Scotland bound…

Competing members of Wake & District are gearing up for this weekend’s Scotland County Games (in North Carolina-USA).  The band will be represented on the field by solo players as well as our Grade 4 and Grade 5 competition pipers/drummers.

On Friday, 03 October 2014 (on the eve of the games) come hear a wonderful concert by one of North America’s most innovative pipers — Matt MacIsaac — in concert @ 8 p.m. at the Avinger Auditorium of St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, North Carolina.  Admission $10 at the door. 

On Saturday, October 4th head out to the grounds of the John Blue Home and Historical Complex in Laurinburg, North Carolina (Scotland County).  This site contains the John Blue Home and several other historic Scottish-American homesteads as well as a working ante-bellum cotton gin, and a general store. The games site provides an immersion into the Scottish-American historical experience of this region. Local hotels and restaurants will offer Scottish-inspired Southern hospitality to welcome you to Laurinburg and Scotland County.

There will be NO closing ceremonies “massed band” performance on the Games field.  @SCHGNC is starting a new event this year called “Five after Five” for those who may wish to come out to the Games at 5 p.m.  For the public, admission from 5 p.m. on ward will only be $5, and many of the games amenities will still be available – though they are encouraging this as a “come out to the ‘after party’ “ type event.   Their entertainment stage – featuring “Rathkeltair,”   “Stirling Bridge,” and “The Thistledown Tinkers” will remain open until 8 p.m.   All food and Scottish wares vendors will also remain on the field until 8 p.m.  The beer tent will be open until at least 8 p.m.  They are hoping to start this as a “on the site” beer tent/ceilidh for the general public as well as our participants.

For more information on the Scotland County Games and the events taking place throughout the weekend please visit their website @ www.schgnc.org


playing for the bravest and the finest…

Since our formation in 2006 — the Wake and District Public Safety Drums have been honored to bring our tradition – to graduations and promotional ceremonies for public safety agencies in the State of North Carolina.  Over the past two days, members of our band were privileged to play for some of the bravest and finest…

On Thursday, 25 September we honored the Raleigh Fire Department Recruit Academy 39 at their Graduation at the Duke Energy Center.  Photos from the ceremony by Lee Wilson can be seen here.

On Friday, 26 September we marched in the cadets of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol 135th class — and marched them out as Troopers.

On behalf of the members of our band – we wish North Carolina’s newest troopers — and the City of Raleigh’s newest fire fighters — all the best in the days, weeks, months and years ahead of them.

Enjoy the friendships gained through the years ahead of selfless sacrifice and devotion to your wonderful professions.


the work is worth it….

The pitter patter of the pipes and drums were abundant this weekend at the Boone Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC.; this contest marked the kick-off of the the back half of the Southern EUSPBA season.   It was fabulous seeing so many of the Southern EUSPBA bands coming together;  as we looked around, we saw no enemies – just good, old-fashioned rivalry.    Soloists and bands are working harder.  At each grade level bands and players are getting better and better — playing with so much more expression and musicality and the pipes and drums sounding bigger and brighter.

A special nod to Jim Dillahey and the members of “America’s Band” – The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes —  performing a heart warming rendition of the Parting Glass  - and heart stopping performances in the G5 and G4 circles; we’ve never hear the Citadel sound better.

To all the bands — lose the expectation everything in life should be easy.  It rarely is.  In fact, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  Enjoy the challenge of your achievements.  See the value in your efforts and be patient with yourself. And realize patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams.  It’s knowing deep down the work is well worth it in the end.

Marching off the field to the sounds of Maui to Kona

Marching off the field to the sounds of Maui to Kona


Today we celebrate our achievements – G4 1st place, G5 3rd place, Jean Russell “Lady AGL” tenor drummer of the day and Garret Justice “Your Grace AGL”  2nd place overall junior piper of the day.
Tomorrow we keep working…

A myriad of photos can be seen here.


good, old-fashioned rivalry…

As we continue the patter and pitter of the bagpipes and drums at rehearsal this weekend — next weekend members of the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums hit the road to Mt. Pleasant, SC for the 43rd Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Gathering being held at the historic Boone Hall Plantationthese games mark the kick-off of the the back half of the Southern EUSPBA season.   We missed the games last year in order to attend the Celtic Classic — and are looking forward to both our Grade 4 and Grade 5 members taking the field in band and solo competition events.  We also look forward to seeing all the Southern EUSPBA bands — and as we look around, we see no enemies – just good, old-fashioned rivalry. 

We will surely post a plethora of photos and results from the field.  To all  the bands, our families, friends and fans heading out…SAFE TRAVELS.  



an unwanted reminder…

Where were you…it’s a simple question understood by anyone alive on September 11, 2001; an unwanted reminder for those who witnessed the horror of our Nation’s day of crisis as uncertainty stretched beyond our borders and illustrated by our enemies’ hatred and capability of doing harm to us. That September day started quietly as early Fall leaves gently landed on top of the morning shadows of New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but turned horrible after passenger jets and skyscrapers fell out of the sky holding thousands of souls trapped inside evil fires.

We all have our own story of where we were, but today we all find ourselves looking back together. And we will never forget.


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.


on we go…

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

The patter and pitter of the bagpipes and drums (and a metronome on steroids) echoed through the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Center this past Saturday morning as members of the Wake and District G5 and G4 competition bands drilled and drilled and drilled.  The tunes, the tone and the ensemble playing is getting better and better each time we take the instruments out of the box.  We are preparing for the back half our the EUSPBA “Southern Branch” competitions which begin in Charleston on Saturday, 20 September 2014.  We’ve come so far together and look forward to so many possibilities…

Would you believe the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums sooth the soul of 1 month old baby; that or they cause an explosion inside the diaper of the same child…LOVE you little Corinne.


it’s a hard instrument…

In the words of our Pipe Major’s instructor, the late Dave McKee Sr. “…it’s a hard instrument to learn, it really is. You’re going to be a part of hundreds of years of piping history and we don’t want you to let down that tradition…”.  Take pride – your preserving a long, colorful tradition.  As a band, we have to keep the band going — and the only way to do that is to perpetuate the band by bringing in new students.  

CONGRATULATIONS to our 5 newest pipers – Antonio Raynor, Scott Munn, Ashby Spratley, Silas Wells and Brian Wells on making it through an 18+ month crucible — learning the practice chanter and bagpipes then bringing them together to play and pass your audition process.  It’s not easy, but now you a part of our tradition.

We LOVE the music – it’s the greatest music in the world.    You’re now members of the band – piping the tunes of glory.

In the words of Captain Han Solo — don’t get cocky. 

Welcome to the band.


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…



who are you rooting for #WPBC2014…

Bagpipers and Drummers from around the world are descending into Scotland for the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.  Glasgow welcomes the Worlds back to Glasgow Green on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 August 2014. Saturday’s exciting competition program will comprise 300 performances, including the Grade 1 Championship Finals (the preceding Friday will be dedicated to the Grade 1 Qualifiers).  For those of us who can’t make it over we are grateful to theWorlds.co.uk and the BBC for streaming both the G1 qualifiers and the championships — we can’t wait!

The folks at pipes|drums have brought back their pick the six contest with all sorts of GREAT prizes.  Check out the rules and all the information @ http://www.pipesdrums.com/article/pick-the-six-its-back-again-with-2500-in-prizes-for-one-canny-reader/

Safe travels to all the bands competing and best of luck on the Green.  Wake and District will be watching from our favorite watering hole — Tir Na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh.