Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category


Won’t you support this endeavor?

You may have heard the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums is working in partnership with the Mike Murphy Memorial Foundation holding its inaugural indoor bagpipe and drum band competition and concert on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is a first of its kind in the Eastern United States and will attract more than 1,000 guests and participants throughout the community — and 1,000’s more globally live online.

So who is Mike Murphy and why is there a new bagpipe and drum band competition in Raleigh-NC-USA named after him?  Let us tell you a little bit about him (from Martina Murphy, Mike’s mom):

My son, Mike Murphy was born in Virginia on 27 July 1979 playing the drums. His elbows were literally stuck out in the “sticks ready” position. He marched in high school band and was part of a state champion indoor drum line. Then he went to the Citadel and met Sandy Jones who changed his life. Sandy introduced Mike to Scottish Pipe Band music and he never looked back. He taught his fellow cadets how to read drum music and was always looking for a way to develop leadership in the drum corps. He stepped down as drum sergeant to allow an underclassman lead the corps because Mike saw his potential.

In December 2008, Mike was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of lung cancer.  Throughout his fight Mike continued to teach pipe band drumming.  He died of cancer on 11 February  2010 and left a giant hole in the eastern Scottish Pipe Band community.

Mike always looked out for the welfare of other cadets. This special trait of his is one of the reasons he was such an outstanding leader. His love of drumming was a motivating factor which allowed him to put his impressive work ethic to creative use for the projects he participated in during his all-too-brief time on the scene.

Wake and District’s mission is to provide a distinguishing tribute for our fallen comrades and to be in service to the families of public safety employees of the Raleigh region and across North Carolina. We desire to strengthen relations between the protective services and the public while preserving cultural heritage and enriching our community by providing the highest tradition of Bagpipe and Drum music.  In memory of Mike Murphy, Wake and District is organizing this indoor bagpipe and drum competition; to be remembered is to live on. 

Won’t you support this endeavor by taking an ad or greeting in the program book which will be distributed throughout the event? If you are interested in having your organization support the benefit—and we hope you are—please review the order form enclosed.  #WeRemember

Wake and District is a federally registered 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions are tax deductible.
NC nonprofit identification number 0861654 Department of Revenue 501c3 EIN 20-5483320.
Thanks for your consideration.

DOWNLOAD our Ad-Book/Program form HERE.


DOWNLOAD our Ad-Book/Program form HERE.

ad book form2

DOWNLOAD our Ad-Book/Program form HERE.



culture of change…

Jeffrey Gitomer  said “Change is not a four letter word…but often your reaction to it is!”   Change is’s trading the known for the unknown. It’s leaving something behind without knowing if what lies ahead. It’s wondering “Will I like it as much?” “Will it ever be as good as it was?” “What if it’s not?…What then?” And all those thoughts drive feelings of fear and uncertainty. But what if we stopped viewing change as a four letter word?  What if instead our thoughts were, “As much as I loved life before I know it is only going to keep getting better.” “I am so excited for this change! What a great adventure this is going to be.” “It’s so awesome to know the best is yet to come!”  Man what a difference changing a few thoughts in our heads can make.

Our thoughts control our feelings, therefore if we allow ourselves to think of change as a four letter word then it will be just that. However, if we decide change is something exciting and fabulous we will feel completely different about it – we will embrace change and be excited for it because we know with each change which happens it is taking us somewhere better!

Organizations and individuals who resist change
struggle, fall behind, and ultimately fail.

Think of it like a road trip where you are guaranteed each new exit along the highway will take you to a place more beautiful than the last. Each new exit will introduce you to more and more fabulous people will further enrich and bless your life. Each new exit you explore will teach you more than the last one did. Each new exit you visit will give you more experience and wisdom than you ever had before. With every new exit you are guaranteed the opportunity to become a better person. The highway is our life…and CHANGE is nothing more than arriving at the next exit with it’s great big sign which says “it only gets better from here” …  So get out there and enjoy it!

