Firsts and Seconds…

It was a weekend full of FIRSTS and SECONDS for the Wake and District program at the Loch Norman Highland Games…  Congratulations to our solo competitors Jean Russell1st place tenor, Garret Justice1st place piob and Ian McKeveny2nd place march.  It was also a first for 4 of our G5 side drummers (their first time in the circle) Madalyn Justice, Jeff Rogers, Ian McKeveny and Jennifer Dumont – along with their Bass Drummer Andrew Kosydar who kept it steady throughout.  Also congrats to mom to be Lindsey Kosydar for striking a pose in the G4 tenor line.  Thank you to all our family members and friends for helping along the way – especially to Meg and Pat Baker for providing libations and mOg for his culinary skills.


Some of our G5 Drummers taking the field for the first time…

Loch Norman was the debut of our new G4 Protect and Serve medley and a new G5 quick march medley – and both bands performed exceptionally.  Our G4 members scored 1,1,2,3 with an AGL (above grade level) in piping — and our G5 members (under the leadership of first time Pipe Major Alan Armstrong) scored 2,2,2,4.  These scores place both the G4 and the G5 bands in second place.  Congratulations to the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band (G4 1st place) and the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders (G5 1st place).   As a side note – congrats to Patrick Boland, Pipe Major of the Asheville Fire Department Pipe Band and G5 band member of the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders on his solo and band efforts in competition!

Pipe Major Tom Arnold - City of Chattanooga Pipe Band - has taken the throne

Pipe Major Tom ArnoldCity of Chattanooga Pipe Band – has taken the throne

As part of a new tradition (#TakeTheThrone) we have passed on our G4 throne to the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band to take with them on the road. For now they will carry the throne from venue to venue, displaying it for all to see, always knowing that this treasure could be lost at any time.   These folks are a class act, and we look forward to meeting them on the field of competition again soon…

Great band members, great music, great times.


Officer Alexander Thalmann at rest…

On behalf of the members of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums – we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of New Bern (North Carolina) Police Officer Alexander Thalmann who died on 31 March 2014 as a result of gunshots sustained on 28 March 2014.

From the Chief of the New Bern, NC Police Department:

It is with deepest sympathy that I announce that New Bern Police Department Officer Alexander Thalmann passed away just after 1 p.m. today. His family was by his side.

The family has asked that you please respect their privacy during this time of grief. We will keep you updated on funeral arrangements for Officer Thalmann as those plans are finalized.

This has been a very tough time for the department and for the community. We have received an outpouring of support from law enforcement all over the area and some from across the State. We have also received prayers and support from the community and we are thankful for that.

Officer Thalmann spent seven short months with the New Bern Police Department, but his dedication and service to the community were evident from the very beginning. He leaves behind not just coworkers and friends, but a brotherhood of officers who remain committed to keeping our community safe. 

Again, I’d like to thank my staff, the many agencies who continue to support us during this difficult time. Thank you to the Greenville Police Department for your support and use of your facilities. And last but not least, thank you to the New Bern Board of Aldermen and the city manager for their ongoing support.

The family has received many media requests…again, they have asked for complete privacy during this time of grief. 

Thank you. 

Chief Summers
New Bern Chief of Police



Those who serve. Those who sacrifice.

On Saturday, 03 May 2014 members of the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums will once again participate at the  North Carolina Fallen Firefighters (NCFFF) march and memorial at Nash Square located in Downtown, Raleigh.  This is 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.

Wake & District hopes to once again march side by side with our comrades from the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band, Asheville Fire Department Pipe Band Cary Fire Department and other pipers|drummers serving public safety across our state…  This march honors all those who serve and all those who have sacrificed.  



A. Louise Armstrong at rest…

On behalf of the Wake and District family – we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and all those who came to know A. Louise Armstrong during her 90 years among us.  She was the beloved mother of band member Alan Armstrong.  She was always there for Alan – for every bruise, every tear, every triumph, every important event in his life.   On the morning of 30 March 2014 she was ushered into the presence of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  We don’t want to see you cry – we know that this is not goodbye.  As we walk through life we will carry all our departed in our hearts, minds and souls; never forgetting.

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine
Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


mucho gusto…

With St. Patrick’s Day behind us we are now focusing on our competition season opener at the Loch Norman Highland Games on Saturday 12, April 2014.  In addition to competing in G4 and G5 at the games, we’ve been asked to be the duty band for the games on Sunday the 13th.  The band is very excited to once again debut 2 new medleys – our G4 “Protect and Serve” Medley and our G5 Quick March “Fortitude” Medley.  We’ve changed up leadership a bit for the 2014 season…  Our G4 will once again be under the direction of Pipe Major Ken McKeveny with lead tip Patrick’ O’Leary while our G5 is under the leadership of Pipe Major Alan Armstrong and lead tip Nicholas Martin.

