Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category


so many amazing performances…

Congratulations to Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE, MSc and all the members of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band on winning the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships (a 4-peat).  Throughout the 2014 season so many great bands put on so many amazing performances — congratulations to all the bands around the world.

With the Green now empty and the #WPBC2014 come and gone - we look forward to the back half of our season and big changes ahead in 2015 when we intend to raise our standard fielding bands in G3, G4, G5 as well as the introduction of our Juvenile program – the Crossroads Kilty pipe band.   The pipe band world is seeing an evolution of changes in equipment and musicality and it seems pipe bands everywhere are raising the bar — getting bigger and bigger – and better and better.

Time to rehearse….time to get better…




In response to family, friends and fans asking us to bring back our “PIPE BAND — KEEP BACK” t-shirt, Wake and District has created a new clothing line — MASSED BANDS APPAREL.  This first Massed Bands shirt is a nod to our firefighter friends and comes in cardinal red and features a Maltese cross on the front left chest — with our Massed Bands logo and the word “brotherhood” on the bottom rocker.  The back of the shirt read “PIPE BAND — KEEP BACK — 343 FEET (“343″ honoring the 343 FDNY firefighters, EMTs and paramedics who responded to the 9-11 attacks lost their lives).  Only 100 shirts will be available.  This campaign will run through 29 August 2014 with delivery estimated for 11 September 2014.


For now this line of clothing will be handled by BOOSTER and we will keep these shirts at $15 plus shipping and all proceeds will go directly to Wake and District (a registered 501c3).  If you have ideas for a shirt send an email to and we it just may go to print…

The Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums was founded in 2006 and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to improve piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition in the RaD region; we do not compromise people and the art.  The program honors those who sacrifice their lives while serving others; FOR OUR FALLEN is everything the band stands for. 



band trading cards…

We are having some fun with our first series of “band trading cards” featuring all fully fledged members of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums.  Members with silver stars on the bottom right corner are founding band members.  The full set of “cards” can be seen on our facebook page here.   Some really interesting fun facts emerging about our band members in for form of comments on individual trading cards.  Again – this is the first series — we plan on a line of throwback, rookie, NCO moments of brilliance cards and more…  Maybe we will event step outside of our circle for fun with other bands or starz of the pipe band world.


foot stomping roaring mayhem…

Cheers to the Annie Nice and all the great folks at Tir Na nOg for putting on another smashing Kilt Night!  Setting the stage for My Three Kilts and Whiskey of the DamnedThe — the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums filled the pub with foot stomping roaring mayhem.   Thank you to all our families, friends and fans for cheering us on – and thank you to all the band members who made a strong showing – even if you didn’t know the set tunes are were asked not to play ;)

What a way to celebrate Tir Na nOg ONCE AGAIN being named BEST IRISH PUB in the Triangle!

Some band photos from the evening can be seen here.


focused on future achievements…

Raleigh’s pipe band (the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums) – has added several new players to our roster bolstering our numbers to over 70.  We have spoken with the EUSPBA and are planning to add a band for 2015 (fielding 3 families of bands in grades 5, 4 and 3).  A Juvenile program – the Crossroads Kilty Band – has been formed with a planned debut for our 10 year anniversary in 2016.

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 opening a new chapter and want to transparent about how we continue to grow and how new members come into the band” said Ken McKeveny, “we have policies in place to address this”.

“There is a really good piping scene in your area…Wake and District is a big part of that, and as you grow you want to continue to be a positive force…it is great to see good things happening down there.” - June Hanley, chair of the EUSPBA music board

Wake and District has come a long way since our first gig on 10 September 2006. People come and go. Uniforms and tunes change. Through it all, Wake and District has grown into a formidable presence.

“Band members take great pride in all our endeavors and realize there is always a higher level of excellence to be won”, said Joe Brady, band manager. “We are focused on future achievements while remaining steadfast to our mission honoring our fallen comrades through music.”  

“Of all the bands I’ve played with, large and small, grade 1 to street band, I have never found a more supportive and welcoming band that will stop at nothing to improve and dominate.” – Michael Supples

Thank you to Andrew Berthoffeditor @ pipes|drums - for writing a nice story recognizing our program.

For more information on Wake and District do not hesitate to contact us at


youth bagpipe and drum academy…

Wake and District is partnering with Ms. Becky Flowers to develop a youth bagpipe and drum academy in the Flowers Plantation Community of Johnston County; this would be the first of its kind in North Carolina.  The band will honor the man behind the Flowers name – David Howard Creech.

The program will be open to youths from 8-18 and is an alternative music experience — committed to nurturing the values of dedication, practice, teamwork, respect, responsibility, community service and tradition.  No previous musical experience is necessary; all instruction will be provided.  It takes about 18 months to learn to read music and begin playing the bagpipes, snare drum, tenor drum or bass drum.

An informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 11, 2014 @ the Club (120 Flowers Parkway, Clayton 27527).  If you are interested in attending please contact Joe Brady @

flowers logo

An umbrella organization of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums — the Crossroads Kilty Band was founded in memory of Howard Creech. The goal is to teach young people respect and responsibility through music;  Scottish bagpipes and drums in Flowers Plantation, NC-USA.

Here is  little background on Mr. Howard Creechthe man behind the legend…  The South owns many famous legends and new stories become legends as the years go by. There is a special legend which concerns a Charleston, S.C. native and a North Carolina family. However, there is a man who never in his lifetime became a legend. Throughout his life, he stood behind, in support of this North Carolina family to enable them to be successful.

John B. Watson, famous Charleston native, moved to North Carolina in the mid 1700’s, pur-chased thousands of acres in an area just east of Raleigh, N.C. which became known as “Pineville”. He and his wife had five sons while living there. Many famous stories surround his life at Pineville, as well as the life of his oldest son, Dr. Josiah Ogden Watson, who later owned the farms and home place.

Dr. Watson was a surgeon in the War of 1812 and a North Carolina statesman in the 1820’s. At his death, his nephew inherited the estate and when he died in 1897, the estate eventually was purchased by Joshua Washington Flowers in 1905. Josh Washington Flowers oldest son, Joshua Percy Flowers, was two years old when his mother and father moved to the Watson estate.

Joshua Percy Flowers left his home and the families’ farming at age sixteen and became very wealthy. He purchased over 4000 acres of the Watson land through the years of the late 1920’s until the 1960’s. Legend has it that he made the money to purchase the land through illegal liq-uor making and selling. He was featured in Newsweek in 1958 and the August 02, 1958 Satur-day Evening Post magazine described him as the “King of the Bootleggers”.

David Howard Creech, born on July 10, 1917, lost his mother at the age of four and his father was killed in a car accident when he was sixteen. He was raised by his grandmother, “Mamie”, from the time his mother died. Joshua Percy Flowers’ mother also was named Mamie. Howard walked to The Flowers Tavern, owned by Joshua Percy Flowers, each afternoon to ask if he could work, pick up trash or do anything needed to earn money.

Howard soon became recognized by Joshua Percy Flowers as a hard worker and ambitious young teenager. As a result, Howard became his “Right Hand” employee and through the years his best friend and loyal companion. They were together for over seventy five years.

Mrs. Percy Flowers became like a mother to Howard and he worked also beside her and helped when needed in their home. He was with her on December 18, 1952 when a friend arrived to tell her of a tragic private plane accident in which her only son, a student at the University Of North Carolina School Of Law had died. Howard and “Percy Jr.” were best friends, and Howard was only eleven years older than Percy Jr. They were together on the farm as they grew up and worked together.

Shortly prior to the loss of their son in 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Flowers were surprised to learn they were having another child after 22 years! In 1950, Rebecca Dell Flowers was born. Howard was 33 years old and became her nanny of sorts. He took care of her many days, saddled her horse, carried her in his arms to the country store for candy and through many years gave her words of encouragement as life’s lessons came her way.

In 1982, Rebecca gave birth to identical twins, and the physicians of Duke Medical who were caring for Mr. Flowers at that time, wrote a letter to Mrs. Flowers explaining they believed he was granted two weeks of his life to witness the birth of his two grandsons. Howard was with Mr. and Mrs. Flowers when the call came the boys were both healthy and one was his name sake. At that time while sitting on the hearth of Mr. and Mrs. Flowers home, Howard was to become the companion of Jordan, Mr. Flowers the companion of Joshua and the four of them would spend many hours hunting, fishing, and learning about life. Little did they know Mr. Flowers’ death was two weeks away.

Again, Howard at age 65, became the nanny of the twins. He spent the time with both of them caring for them, hunting fishing, and “rambling” the farm learning the out of doors and the importance of nature.

In 1995 when Mrs. Flowers died, Howard was living in the home and caring for her. He took care of her for 13 years after Mr. Flowers died.

Without his adopted father Howard had cared for his grandsons, and the woman who became his adopted mother, Delma Flowers. Howard never experienced his own life independently with a wife and children of his own in a home as a family. He was much too interested in giving back to the life he had come to know as his pleasure, his work and his family.

Today “Flowers Plantation” is the name of what was in the distant past, “Pineville”. Just 23 miles east of Raleigh, it is home to thousands of families and is the largest planned unit development in the entire Research Triangle. It continues to grow not only with a rich history, but with legends of the past history. In 2013, Flowers Plantation was voted N.C. Community of the Year by the North Carolina Home Builder’s Association.

The family regards Mr. and Mrs. Flowers as characters who will long be remembered for each one’s specials gifts of knowledge and life’s lessons. However, David Howard Creech, is their greatest legend as well as the man behind the Flowers legend!


Crossroads Kilty Band — in memory of Howard Creech

– respect and responsibility through music for youths 8-18 — @CrossroadsKilty #CrossroadsKilty


open your eyes and listen…

The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”    This is from Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, we champion this quote.  How might it apply to your band?