From Amy Rees Anderson — Change is not a four letter word



Raleigh Indoor Pipe Band Competition…

On behalf of the Mike Murphy Memorial community – we are proud to announce our Inaugural Indoor Pipe Band Competition in Raleigh, NC-USA on Saturday, 23 July 2016 starting at 12:00 pm.  The contest will take place indoors at the Ravenscroft School – Fine Arts Theatre (7409 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh NC-USA).  This campus is alcohol and tobacco free.  An after-party will take place at The Piper’s Tavern just down the road.

The competition is sanctioned by the Eastern Unites States Pipe Band Association; all events will be held within the rules and regulations of the EUSPBA.  All competing bands must be registered with the EUSPBA or an affiliated organization.  A format change has been approved by the EUSPBA; bands will perform in a “concert formation” on a stage, facing the judges and audience.  Stage size and layout information will be provided so bands can rehearse accordingly.  There will be no opening or closing “massed bands”.

Registration is FREE (form below).
Bands must register by Friday, 01 July 2016.
Travel assistance will not be available for this inaugural event.
Judges include: Sandy Jones and June Hanley for piping,
Jon Quigg for drumming and Andrew Hoinacki for ensemble.

In addition to the EUSPBA required selections for odd days (G3 Medley and G4 M/S/R) bands will also be afforded the opportunity to play their alternate selections.  G5 will only perform a QMM.  You will be requested to submit complete tune lists for announcement and program purposes.  Prize monies will be awarded to the G5 QMM winners, G4 Medley and M/S/R winners and the G3 M/S/R and G3 Medley winners.  The “winning” G4 and G3 bands of the day will be based on composite scores from both selections and will receive keepsake pint glasses.   Composite awards will also be presented for best drum section and best mid-section in each grade.


For more information about this topic, please contact Martina Murphy by calling 703.407.3880 or sending an e-mail to

This event is being held in partnership with Raleigh’s Pipe Band,
the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums.


Comments or questions are welcome.

* indicates required field
By checking this box, and submitting my application, I hereby waive any claims I and/or my heirs may have for damages against Mike Murphy Memorial Pipe Band Competition committee, the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums and Ravenscroft School for any injuries which may be suffered by the above contestant in events sponsored by this organization at the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC-USA.


To be remembered is to live on.

THANK YOU to the Bands registered to date:

Charleston Pipe Band
Jamestown Pipes and Drums
Knoxville Pipes and Drums
Wake and District Pipe Band

North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums
Loch Norman Pipe Band
Charleston Pipe Band
Atlanta Pipe Band
Wake and District Pipe Band

Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band
Atlanta Pipe Band
Wake and District Pipe Band

In addition to the two piping, 1 drum and 1 ensemble judge — there will be a mid-section judge providing comments for the bands.

Awards will be presented for best DRUM section in each grade as well as best MID section in each grade.


stand up for what’s right…

From Amy Rees Anderson — I recently have been dealing with a situation where I became aware that someone has been doing things under false pretenses in an attempt to get personal gain. When I brought these activities to light to those in authority to rectify the situation the person in charge seemed resistant to confront it. He agreed that what this other person had done was wrong, but he seemed to care more about avoiding confrontation then acting with Integrity. He decided it would be easier to try and manipulate others into handling the situation for him so he could avoid being seen as the ‘bad guy’ with this other person, even though handling it was his duty… It was disappointing to say the least. It is never fun to have thought you could respect someone and then learn that’s not the case.

Then today I spent several hours in a conversation with this same person as he tried to tell me that I shouldn’t interpret the false statements that had been intentionally made by this other person as “lies”. That was his way of justifying his own lack willingness to do the right thing.  Ironically the very definition of the word “lie” is “an intentionally false statement”….so, yeah….next he tried to talk down to me as if I just wasn’t intelligent enough to grasp his explanations…When I let him know that his justifications weren’t deterring me from standing up for what I knew to be right, he decided to resort to making threats that it would become uncomfortable for other people I cared about if I was to bring the truth to light. I let him know that the people I care about would WANT me to do the right thing – that is WHY I care about them – Because they are people with Integrity! So he could threaten all he wanted but it wouldn’t change what the right thing to do is and it wouldn’t change my willingness to do just that, because right is right, and wrong is wrong, and no matter what else he was trying to call it or how he was trying to justify it, it is what it is.  It is clear that  he doesn’t understand the concept of Integrity. If he did he would understand that a person of integrity doesn’t do situational ethics.

As I shared in a Forbes article I wrote called “Success will come and go, but integrity is forever” (excerpt of article below):

…Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be.Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.

It may seem like people can gain power quickly and easily if they are willing to cut corners and act without the constraints of morality. Dishonesty may provide instant gratification in the moment but it will never last. I can think of several examples of people without integrity who are successful and who win without ever getting caught, which creates a false perception of the path to success that one should follow. After all, each person in the examples above could have gained the result they wanted in the moment, but unfortunately, that momentary result comes at an incredibly high price with far reaching consequences.  That person has lost their ability to be trusted as a person of integrity, which is the most valuable quality anyone can have in their life. Profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever.

A word of advice to those who are striving for a reputation of integrity: Avoid those who are not trustworthy. Do not do business with them. Do not associate with them. Do not make excuses for them.  Do not allow yourself to get enticed into believing that “while they may be dishonest with others, they would never be dishonest with me.” If someone is dishonest in any aspect of his life you can be guaranteed that he will be dishonest in many aspects of his life. You cannot dismiss even those little acts of dishonesty, such as the person who takes two newspapers from the stand when they paid for only one. After all, if a person cannot be trusted in the simplest matters of honesty then how can they possibly be trusted to uphold lengthy and complex business contracts?

It is important to realize that others pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends. Why is that?  It is best explained by a quote my father often says when he is reminding me to be careful of the company I am keeping:  “When you lie down with dogs you get fleas.” Inevitably we become more and more like the people we surround ourselves with day to day. If we surround ourselves with people who are dishonest and willing to cut corners to get ahead, then we’ll surely find ourselves following a pattern of first enduring their behavior, then accepting their behavior, and finally adopting their behavior. If you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then surround yourself with people of integrity.   (end of excerpt of article. Click here to view the entire article)

Thank heavens for those people of integrity in my life who ARE willing to stand up for what’s right and do the right thing and who support me when I do the same. And thank heavens for being able to recognize when someone doesn’t have integrity and being wise enough to remove them from your life…because nobody in their right mind wants those fleas….

Have a great weekend everyone! And NEVER be afraid of doing the RIGHT THING!

~Amy Rees Anderson


are you happy?

“Learn to be satisfied. It is just as easy as being dissatisfied – and much more pleasant.” – Jacob de Jager

We spend too much of our lives being dissatisfied because we found out there was something just a little bit nicer out there, and not nearly enough time being satisfied with what we have. Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with winning and wanting nicer things – they motivate us to work harder in order to have them, which is a good thing! But we can’t get so caught up in it that we end up dissatisfied and unhappy in the process.

Someone made the comment to our band manager — you’re never satisfied, are you?  His answer: Far from it. From time to time he finds himself  lowering expectations, which can be a bad thing. Our constant – Ken McKeveny – wants perfection from us. We owe him and all the musical leaders of the band >> everything we have within us << put it all out there every note, every measure, every tune, every time.

It’s like the thanksgiving table…When you are satisfied…you stop eating. You race to load up and then that’s it. Then you get tired and need to take a rest. Let’s not race to get satisfied, grow weary and stop giving thanks for what we have been given in the first place. Let’s keep wanting more for ourselves so we have a constant and steady growth – remembering why we are feeding ourselves in the first place. Because we are thankful and need to reach for more in order to move on.

None of what we do is easy. Being away from our families, dragging our families with us, the waiting around, the tuning (which is getting easier and faster), the rain, the cracked bagpipes, the cleaning the drums off…and on and on and on. We are grateful and proud of the work of our members (individually and collectively) leading up to and throughout the day in Maryville.

J. Harold Smith stated it best when he said:  “Be dissatisfied enough to improve, but satisfied enough to be happy.”

Are you happy?


graciousness is armor and weapon…

Southern Hospitality…it’s complicated. Yes, we welcome you. We welcome you to come sit at our supper tables, stay awhile at our bed and breakfasts, and sleep late in our famous hotels. And we’ll give you a smile as big as you’ve ever seen. But abide by our manners, please. And don’t leave early, please. We might be a little offended if you do. Thank you for your kindness. Now, flip the page, and enjoy our look at Southern hospitality in North Carolina. Do it. Please.

A single fact renders pointless all debate about whether to live north or south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You can talk about college basketball or NASCAR or barbecue or grits until the metaphorical cows come home — you’ll alienate as many people as you convince, I’m sure of it. Those are all topics that prompt debate, that profit from debate. But when I moved to North Carolina from Philadelphia, within a week I realized I had come home. My awakening involved soda pop.

In a cozy booth with coworkers, I decided to give myself the treat of a second Diet Pepsi as I lingered over lunch with these newfound friends. The waitress refilled my glass and did an amazing thing — she did not pick up the bill and scrawl in another drink, the way Philadelphia waitresses did to my lunch checks for a decade. I thought I’d found a special restaurant I’d return to for years. That happened to be true, but by the end of the first week of those welcome-to-town lunches, I realized something: That’s just how it works here in the South. You get as many sodas — or iced teas — as you want with lunch. You can get involved in a good conversation, decide the heck with work, and sit there until 3 p.m. And the drinks just keep coming.

To me, that tastes a lot like heaven.

Of course, I soon realized: That’s not heaven; it’s just the perfect expression of Southern hospitality. The endless soda pop refill is “Go on, set a spell” made flesh. The free refill says, “You had enough, Sug? You sure? Lemme just get you a little more. Stick around. Don’t hurry off. Be comfortable. Stay.”

But hospitality has another side, of course, and soon after I moved to the South — 20 years ago, mind you — I experienced that, too. I went to dinner at a nationally known Durham restaurant one evening and emerged four hours later, glassy eyed, with the Northern members of my party delighted: “Now that,” they said, “was Southern hospitality.”

“No,” I said. “That was a hostage drama.” That wasn’t, Welcome. That was, Stick around whether you like it or not; you are going to sit there and claw your way through our food performance and our three different dessert services, and we’ll tell you when you’re full. That wasn’t hospitality — that was showing off. It was manipulation served on a bed of grits. “Oh, no, folks, you ain’t done yet,” that restaurant said. “Stay.”


Stay: that ultimate expression of hospitality, somewhere between request and command, not only the urge to a beloved guest, but also the rebuke to a misbehaving child or dog. In the lunch booth, with the free soda pop and the ceiling fans and the chummy waitress, Southern hospitality is all it’s chalked up to be: It’s 12-molar, 190-proof distilled essence of welcome, and aren’t you sweet? But at the restaurant where you can’t leave until they bring you a bill, and they won’t bring it until they’re good and done with you, it’s about control, not welcome. It’s a little bit more like Grandma’s insistence on red velvet cake and seven-layer cake and chocolate cake after Sunday dinner — but everybody has to make one and bring it, and don’t even think about getting up from the table until you’ve tried all three, and, meanwhile, greens turn to glop on the stove and dressing dries out in the oven and Grandma accidentally lays the potatoes down on the settee, a case of nerves brought on by the strain of all these guests that she demanded come over. I have endured this kind of hospitality in the family of my beloved wife, a native of this state, and I have seen the toll it takes on host and guest alike. “A tyrannical Southern insistence on hospitality” is how David Denby described it in a recent New Yorker review. “Graciousness,” he concluded, “is both armor and a weapon.”