We like it alot – and we hope you will as well…


Wake and District G4 band – Pipe Major Ken McKeveny, Lead Tip Patrick O’Leary



Wake and District G5 Band – Pipe Major Alan Armstrong, Lead Tip Nicholas Martin



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Established  in 2006, our program honors those who sacrifice their lives while serving others; FOR OUR FALLEN is everything we stand for.  Help us continue fulfilling our mission…


Stay Strong Boston FD…

On behalf of the members of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums – we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of Boston Fire Department — Firefighter Michael Kennedy (Ladder Co. 15) and Lieutenant Ed Walsh (Engine Co. 33) who were killed in the line of duty on 26 March 2014 while battling a 9-alarm blaze.  The inferno broke out around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday on Beacon Street in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood.  A 9 Alarm Fire is when all available fire personnel have been called to help fight the massive blaze.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to our Brothers and Sisters in the Boston Fire Department on the loss of these heroes.   Stay strong Boston FD.

Additional information @ 


boston 2

Photo from the Boston Fire Department Facebook page @


Springtime in Quebec…

Our Pipe Major, Joe Brady had the honor to once again march with is comrades from the City of Chicago Police Pipe Band at at Le Défilé de la St-Patrick de Québec this past weekend alongside members of the Emerald Society – NYPD Pipes and Drums and the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums.  The conditions were not quite springlike (cold and snow) but the crowds warmed the hearts of all the participants; what a GREAT City!

The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec Organisation was founded on June 13, 2009. Its main purpose was to bring back the annual St. Patrick’s Parade to Quebec City where, at the end of the 19th century, it had been the largest of its kind in Canada.

From 1816, thousands of Irish fled their homeland devastated by famine to immigrate to Canada. Many of those who survived the perilous trip settled in Quebec. The first St. Patrick’s Parade appeared in 1837. The parade gathered large crowds and immediately became an important event of the City’s annual festivities. In 1916, for unknown reasons, the event was cancelled. It took place again from 1921 to 1926, and then disappeared once more. However, it has not been forgotten.

“From 1816 to 1860, it is estimated that over a million immigrants – 60% of them Irish – passed through the ports of Quebec City and Montreal.” We can conclude that a large part of Quebecers have Irish roots. The legacy of these people is important but poorly documented. For example, few people know that the architect William Lynn, who designed the St-Jean and the St-Louis gates, was Irish. Among the politicians of the province, we can cite Jean Charest with his Irish ancestors. We can’t forget one of the greatest songwriters of her time, Mary Travers, alias La Bolduc and the renowned poet Emile Nelligan, both of whom were influenced by the Irish culture through the legacy of their parents.
In June 2009, Peter Farrell and friends agreed to bring the parade back to Quebec City. They created a Facebook group and the number of members exploded to a thousand within a few days. They continued their promotional campaign and made their way to the newspapers and local radio stations. After a trip to Grosse Ile, the team organised.

The 2010 edition of the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec was a huge success. An estimated 40 000 people lined the streets to see 400 participants march, with the New York Police Department Pipes and Drums headlining the Parade. The organisers worked hard on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions to achieve their memorable success. They are maintained their efforts on the 2014 edition which marked the 5th anniversary of the Parade!


Pipe Major James Carroll and Joe Brady on the move in Quebec

Joe left the CHICAGO PD in May of 2005, relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina and formed the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums on 06 May 2006.  2016 will mark our 10 year anniversary…
Read more about the band’s history @ 



The leprechaun dust is settling and we are picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off from what were a few amazing  Paddy’s days here in Raleigh.  From parades to pubs, sidewalks to tents we created quite the raucous everywhere we went; our presence was an overwhelming force every time we struck up the pipes and drums.  To all of our band members – your level of devotion is simply brilliant.  Keep on shinning and loving what we do.

The fog of Brigadoon has lifted and it’s time to get ready for our competition season.  Thank you for tuning in to our St Patrick’s Day broadcast. We now return you to your regularly scheduled life. Thank you for your continued support.


home for St. Paddy’s Day in a big way…

What on honor to march down the streets of Raleigh for their St. Patrick’s Day Parade — with members of the City’s Police Department and Fire Department Honor Guards leading our way.  It’s been 5 years since we marched down their streets – and we did it BIG.  Our success has not been garnered by individuals – it is on on-going collaboration of like minded people do the right things for the right reasons.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Because we are thankful for what we have; we’ll end up having more.   Happy St. Patrick’s Day Raleigh – we will see you out and about tomorrow…

Raleigh's Pipe Band - St. Patrick's Day 2014

Raleigh’s Pipe Band – St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Raleigh.
We will see you out and about tomorrow…