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Old 08-12-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
Michael Faughnan
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Default Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

After reading the thread on the Powell River Pipe Band on the West Coast with interest I started wondering about "Power-House" type of competitive bands over the years that influenced the piping community on the east coast of the States. I know the term Power-House is all relative and some of these bands may have never reached the heights of International Acclaim but they served to set a standard and fuel many of the competitive bands that are active today. Who were these bands over the years and the personell that were involved in making them successful? I am sure this has been tossed around before now on the forum so sorry if it is redundant.

In the Northwest we have heard of bands like Worcester Kilties building a strong pipe band importing players from Scotland in the 50's & 60's ? and George Bell building the Kenmure Pipe Band in New Jersey with sucess in the 60-'s & 70's ?. I am sure there are many other success stories out there. I have often heard of a few bands that were around before I started competing in the early 70’s and never really knew much about them. For instance The Farleigh Dickenson University Pipe Band. NJ, The Lovat? Highlanders Pipe Band. NJ, The early County Tyrone Pipe Band. NY seemed to be where a lot of players claimed to have gotten their piping or drumming pedigree and it might be an interesting read.

I am sure much of the thriving pipe band community might very well be more influenced in this country by regional Solo instruction but that is a different thread all together. Still many more may have been inspired by recodings of bands from Canada, Ireland and Scotland.

Cheers,
Michael

Last edited by Michael Faughnan; 08-12-2010 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
Michael Faughnan
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

A little home work couretsy The Catains Corner and I have some answers with regard to one of the earlier pipe bands in the New York Area, Well kind of.. Any way here is a little histiry I picked up on The Lovat Scouts Pipe Band..

http://thecaptainscorner.com/GeorgeDuncan.htm

George Duncan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1902. As a boy, he was taught the pipes by William MacLeod. He became a close friend of D.R. MacLellan, so he was surrounded by the best of music. For finishing, George went to Roddy Campbell from 1917 until his immigration to the United States in 1923.

On arriving in the U.S., George settled in New York City where he played with the Lovat Scouts Pipe Band under Angus Fraser. At this time George associated with some great players - Donald S. MacPherson, Donald Buchanan and Ed Tucker. It was at the World's Fair in 1939 that he met the Ford Band from Detroit. He signed on with the band, moved to Detroit and became a Ford employee until his retirement.
In post-war Detroit, George was to achieve great success as a Pipe Major, solo competitor and teacher. He formed the Detroit Highlanders and with P/S Walter Rose, John Scott, Donald and Sandy MacPhee, Bill Cromarty and Roddy Morrison, they dominated both the band and solo scenes.
As a teacher, many of George's students were destined to become excellent solo players, pipe majors and respected adjudicators. Among these, as mentioned earlier, was Bill Logan who competed successfully at the Cowal Championships in the early 1950's. Another was Chuck Murdoch who was Pipe Major of the highly successful Manchester Pipe Band for nearly 30 years and now heads up the music board of the EUSPBA. Yet another was Tom Hinchey who led the Balmoral Highlanders of Syracuse, NY, went on to play with the Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band and later became an adjudicator in the U.S. and Canada. From Ontario, George taught Bill Ferguson and Gordon S. Tuck. Gord was the best light music player of his day as well as an accomplished fiddler. He was noted for his strong technique, musicality and great sound - traits of all of George's pupils.

George passed away on the 30th of May, 1965, in Detroit, Mich
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
Michael Faughnan
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

A little more drilling via Google and a few things started to come together with regard to some of the names I had heard growing up.

http://books.google.com/books?id=oor...20York&f=false


When an 18 yr Duncan McCaskill moved from Scotland to New Jersey in the 1920's. After initially playing with a small pipe band sponsored by Standard Oil he joined the Lovat Pipe Band in New York City, one of the top competitive pipe bands of the day. When it merged with the Cameron Pipe Band of Kearney NJ, to become the Lovat -Cameron Pipe Band, McAskill became Pipe Major.
~

Duncan McAskill was one of the premier Piping Adjudicators in our area and one of teh leading architects of the EUSPBA. I was only a kid competing in front of him back in the day and never relaized he was a Pipe Major as well.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:07 AM   #4
Michael Faughnan
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

Does anyone know the years that the Ford Motor Compnay Pipe Band and the Chrysler Pipe Band were in existance in Detroit and some of their accomplishments and or history?
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
Jimmy Bell
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

I think Denny Barr and Bruce Burt played with Chrysler Mike.