Denby is far from the first to note that Southern hospitality has its dark side. Roy Blount Jr. discussed it in his famous essay “The Lowdown on Southern Hospitality.” “The truth is, irritation is involved in Southern hospitality,” Blount writes. “Nothing … is sweeter than mounting irritation prolongedly held close to the bosom.”

Good point, but I have to ask: That applies to all hospitality, does it not? I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and although I welcome guests and love to share bed, board, and company, I’m usually tired of the visitors almost from the moment they take off their coats. In any case, I’m internally rehearsing my many sacrifices on their behalf and looking forward to when they leave. I think that irritation attends all hospitality, and it highlights the complexity of the human condition rather than anything particularly Southern.

Not so the free soda pop — that is definitely a Southern thing. Seriously — I return to this time after time because it has real meaning to me. I have encouraged people to move to North Carolina for the free soda pop alone. I have grown so familiar with the free refills at some of my favorite haunts that I have been welcomed to go behind the bar and get it myself, like a houseguest finally, after a prolonged stay, no longer waited on but given free rein to the fridge and cupboards. Now that is hospitality.

I came to the South as a journalist, so from the start, I was showing up on people’s porches and doorsteps, imposing on their hospitality, and let me say straightforwardly: That hospitality never failed. I would ask shocking questions about their organ transplants and their murdered children, their strange customs and their perplexing works of art. They would share their stories with me, and we would laugh together, cry together, eat together. I used to drive home from one tidy farm or another, heading back to Raleigh, sun dipping low, and remind myself: Every person I met that day — every person who cooked me hot dogs or brought me cookies from the pot luck or, yes, endlessly refilled my glass — every one of those people probably voted for … for someone for whom I would never vote. But there I went, and they opened their homes and their lives to me, and sent me on my way with not just a good story but, chances are, a plate covered with foil for my wife. Remember this, I would say to myself. This is where you live. This is how people do here.


So, OK, there’s something to this hospitality business. But from where? And since when? If you go to the books — I always go to the books — you quickly learn that like many things perceived as stereotypically Southern, hospitality has a flavor more rural than simply Southern. That is, the roots of this famous hospitality probably stem from the fact that the South, unlike the citified North, was a community of mostly farms, large and small.

In A History of the South, Francis Butler Simkins and Charles Pierce Roland say “the cult of Southern hospitality” expressed “a means of relieving the loneliness of those living far from each other.” A new friend once pressed hospitality on me on Malta, the island at the belly button of the Mediterranean. When I suggested I could not possibly be as welcome a guest as he made me seem, he explained: “We live on an island. We wait for people like you.” Loneliness powerfully motivates hospitality. On a more basic level, when it took half a day to get to the neighbors, you’d better get more than a ladle of water and a nod from the porch when you rode up.

On the other hand, Frederick Law Olmsted, who traveled throughout the South before the Civil War and wrote of his experiences, expected to pay 75 cents or more each night for the hospitality he received. Hospitality had become a myth even before then. Jacob Abbott’s 1835New England, and Her Institutions describes a traveler riding “through Virginia or Carolina” who is all but kidnapped for no other reason than for the householder he visits to shower him with hospitality. Abbott claims that such hospitality explains why the taverns of the South were so poor: “so they must continue, as long as Southerners are as free, and generous, and open-hearted as they now are.” Apocryphal stories abounded of plantation owners who had slaves waylay strangers into their clutches, the better to demonstrate hospitality. The slaves, meanwhile, presumably knew what it felt like to be required to stay rather longer than they might have wished.

