Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category


Guinness World Record Attempts…

Wake and District is proudly partnering with the folks from the nOg Run Club to go after not only 1 Guinness World Record – but TWO!!

Marathon Bag-Piping and Drumming
Most Kilted Runners

On Friday, 06 March 2015marathon bag-piping session will commence at Tir Na nOg in Raleigh, NC-USA.  A piper, pipers and/or pipers and drummers will begin playing at NOON on Friday — and the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums will be continuous (with pipers and drummers changing the guard every 10 minutes) until 2:00 pm on Saturday, 07 March 2015 when the baton will be passed to the nOg Run Club as they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most Kilted Runners (it’s only 3 blocks folks).

We have specific instructions from the Guinness World Records Adjudicators and need your help to make this happen.

Pipers, drummers — anyone with a kilt
do you want to be a part of history?

Kilted runners can sign up for the World Record for Kilted Runners @

Pipers and drummers — details forthcoming…

A HUGE after-party will take place in Moore Square (Raleigh, NC) after the Kilt Run with musical guests Albannach, My 3 Kilts and Wake & District.

Albannach, My 3 Kilts and Wake and District


Got Questions?
Send us an email —


a new trilogy begins…

Hard work.  Members of Wake and District  preach a lot about hard work.  Always posting about it and writing about.  A lot of people work hard.  But they don’t get where they want to go.  We fall into the trap of sometimes life isn’t  fair – and the reality hard work won’t turn us into the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

Since we stepped onto the EUSPBA competition field for the first time at Loch Norman in 2008 — we’ve realized we have two options: work hard – systematically go after the things you want – or – complain and hope things change.  We all realize “hope” is a really bad plan.  So, don’t confuse success with winning. Set the tone for success.  Help your band go after things you want and push no matter the circumstances.

Hard work is the currency of success — HARD WORK IS never-ending.  The harder we have to work, the greater the stakes, and the scarier it all becomes; exciting, but scary.  Don’t get caught up in “we’re only as good as our last run” or “we won”.

We need to work hard to continue to deliver. The second you’re not hungry or hustling – you don’t matter.  Play or do not play. Hard work keeps us good, it is our competitive advantage. We rehearse to be the best – we hustle, we work. We don’t walk in with instant success.  Have goals and keep the mission on the horizon — the advantage is to never lose this mindset.

Systematically cut-away and move forward with the understanding expectations are not always met.  When goals are not met we have two additional choices:

  1. Systematically, aggressively, go after your goal through hard work and hustle.
  2. Blame the judges, other bands, players in your band, the weather, the rules, your gear, the other band’s honey badger and it’s feisty attitude, whatever.

There are no “secrets” to success. Success is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

With all this saidwe are elated to announce we will be fielding THREE bands in the 2015 EUSPBA Competition Season in Grade 5, 4 and now 3.

 We’ve got news for you – the honey badger doesn’t care.


#NewTrilogy #DonkeyKong


bigger, brighter, bolder

Members of Wake and District spent a Saturday with Master bagpipe maker – Roddy MacLellan.  At  MacLellan bagpipes they don’t strive to be the biggest, fastest or the cheapest. They do however, meticulously craft  a small number of the some of the best sounding and most beautiful looking instruments.  Since 1988, Roddy has gradually established a solid reputation for rich, warm and stable tone, created with incredible craftsmanship, and instruments of heirloom quality and unparalleled beauty.

Roddy has been working on a new profile Derlin chanter with round and oval holes for us to try out (along with a plethora of blank prototypes which he made changes on — milling — based on what we heard).  Preliminary testing was done with Roddy and one of his apprentices – Gabriel Nierman.

We set the prototypes up with blown in and balanced Megarity reeds pitching around 480 hz in the shop.  They produced a full range of harmonics (especially in the top hand) producing clearer projection, more volume and broader sound against a set of MacLellan originals and Atherton MDs.

The end result was pretty epic. We kept tweaking and after about 10 blank chanters we fell in love. We did blind sound tests with other chanters and our final result won every time. Roddy is awesome! — Seth Wells

Using the same reed for the blind sound tests, the chanter sounded bigger and brighter than one of the world standard chanters. It’s going to be exciting to hear a dozen of them together! — Michael Supples

At the end of the day we settled in on two prototypes; T2 and T3 — “T” for Roddy’s daughter Taylor (who is a piper herself — finishing 4th overall this season in the EUSPBA Piping Grade IV Jr).

We will continue to play the prototypes in other sets of pipes and with other reeds — and advise on where we settle in.  Based on what we garnered from a day with Roddy — we are looking forward to a bigger, brighter, bolder and broader sound.

Thank you Roddy, Gab and Taylor for spending the day with us.

For more information on MacLellan bagpipes — please visit their website @


right things, right reasons…

In a ceremony Tuesday at the State Highway Patrol Training Academy, Colonel Bill Grey, SHP commander, recognized Wake and District with the Colonel’s Appreciation Award on behalf of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.  Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry was on hand to present the awards. Here is the write-up from the Colonel:

In 2006 Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums (W&D) played a graduation event for the N.C. State Highway Patrol and have been playing graduations, promotional ceremonies and special events ever since.

W&D consist of members of law enforcement, fire, EMS, military active, reserve, and retired, as well as civilians who have a heart toward public safety and want to give back to the men and women who give so much. W&D is a nonprofit organization whose main focus is to honor our fallen and provide service to the families of fallen men and women of public safety. W&D members honored Trooper’s Demuth and Stocks after the tragic events that took their lives.

W&D member’s, have a passion for what they do and the public safety community they serve. W&D has been not just ambassadors to public safety but ambassadors for the patrol, always being happy to assist at a moment’s notice.

