foot stomping roaring mayhem…

Cheers to the Annie Nice and all the great folks at Tir Na nOg for putting on another smashing Kilt Night!  Setting the stage for My Three Kilts and Whiskey of the DamnedThe — the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums filled the pub with foot stomping roaring mayhem.   Thank you to all our families, friends and fans for cheering us on – and thank you to all the band members who made a strong showing – even if you didn’t know the set tunes are were asked not to play ;)

What a way to celebrate Tir Na nOg ONCE AGAIN being named BEST IRISH PUB in the Triangle!

Some band photos from the evening can be seen here.


Kilt Night @ the nOg…

Join members of Wake and District as we help Tir Na nOg celebrate being voted best Irish Pub for the 8th year running.  The evening will feature the skirl of the pipes and drums, the omnipresent My Three Kilts – and special guests Whiskey of The Damned.   NOBODY has more fun than us — except for maybe the Vikings…and they’re all dead.


Friday, July 18 @ 7:30 pm
Free admission


Those who wear the badge…

On behalf of the members of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums — we would like to express our congratulations to the 40 members of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol who were promoted on 14 July 2014.  Wake and District has been honored to participate at graduations and promotions for the patrol since 2006.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin administered the oath of office to 40 members of  the North Carolina State Highway Patrol in a promotion ceremony Mon., July 14 at the Hope Community Church, Raleigh. In addition, 12 civilian employees were recognized for their promotions.

Commander of the State Highway Patrol, Colonel Bill Grey said, “It’s no easy task to be a State Trooper.  It’s even toughter to be a leader.  It requires the support and love of your family.”  Grey said that the promotees must have the ability to truly care for the public, the Patrol organization and for their fellow troopers.

Justice Martin said public safety is the most ancient of public services.  “Public safety is essential to what we do as human beings.”  He said modern law enforcement would not even be possible without the commitment from those who wear the badge.

Read the entire press release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety @


Grandfather Mountain 2014…

This weekend marks the spectacle of the 59th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC. Although Wake and District has never been formally invited to participate at these games — band members were once again embedded on the mountain - creating and participating in the shenanigans #KiltKulture.  The organizers strive to be the premier Scottish Highland games and gathering of Clans, Guests, Families, Sponsors, Patrons and Visitors –  and we hope one participate at these games (pipe bands are invited and paid to participate throughout the weekend).

Congrats to band member Chris mOg for winning first place at the
1st annual Grandfather Mountain pipe-off*

To all our family, friends and fans on the mountains – have a grand time and a safe journey home when the sun sets on Sunday and the festivities come to a close.  Don’t put those kilts away quite yet..we hope to see everyone out a Kilt Night on 18 July 2014 @ Tir Na nOg.

*not sanctioned by the governing bodies of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games ;)


Officers down in Indiana…

It has been a horrible week for law enforcement professionals in the State of Indiana.  On 28 June 2014 Deputy Sheriff Jacob Calvin of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office was killed in a traffic crash.  On 05 July 2014 Officer Perry Renn of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was shot and killed.  On 06 July 2014 Officer Jeffrey Brady Westerfield of the Gary Police Department was shot and killed; 06 July was his birthday…

Everyone who has ever worn the badge, or had a family member who wears one, knows the ultimate sacrifice might be asked of them.  We know in an instant, any assignment can turn into danger, then death, then unending sorrow.

When a police officer dies in the line of duty it is a tragedy for the entire community, but it is forever a memory of fellow police officers and their families.  When line of duty deaths are compounded back to back to back it seems unfathomable – police officers everywhere continue to carry the swords of their fallen comrades.

Please keep these officers, their families, friends and co-workers in your prayers.  Keep all law enforcement officers – those who stand the line between good and evil - in your prayers everyday.

