Band History

 

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     The Scots Highland Pipes & Drums was founded in January 1975 by George Kinney and  Fredrick Davis as the Scots Highland Bagpipe Band. The band first practiced Tuesday and Friday evenings in George Kinney's home in Ashby but moved the Friday evening practice to the Ashby American Legion Hall in March of 1975. The American Legion Hall has been the home base of operations ever since.

      The band's first public performance was in a parade in Ashburnham on June 1, 1975. They had four pipers, 2 side drummers, a bass drummer and a Drum Major. Their second performance was in the fourth of July parade in Fitchburg with a full complement of 7 pipers, 3 side drummers, a Tenor Drummer, a Bass Drummer and a Drum Major. On July 5th they performed in a Bicentennial Parade in Townsend. Both George Kinney and Norman Dunbar shared the duties of Piper Major for the first summer.

      The early band members decided on a military style uniform, featuring a Royal Stewart Kilt, Khaki shirt, black belt, a day-wear Sporran, Balmoral Cap, black shoes. white Spats, Royal Stewart hose tops and a short plaid.  They wore a white tunic for colder weather. In the late 70's they switched to horsehair Sporrans and Glengarries and dropped the short plaid. The uniform has changed little since, a white shirt has been added for indoor use.

      Norman Dunbar took on the sole responsibilities of Pipe Major in the fall of 1975 and kept those duties until the early 90's when the current pipe Major, Stuart Paul, graciously accepted the role.

      Throughout the years, the band has performed in parades and other events  throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They have competed in several Highland Games and have placed in the Quechee Vermont Games and the NH indoor games. They have also won awards for their parade performances.

      With the addition of several members from New Hampshire, the band practiced for several years in Milford , New Hampshire. But home has always been the Ashby American Legion Hall, where they currently practice on Thursday evening.

      In many ways the band is the successor band to the Clan Leslie Pipe Band that existed in the Fitchburg/Leominster area in the 1920's and 1930's four current band members had either Grandfathers or Great-Grandfathers that played for Clan Leslie, in fact Pipe Major Stuart Paul's Grandfather was the Pipe Major of the Clan Leslie Pipe Band.

      The band currently consists of 12 Pipers, 4 Side Drummers, 2 Tenor Drummers, 1 Bass Drummer and a Drum Major. They also have several  Pipers and Drummers in the learning stages. They are always interested in new talent so if you have the interest please talk with a member or visit them at their Thursday practices.

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This site was last updated 05/20/11