The Lovat band from NYC were the big boys (no woman AFAIR) back in the 50's. McKenzie was the P/M ex HLI? Taught by R Reid I believe. Jonny Miller, Duncan snr and many others played with the band. Bill Mair was in the drum corp as was my uncle Norman Morrison ( Jim Stacks FIL) before Korea. I have been told the Holyoke band from Mass was a very good band back then as well before the Worcester invasion of the late 50's early 60's. At one time I do not believe there was an American playing in the band, all from over seas, Shotts, Edinburgh Police, Glasgow Police, etc.
I well remember standing in the crowd at Maxville one year in the late 60's and a Canadian fellow calling them the Phantom Band. You never saw them and then they show up at Maxville and win. They were a very, very good band. Beat the Glasgow Police and Shotts in the 60's at a contest in Scotland one year.

The Kenmure started in my dad's dinning room at 51 Ash. A lot of the Lovat guys were there at the beginning. Frank Loughman, Coe McKeeby, young Duncan McCaskill, Donald Lindsay, etc. Some of the Tyrone guys Big frank Hagen, etc came along as well as the Hall's from Philly in the drum corp. Jimmy Cairns from Ireland became the lead drummer at some point. The band broke up in 1973 IIRC.

The Parlin band was the same Kenmure under a diff name. A lot of the older players from Kenmure were coerced into playing at the beginning (1981?) and then drifted away. The band actually started at the Syracuse beer tent in Aug 1980. Some success by both of those bands over the years. The number is now 38 judges that had played with those 2 bands at one time or another.

The new bands out there now are far superior to the old ones in my opinion. I hope you guys have at least half the fun.

Jimmy
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
Michael Faughnan
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

Thanks Jimmy.. I suppose I am interested in the history as well, must come with age. What was the rough time frame that your Dad originally started up The Kenmure Band and when was their last performance?
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

Mike, how far down the east coast are you interested and how far down the grades? In the early 70's there was the Ogilvy Highlanders Pipe Band whose drum corps won best drum corps at World's in Stirling in '74 in grade 3. There were also Denny and Dunipace (eventually morphed into COW) and the Charlotte Scottish.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpeitzsch View Post
... There were also Denny and Dunipace (eventually morphed into COW) ...
I wouldn't say Denny & Dunipace "morphed" into COW ... there is an unbroken and consistent string of personnel ... only the name has changed.

Denny & Dunipace (1960s to 1984)
Scottish & Irish Imports (1985 to 1989)
Denny & Dunipace (1990 to 1993)
City of Washington (1994 to Present)

Chris
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
rpeitzsch
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hamilton View Post
I wouldn't say Denny & Dunipace "morphed" into COW ... there is an unbroken and consistent string of personnel ... only the name has changed.

Denny & Dunipace (1960s to 1984)
Scottish & Irish Imports (1985 to 1989)
Denny & Dunipace (1990 to 1993)
City of Washington (1994 to Present)

Chris
Hi Chris, that was the morphing that I was implying. Yes, the personnel lineage is indeed unbroken.

By the by, I was over at my mother's this evening and saw that she had out a cassette tape of the album that Denny put out, when was it, late 70's? I still remember Jon et al. showing up at the School of Scottish Arts with the t-shirts and everybody wanting one.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pipe Band History on the US East Coast

The Manchester Pipe Band is alive and well.
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