“I do not consider them just friends but a part of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol family,” Colonel Grey said.

Wake and District has set out from the beginning to do the right things for the right reasons.  We are simply HUMBLED to be recognized by North Carolina State Highway Patrol – and HONORED to be a part of their family.



marching in honor…

On Saturday, 08 November 2014 members of Wake & District have the privilege to march in the 2014 North Carolina Veteran’s Day Parade.  Thank you to Mr. Terry F. Chatfield, Vice President, Wake County Council of Veterans Organizations, Inc and Mr. Scott Kennedy of the North Carolina Society, Sons of the American Revolution for once again inviting the band to perform in the parade — and giving us the honor of being up front to lead the way.

Honestly…we hate everything about parades: the staging, the weather, the parking, the horse poop – you name it.  While all parades hold special meaning to people, this parade is different for us; we march in honor of the valor, courage and sacrifice of the brave men and women of our Nation’s military (including several band members) who call North Carolina home.  For more information on the parade – please visit the NC Veteran’s Day Parade website @

As we marched – we couldn’t help to think about a certain number; 22.  According to a VA report — 22 veterans commit suicide each day in our Nation. That is significantly more than the daily numbers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The generation which survived those wars—and others—are struggling to keep our brothers and sisters with us. What’s happening is an utter travesty. There’s no other way of putting it.

We can postulate the reasons all day: stress from prolonged conflicts and multiple deployments, trauma from horrific experiences, coming home to an apathetic public, a poor job market for veterans, etc. Those are issues, but not the biggest one. Our biggest issue is what we’re doing and what we’re going to do to stop this domestic epidemic.

This problem is the public’s as much as it the veteran community’s. We’re losing bright minds—people who could have contributed great things for our nation and the human race. We’re losing experience. We’re losing our soul—the American veteran.


We, along with our friends @ Ranger-UP care. Talk to them. Keep tabs on them. Make trips to see them. Remind them they are loved.

RANGER-UP made a shirt to bring awareness to the problem. They made this shirt so the public couldn’t turn a blind eye.


25% of the sales of this shirt will go to Captain Lee Stuckey’s A Hero Foundation.

Their mission:

A Hero is a wounded veterans foundation whose purpose is to serve America’s wounded veterans by providing fellowship and mentoring opportunities through recreational activities. A HERO will provide a supportive environment enabling veterans to continue the healing process, so they can focus on their future and reconcile the traumatic events of their past in a healthy and constructive environment.

Our goal is to serve as many wounded veterans as possible and offer them the healing opportunity that comes from time spent with fellow veterans. A HERO will accomplish this goal by welcoming veterans into a community willing to donate the time, recreational equipment and both natural and financial resources necessary to support a variety of events in order to facilitate fellowship and mentoring activities. Through these activities, A HERO will establish and support a network of veterans with previous experience in dealing with the emotional and physical wounds caused by the stress of combat and war. This network will be self-sustaining and will support veterans all across the United States of America.

Please join us and help heal our wounded veterans, hearts and minds through camaraderie, esprit de corps and memorable experiences.

Let them know that their sacrifices are appreciated, respected and never forgotten. They truly are America’s Heroes. – See more at:


amazed by grace…

Listening to the Atlanta pipe band play Amazing Grace at the closing ceremonies of the Stone Mountain games caused me to stop, listen and look around and reflect on how special we as pipers and drummers are.  John Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences which were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination.   

Author Gilbert Chase writes “Amazing Grace” is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns,” and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates the tune is performed about 10 million times annually.  As bagpipers and drummers I think we take this tune for granted because the gawking onlookers expect to hear it from us; our own form of recalcitrant insubordination.   Twists and coincidences, win or lose – we know this tune closes out another day together playing and promoting the music we all love.

We do amazing things through music – and the Stone Mountain gathering was indicative of how much better we are getting at raising the art.; some truly brilliant performances throughout the day by all the bands.  We can’t all march of the field with first place.  For Saturday, 18 October 2014 in Stone Mountain, Georgia – we congratulate the champions of the day…  G5’s Grandfather Mountain Highlanders, G4’s City of Chattanooga Pipe Band and G3’s St. Andrew’s University Pipe Band.   CHATT has taken the G4 Throne for 2014!  Be on the lookout for new “thrones” for 2015 which will include grades 3, 4 and 5…

To the members of Wake and District – thank you for another brilliant season of hard word and diligence.  Thank you as well to all of our family, friends and fans for supporting this “hobby” of ours (we all know it is much more than a hobby – piping and drumming has threaded itself into the tartan fabric of our lives).

Our G5 band closed out the season at stone 7th of 11 (3,9,5,5) and our G4 band finished 2nd (1,1,3,2).  SCORE-SHEETS HERE.  Next weekend our G4  members travel to Richmond to partake in the Central Virginia Celtic Festival Pipe Band Competition  challenging up to G3 as we looking forward to 2015.

Amazed by Grace – not triumphant, merely grateful…

– Joe Brady


a privileged gesture of trust…

Tomorrow, the sun will rise over New York City. Tomorrow, the sun will rise over this country we love, this special place, this state of grace. For all those directly impacted by the events of 9-11, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones are never forgotten – we salute everyone impacted by that day.

The salute is an expression which recognizes a personal commitment of self-sacrifice – a way to show respect; a privileged gesture of trust.


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.


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 Berthoff – editor @ 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; the Crossroads Kilty Pipe Band.  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.

We are still getting things organized based on geographic areas folks are reaching out to us from – with the likelihood of organizing a “North-Side” Wake Forest group and a “South-Side” Johnston County group.  If you are interested in the program or have additional questions 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