Over the past 8 years we’ve worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission to honor others through our music.   We help nurture and communicate to our members the value of the relationships which sustain our success, with the aim of improving piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition; we do not compromise people and the art.

We have to be sensitive to the fact we are dealing with people and a range of skill levels, so we tend to be conservative; yet, we can’t be static.

We might be able to buy a small island if we had a dollar for every time we heard a version of “We’ve always done it this way” or “Our band doesn’t do that“.  Doing things differently or trying new things fundamentally has nothing to do with being reckless or risky, but it does take courage and confidence to continually iterate in order to improve.  Courage to challenge yourself, question assumptions, and possibly admit you have been wrong.  Confidence you are smart and capable enough to responsibly navigate something new and make a correction if necessary.

How else will you know if “doing great” is really only “okay”?  We’ve found the bands and players who have the courage and confidence to try something new make significant gains in generating more success on and off the field.

The successes of our program were evident this weekend at the Greenville Highland Games where both our bands and solo players had STRONG showings on the field of competition.  Congrats to the G4 (1,1,4,1) and G5 (1,2,2,4) for their 2nd place finishes – along with our solo players including Jean Russell (1st place tenor) and Garret Justice with two seconds in piping.

Congrats to the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band (G4) for their 1st place performance in G4 ; they have retained the throne for the summer – and to the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders (G5) for their 1st place performance in G5.

We have a lot of plans for the summer with new music, new gigs, new members — along with some big announcements for 2015…

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”
— Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912)


practice with intention…

At the end of the day there are no shortcuts or magic tricks. Practice offers this brutally refreshing reality: practice only puts into place what you practice. If you don’t put in sufficient practice, embodiment of the new way of being simply won’t come. In fact the key to good practice is to accept this fact and to strip away all that is superfluous and distracting from the bare practice itself. Strip away the stories and narratives about how difficult and punishing the practice is. Strip away the stories about what a great person you are for walking the path of practice. Release the desire to be seen by others as magnificent or as a martyr. Simply practice with intention, and pay attention to what happens.

Read more about the trans-formative power of practice here



Not just words…

We met on warm and sunny Saturday morning, May 6, 2006.  The reason we came together was for the unveiling of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Raleigh.  Jason Lane, Joe Harwell, Lloyd Johnson, Michael Bishop, Joe Brady, Tony Crawford, Skip Kirkwood and a few others…   We were brought together for a service remembering names of fallen heroes.

As names have power, words have power. Words which lit fires in our minds.  Words which surrounded us and led to the formation of an organization which would bring piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition to Raleigh — a program which would honor those who sacrifice their lives while serving others; FOR OUR FALLEN would be everything we would stand for.

8 years later, we look back knowing the journey has been a blessing.  2007 was a year if great growth, 2008 was simply amazing, 2009 left us exhausted and fulfilled, little did we know what 2010 would bring, 2011 reminded us what we stand for, 2012 was a year like no other and 2013 brought a rising ride; read our documented history here.  

Today we are fortunate to have so like minded people sharing the passion and pride of the pipes and drums.  We share a mindset of doing the right things for the right reasons.  It’s not easy sometimes – but we stay with each other, happy to be together, sometimes speaking without uttering a single word — choosing to let the music speak for us.

Looking forward we remain focused on future achievement, despite all of our past accomplishments. We take great pride in all our endeavors and realize there is always a higher level of excellence to be achieved. We strive to be humble and grateful for our members, our collective talents and hard work, and the opportunities we have to perform and grow.  FOR OUR FALLEN remains as everything we stand for.

Happy birthday Wake and District!


9th Annual NCFFF March and Memorial…

On Saturday, 03 May 2014 members of the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums once again participated at the  North Carolina Fallen Firefighters (NCFFF) march and memorial at Nash Square located in Downtown, Raleigh.  This was the 9th Annual iteration and of this march|memorial — and it is the event which sparked our formation…

The NCFFF is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, more specifically to lead the effort to remember North Carolina ’s fallen firefighters and their families. The NCFFF compiles, maintains, and makes available information concerning fallen firefighters. The NCFFF acts in the best interest of the firefighters of North Carolina and supplement the efforts of other North Carolina based Fire Service and Government Agencies and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The NCFFF endeavors to cultivate a fraternal spirit among the firefighters as they endure the loss of their fellow firefighter.  For more informaiton on the NCFFF please visit their website @

This year Wake and District was honored to was again march with our brothers (and sisters) from the Asheville Fire Department Pipes and Drums and Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums – alongside a solo piper from the Cary Fire Department.   Thank you to all the fire pipes|drums folks who came to our hometown today to honor our fallen comrades from across the Old North State.  


The massed bands at the 9th Annual NCFFF March and Memorial

The march and memorial honors all those who serve
and all those who have sacrificed.