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On Monday, 04 January 2016 the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums held our annual general meeting to review and plan for 2016 and beyond.  Over 55 members were in attendance.  A copy of our presentation to the band can be found here.

As an overview…band elections were held and we are pleased to announce Joe Brady will continue to serve as band manager, Jean Russell as assistant band manager, John Schodtler as treasurer, Lloyd Johnsonas secretary and Seth Wells as member at large.  It is pretty amazing to see 2 of our 6 founding band members on the board for the band.

The board appointed  section leaders for the 2016 competition season.  They include:

  • Ken McKeveny, G3 pipe major and Billy Gheringer, lead tip
  • Patrick O’Leary G4, lead tip
  • Bruce Ledet, G5 pipe major and Jeff Rogers, lead tip


The board went on to re-appoint existing NCOs and add new ones.  The band NCOs for 2016 are as follows:

  • Joe Brady, pipe major
  • Jason Lane, drum major
  • John McKeveny, drum major
  • Patrick O’Leary, drum sergeant
  • Billy Gheringer, G3 lead tip
  • John Schodtler, pipe sergeant
  • Seth Wells, pipe sergeant
  • Timothy Hinson, warrant officer
  • Bruce Ledet, G5 pipe major
  • Dalton Marshall, pipe corporal
  • Jacob Egen, drum corporal
  • Jeff Rogers, G5 lead tip
  • John Lovett, bass corporal
  • Jean Russell, tenor corporal
  • Ken McKeveny, G3 pipe major

A 2015 year in review was discussed (a detailed description by our band secretary, Lloyd Johnson, can be found here).  We highlighted how the band is always answering the call to serve public safety agencies in the region at graduations, promotions and other celebrations.

We went on to recognize the following competition related accomplishments — knowing 2015 was a transitional year with the addition of a G3 program:

  • John Lovett 2nd place over all bass amateur – Upgraded to professional
  • Martina Murphy 4th place overall tenor novice – Upgraded to amateur
  • Timothy Hinson 32nd G3 overall (294 pipers) – Upgrade to G2
  • Mark Boesmiller 20th G3 overall (294 pipers) – Upgrade to G2

We are proud of all of our members and their commitment to the work. 

The board went on to recognize a number of band members for 5+ years of service.  Uniform service marks were distributed and will be worn on the left sleeve of our Class A uniform jackets to recognize this commitment.

A discussion was had how members, music and uniforms come and go; it was sad to see several plays step away from Wake and District in 2015.  We are happy to announce so many new players joining the band – including several “traveling players”.

Expectations were discussed in terms of rehearsal – which will result in additional rehearsal nights for the band in general, along with our G3, G4 and G5 competition programs; there is never enough time on a single Monday nighti.  Given the different levels within our program it is imperative – training, practicing, and playing be done as “one band”.  To this end, we added once a month “all-call” rehearsals so the band can come together as one.

We discussed which games we will be attending in 2016 as a band.  They include:

  • Smoky Mountain (Maryville, TN) 21 May
  • Murphy Indoor (Raleigh, NC) 23 July
  • Charleston (Mt. Pleasant, SC) 17 Sep
  • Celtic Classic (Bethlehem, PA) 25 Sep
  • Stone Mountain (Georgia) 15 Oct
  • Central VA (Richmond) 22 Oct

We also marked out  dates for events which include the following:

  • North Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parades
  • World Record Kilt Run – Saturday, 19 March 2016
  • Virginia Military Tattoo
  • NCFFF Memorial March and Service
  • the inaugural Murphy Indoor Pipe Band Contest and after party

The band logo/mark is made up of the letters F O F.  FOF stands for more than “For Our Fallen”.  It represents For Our Families, For Our Friends
For Our Fans and Forging Our Future.  Early on in the season, Tom Foote told us “we are no where near where we are going to end up.”  As we embrace our future we know exactly what Tom meant by this…


In forging forward we’re introducing a new “standard settings of pipe music: volume 5” which include Funeral settings, Parades, Pubs, Performances and a Piob music, Competition settings and some Bonus Tunes which include our 21 and Under Medley (reserved for our younger pipers and drummers) — along with an arrangement of Old North State arranged by Dalton Marshall and Seth Wells.  Old North State is the Official Song of the State of North Carolina.

As always, some new tunes, some old tunes, some modified tunes and some tunes archived; something for everyone.  As we forge forward, we know only those who focus and commit will survive…

Our Uniform Standards Guide was updated by our senior Drum Major, Jason Lane.  It provides detailed instruction on our various uniforms and how they should be worn.  A discussion was had on the importance of appearance and having all the proper uniform items on hand.


Our senior piping instructor, Ken McKeveny thanked everyone for their hard work throughout 2015 and asked for everyone’s commitment to practicing at home and coming to rehearsals ready to play.  Competing both as a band and as solos was discussed – and we look forward to many of our members stepping onto the solo boards for the first time.  There is no point in trying to explain why we don’t achieve something.  Ken set some simple expectations (playing on the beat, practice with a metronome, play like it’s a new tune every time and tuning) — and asked everyone if they will you be part of the evolution?

The meeting ended with a discussion of our stated mission:

To provide a distinguishing tribute for fallen heroes.

To be of service to the family, friends and co-workers of public safety employees of Raleigh, Wake County and all those who serve and protect.

Strengthen relations between the protective services and the public and to preserve cultural heritage and enrich our community by providing traditional bagpipe and drum music.

For Our Fallen is everything we stand for.

We will follow our mission while being mindful of the steps we are taking as a band.

We ended the evening knowing — the most dangerous phrase in the English language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’  – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

  • There’s nothing more constant than change.
  • We may be pulled in many different directions and our priorities may need to change frequently.
  • What really matters is how we manage to come together when we need to and in the ways we need to.
  • The band’s harmony in the moments which demand will depend on our nimble and adaptive skills.
  • The success of the band is never won or lost in one instant. It’s always a culmination.
  • Don’t make excuses – make music.
  • There are no shortcuts.
  • It never gets easier you just get better.
  • All life is either moving forward and evolving or shrinking back and dying.

The Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums –  founded on May 6, 2006 (V.VI.MMVI).  2016 (V.VI.MMXVI) marks our 10 year anniversary – our evolution begins at the “x” mark.




On a side note…kudos to Jean Russell, Megan Baker and Lindsey Kosydar for organizing the “Wake and District AGM Bingo” cards.  #Bravo  #Bingo #YouAreOutOfTheBand






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