholarship awards will be announced by May 30th.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Good luck and best wishes for your successful piping or drumming endeavors!


For more information about this topic, please contact Wake and District by calling 919.374.8166 or sending an e-mail to

#NewTraditions #NextGeneration


marching for our fallen…

On Saturday, 02 May 2015 – members of the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums will be participating in the 10th Annual North Carolina Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation (NCFFF) memorial march and service.  The NCFFF is organized to lead the effort to remember North Carolina’s fallen firefighters and their families.  Members of  Wake & District have participated in this event since 2006.

Our program honors those who sacrifice their lives to serve others; FOR OUR FALLEN is everything we stand for. We strive to be humble and grateful for our members, our collective talents, hard work – and the opportunities we have to serve, perform and grow.  We are privileged to support NCFFF and their on-going efforts honoring North Carolina’s bravest.


Please join us — alongside hundreds of firefighters from across North Carolina — at Nash Square in Downtown Raleigh on the 2nd of May @ 10:00 am for the memorial march and 1:00  pm for the memorial service.

Line of Duty 2015 Honorees

Ralph Wynne Pactolus VFD 7/31/1999
Donald Ray Miller Glendale Springs VFD 2/4/2014
John Derek Gupton Justice Rural VFD 9/16/2014
Steven Brad McCoy Nantahala FD 11/21/2014
Ricky Wooten Doub Forbush VFD 12/16/2014
Halbert Campbell NC Forest Service 11/17/1973
James Halliburton NC Forest Service 8/13/2014
Thomas Gerald Lee Four Oaks FD 2/1/2014

Dedicated May 6, 2006 Located in the center of historic Nash Square, Raleigh NC, the total Memorial is 50 feet diameter. The central sculpture “Heroism & Sacrifice” is comprised of four life-size bronze firefighters in a realistic action collapsed building fatal fire scene, uniquely the first time such has been created in a large prestigious memorial. One firefighter is dying, having been crushed by a fallen I-beam; a comrade is holding the fallen firefighter’s head and calling for help; another firefighter is struggling to lift off the heavy I-beam; and the fourth firefighter is using an attack hose to keep the fire away from the rest of the team. Their realistic facial expressions add to the intense drama and impact of this unique Memorial. Designed for 360 degrees viewing, wherever a visitor stands, a face of at least one firefighter is always visible. The sculpture is also lighting engineered for night-time fire effects. Surrounding this central masterpiece sculpture is a brick wall with granite slabs on which is engraved the names of all North Carolina’s fallen firefighters, past, currently and will also have those fallen in future centuries …thus becoming a “living memorial”.  For more information on the North Carolina Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation please visit their website here.


Those who serve, those who sacrificed – are never forgotten.


Map of Nash Square 201 S Dawson St Raleigh, NC 27601, US

Raleigh Area Map

Raleigh Area PDF 

Parking Map

Parking Map

Parade Info
The parade will start at 10am

Parade Route

Parade Map PDF