The competitive hospitality macho of, say, the Twelve Oaks barbecue in Gone with the Wind is long gone, and with it the perceived need to try to dress up the overzealous hospitality of slavery. The “cult of hospitality,” however, remains. As late as 1972, Simkins and Roland explained that in the Old South “the forests, the fields, and the streams gave abundantly of their produce,” and even a small Southern farm encouraged hospitality by providing its owner with “nearly all the vegetables known to the American housekeeper of the twentieth century.” In some ways that seems to predict the modern Southern gardener creeping to the neighbor’s door in dark of night to “hospitably” abandon a bushel of excess zucchini. More important, of course, it seems highly optimistic, as does their claim that frugality was unnecessary because “everything was plentiful and inexpensive.” On the other hand, it seems reasonable that “vegetables and eggs were perishable” — every Carolina child less than a couple of generations from the fields knows that pound cake was just a way to find a way to store a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Still, with hungry family and farmhands — to say nothing of slaves — it seems unlikely that farmers were inveigling unwary passersby to their overburdened groaning boards just to avoid throwing away good food.


Whatever its origins and however extreme its exaggerations, only a fool would claim that hospitality has vanished from the modern South. If you think I was thrilled when I first discovered the Miracle of the Endless Soda Pop, I only wish you could have seen me at my first NASCAR race, wandering the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway from grill to grill, from cooler to cooler, getting fuller and more hospitable with every step. One almost had to duck to avoid the constantly proffered beer, the beckoning burger or barbecue. And if the cries at bikini-clad women in the infield strained propriety, nobody who has walked the infield trails can deny that in the face of such rudeness many a young woman has been moved nonetheless to show her … hospitality.

An even greater modern expression of Southern hospitality comes at the end of a pickup tailgate in the parking lot around, say, Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh any time after 10 a.m. on a home Saturday in the fall (although the stadium could just as easily be Dowdy-Ficklen in Greenville, or Kidd Brewer in Boone; this tradition spreads over the state like red clay runoff from a construction site). In these pregame parking rituals, that antebellum competitive hospitality has returned: Graciousness, Denby said, is both armor and weapon. The clang of battle rings, with SUVs rocking cookware that would make the chef at that restaurant that once held me hostage weep with envy. And high-end bourbon whiskey? You don’t even have to bring your own cup. These people want you to have a good time — and to admit how much better their Bloody Mary or barbecue sauce is than the one across the lane.

Yes, graciousness is armor and weapon. But it’s also, simply, gracious. Southern hospitality may have started because Southerners were a rural people, and it may have codified into a fierce code and a laughable myth — how many steps from Scarlett to Clampett? It may cover our greatest sins and enable our most manipulative behaviors. But it also lets us, as a group, agree on something. Down here, in the South, we’re nice to each other. We’re nice to whoever shows up. We share; we’ve got enough. Stick around and enjoy a little more. Don’t hurry off. Sure, you’re a Yankee, but here you are, and here we are, and have a little more soda pop, and tell me something I don’t know yet. Be with us — be one of us. Be comfortable.

We’re glad you’re here.


From Our State —  Scott Huler’s articles appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, and Backpacker and Fortune magazines. He has written several books, including his most recent, On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood and the Systems that make Our World Work. He served as the 2011 Piedmont Laureate and lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children. Scott’s most recent story forOur State was “The Space to Improvise” (April 2012).


looking ahead…

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”   – Graham Greene

In 2005 – under the leadership of veteran Chicago police officer and long-time piper Joe Brady, the members of the Carolina Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society had worked in the Johnston County area to build a public safety pipe band. At the same time, an interest in piping was growing within the Wake County EMS Division as several interested potential piping students pressed Wake County EMS Chief and resident piper – Skip Kirkwood – to help them learn to play the pipes (one of those interested medics was Assistant Chief Tony Crawford).

On May 6, 2006 – while attending the dedication of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Raleigh, Brady (that day performing with the Charlotte Fire Department pipe band) met Crawford.  Also in attendance that day were Raleigh Firefighters Jason Lane, Joe Harwell, Lloyd Johnson and Garner Firefighter Michael Bishop.   This was the moment from which to look back on.

We often start things with a very good reason behind why we are doing it. There is typically a motivation that is driving us forward. But sometimes we can get so busy doing something that we totally lose sight of WHY we started doing it in the first place!  It’s so critical for each of us to set check points where we stop and remember WHY we started doing it to begin with and then ask yourself if where you are now is fulfilling your reason WHY you started down the path.

We can be doing something so fast and furiously and with so much intent that we get sucked into a tide that just keeps carrying us forward, and we can go weeks and even months or years before we stop and check to see if what we are doing is fulfilling the WHY we did it.

Members of pipe bands often find themselves in this situation. Some start a band with the goal of honoring fallen police officers and firefighters and others start it with the goal of becoming G1 World Champions. There is a big difference between those two and both come at very different costs.

All of us find ourselves in this situation in our own personal lives as well. Our goal may be to take on a new hobby for the sheer enjoyment, yet as we do it more it becomes competitive for us and we can become obsessed with being the very best. In that process we suck the sheer enjoyment out of it and we find that we are no longer achieving the WHY we had hoped to.

When our journey began 10 years ago none of us realized we would have come so far, so fast. It wasn’t luck by any means – rather a simple case of preparedness meeting opportunity. The band is a volunteer group – and their dedication has shined all the way through and leading up to 07 May 2016 at the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial – that moment where we now find ourselves looking ahead…



The difference between success and failure is a great team.   When we first started Wake and District in the spring of 2006, we were not certain of what was to come.  We were police officers, lawyers, engineers, students, machinists, Doctors to name but a few — all tremendous individuals who shared a common goal of being a successful and driven pipe band standing ready to honor our fallen.

Ten years, three competition bands, 100+ members (past, present, traveling and guest) and hundreds of chanter reeds later, we’ve learned the only way to build a band with great success and scale is to build a great team.

No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as a band depends on your ability to build and inspire a team; members working well together toward a common mission and goals.   

Teams need to believe that their work is important.  Teams need to feel their work is personally meaningful.  Teams need clear goals and defined roles.  Team members need to know they can depend on one another.  But, most important, teams need psychological safety.  How do you do this?   Listen to one another.  Don’t interrupt.  Admit what we don’t know.  Don’t make excuses.

We need to encourage one another (especially when we are upset) to express frustrations and encourage teammates to respond in nonjudgmental ways; call out intergroup conflicts and resolve them through open discussions.

Bands succeed when everyone feels like they can speak up and when members show they are sensitive to how one another feels.

To inspire one another, we talk. We hate meetings, but love short huddles to inform, align and motivate one another. One effective way to begin or end a huddle is by sharing a quote. Here are 15 quotes from well-known coaches, athletes, business leaders, and authors that will compel you and your band members to work well together:

  1. “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi
  2. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan
  3. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie
  4. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller
  5. “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni
  6. “I invite everyone to choose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.” –Jean-Francois Cope
  7. “None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard
  8. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford
  9. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” –Henry Ford
  10. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson
  11. “Collaboration allows teachers to capture each other’s fund of collective intelligence.” –Mike Schmoker
  12. “It takes two flints to make a fire.” –-Louisa May Alcott
  13. “Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek
  14. “To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” –Mike Krzyzewski
  15. “The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” –James Cash Penney

You can do better with your team than you can alone. Here’s to your–and your team’s–success!


the sacrifices we make…

Sacrifice – the act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.

Sacrificing isn’t easy and it sure as heck isn’t always a whole lot of fun. But we make sacrifices because deep down in our hearts we recognize that there is a greater cause at stake. For some the cause is doing charitable service, for some the cause is family, for some the cause is religious, for some it may be friendship.

Whether it is the father that gives up golfing or fishing trips to be able to spend more time with his children, or it’s the mother who sets aside some of her own aspirations to be able to dedicate her days to raising her children, or it’s the person who donates their time and talents to serve their church, or it’s the person who gives up a fancy toy or belonging in order to help someone in need – All of those are examples of someone making a significant sacrifice. But sacrifice can also be as small as giving your time to open the door for someone, or it can be paying a few dollars for the meal of the person behind you at the drive through, or it can be turning off a favorite television show to read a book to a child, or it can be showing up at an event even when you are worn out to let someone else know they matter to you. All of those sacrifices – whether big or small – matter. They all make a difference. They all serve to improve the life of another. They are all important.