“When I hear the call of the pipes
And the tattoo of the drums as they echo in the hills,
I will come and
stand the line.
And you should know this,
That whether you stand with me or against me,
I will fight till death.
And if the Lord should decide to take me before you,
Then you should know this.
That my brothers and sons and my sisters and
daughters will pick up my sword and continue to
Stand the line.
For oppression, anarchy and evil shall not prevail,
As long as I,
stand the line
Let us remember those warriors
Who stood beside us,
Let us remember,
We carry their swords. “

– DEA Special Agent Kevin Donnelly


Happy 50th Birthday Durham Highway FD…

Congratulations to all past and present members of the Durham Highway Fire Department, celebrating 50 years of service!  Wake and District was privileged to participate during the celebrations on 28 June 2014 at Station 1 on Norwood Road — fun for everyone indeed.   The members of the Durham Highway Fire Department have been avid supporters of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums since our formation on 06 May 2006.  We look forward to many years ahead of celebrating milestones together!


new bagpipe class for public safety…

Contact:  Jason Lane
For Immediate Release
Telephone:  919.291.1167

The Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums is seeking new members from the public safety community (law enforcement, fire, ems) to become a part of our band as new bagpipers.  A new class is being planned for the fall of 2014 and we want to know if you are interested.

The Wake and District Public Safety Pipe Band is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to improve piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition in the region.  Established in 2006, our program honors those who sacrifice their lives while serving others;FOR OUR FALLEN is everything we stand for.

The tradition of bagpipes played at police department and fire department events in the United States goes back over one hundred fifty years; the music breaths a sense of passion, pride and tradition to all those who hear it.   Since 2006 the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums have provided the skirl of the bagpipes and beat of the drums at numerous events for public safety agencies throughout the region.  We have had the honor to play at memorial services and the privilege to play at graduations, promotions and inaugurations. 

Group rehearsals are held once a week and all practice materials are provided.  We do not charge dues or association fees.  You will need to purchase a practice chanter which will be your teaching instrument for almost a year before you purchase bagpipes; information on practice chanters and bagpipes will be discussed at an orientation meeting.  All instruction is free of charge.  You will be taught and expected to read sheet music.

WARNING:  Becoming a bagpiper is not a hobby or something you do on the side.  Like you, we are professionals and take the tradition of highland piping very seriously.  If you do it right – the pipes will weave themselves into the fabric of your life.  This is not easy.  There are more than 9 notes.  Grab on with both hands.  If you’re going to do it, do it right.  


 For more information about this topic, please contact Lt. Jason Lane, Raleigh Fire Department @ 919.291.1167 or sending an e-mail to


big weekend on tap…

A BIG weekend is on tap for the members of Wake and District.  We will be spending Saturday afternoon with the folks from the US Military Veterans Foundation for their 1st Annual Flag Day Motorcycle Rally at Triangle Town Center.

Later that day members will be heading to Pinehurst to participate in the opening ceremonies for the 2014 U.S. Open. We will be joining a few other bands including the NCSU Pipes and Drums and Jamestown Pipe Band!  Should be quite a spectacle of all things Scottish.

A special thanks to Bill Caudill, Pipe Major of the St. Andrews University Pipe Band – for getting things organized.


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 Berthoffeditor @ pipes|drums - for writing a nice story recognizing our program.

For more information on Wake and District do not hesitate to contact us at


Harvey Ritch at rest…

Sadly –  we learned of the passing of the legend behind Everything Scottish in North Carolina – and a Grandfather of piping in the South,  Harvey Ritch.

“Most people who don’t like pipe music,” said Ritch in an interview for the StarBanner in 1984, “have either never heard the pipes played in the proper setting or never heard them played in proper tune — and there are a lot of badly tuned bagpipes around.”   Harvey was captivated by the bagpipes — he indicated what really got him going was seeing the pipes played at John Kennedy’s funeral, and in the cortege down Pennsylvania Avenue, when they had the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment from Scotland play the pipes.  That was the beginning for him – and 51 years later legions of pipers, drummers owe much of what we know with regards to pipe bands in the South because Harvey Ritch.

There are a plethora of “Harvey” stories which will be told in the days, weeks and years to come.  His legacy lives on in every finely tuned set of pipes echoing through the mountains of North Carolina…

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.  

Harvey E. Ritch –  born August 21, 1927 – at rest June 8, 2014.