Investment – a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something

Life is full of hard choice on which sacrifices to make and the only way I know how to get through those hard choices is to step back and ask myself if the thing I am hanging onto is of greater value than the purpose that could be served if I make the sacrifice? Then to emotionally get through the blow of making the sacrifice I remind myself that what I am actually doing is making an investment into something of far greater value.

Whenever we sacrifice something what we are really doing is making one of the smartest investments we could ever make…we are investing into the greater good and what better investment could we make than that?

Have a glorious day!

from Amy Rees-Anderson



Virginia International Tattoo…

Members of the Wake and District Pipe Band (and some guest players) are on the road to Norfolk, Virginia to participate in the Virginia International Tattoo as part of the largest cast of over 1,500 performers! Military bands, drill teams, bagpipers, drummers, celtic dancers, choirs and more from around the globe will create a series of spectacular performances throughout the week of 18 April 2016.
What is a tattoo? A tattoo is a military performance of music or display of armed forces in general. The term comes from the early 17th century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (“turn off the tap”), a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks.
The tattoo was originally a form of military music, but the practice has evolved into more elaborate shows involving theatrics and musical performances. It is also used to designate military exhibitions such as the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The term dates from around 1600 during the Thirty Years’ War in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands). The Dutch fortresses were garrisoned with mercenary troops that were under federal command since 1594. The Dutch States Army had become a federal army, consisting mostly of Scottish, English, German and Swiss mercenaries, but commanded by a Dutch officer corps. Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns at 21:30 hrs (9:30PM) each evening to inform the soldiers that it was time to return to barracks. The process was known as doe den tap toe (Dutch for “turn off the tap”), an instruction to innkeepers to stop serving beer and send the soldiers home for the night. The drummers continued to play until the curfew at 22:00 hrs (10:00PM). Tattoo, earlier tap-too and taptoo, are alterations of the Dutch words tap toe which have the same meaning.
Over the years, the process became more of a show and often included the playing of the first post at 21:30 hrs and the last post at 22:00. Bands and displays were included and shows were often conducted by floodlight or searchlight. Tattoos were commonplace in the late 19th century with most military and garrison towns putting on some kind of show or entertainment during the summer months. Between the First World War and the Second World War elaborate tattoos were held in many towns, with the largest in Aldershot, England.
Canada’s Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the largest annual indoor tattoo, each year featuring over 2000 performers from around the world. The tattoo has been produced since 1979 by Colonel Ian Fraser, who also produced the1967 Canadian Centennial Tattoo, the world’s largest travelling show. Through the course of his career Fraser has produced and / or directed more than 1000 international tattoo productions across the globe.
The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is unique in that it is a full theatrical production, comprising costume designers, props designers, full wardrobe staff, and is presented as ‘theatre in the round’. The show is intensely rehearsed over a two-week period and is a wholly combined military and civilian production. The Nova Scotia Tattoo was the first tattoo to receive royal designation on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th Birthday in 2006

The largest tattoo in the United States is the Virginia International Tattoo, held every year in Norfolk, Virginia.  Over 1,500 performers play traditional music and many international acts join every branch of the Armed Forces.

The United States Air Force holds tattoos for many different events and celebrations, like base openings and closers, and special events like the 21st Annual Langley Tattoo.[2] The Air Force’s largest tattoo is held the last Friday of June each year at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The 2010 tattoo there drew an estimated 75,000 people and featured the rock group .38 Special. The 2011 event featured aircraft flyovers and music by country group Lonestar.
The now-defunct Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands, and its Quebec City Military Tattoo, took place in August between 1998 and 2013.