Brief Band History & Background Information
In the fall of 1975, a group of pipers and drummers gathered to discuss forming a bagpipe band for the forthcoming Bi-Centennial year. The result was the formation of the St. Andrews Pipeband of Vermont early in 1976. Among our founding members are Thomas Kirkpatrick, John Kirkpatrick, Robert Kirkpatrick, Dorwin Thomas, Stephen Dates, Michael Leeming, Robert and Janet Jones, Thomas Morris, William Lewis, Dr. Edwin Irwin, Robert White, Francis Decharme, and Kathy Dates. Tom Kirkpatrick, a former piper in the U.S. Air Force Pipe Band, was the first Pipe Major and held that post for many years.
Though the name of the band suggests a direct connection with the St. Andrews Society of Vermont, we are separate entities. The Society was the original sponsor of the band and close ties are maintained between the organizations. We have a non-voting representative on the St Andrews Society Board and the band performs at the Tartan Ball, Burn’s Night and Quechee Highland Games (all sponsored by the St. Andrews Society).
In the early years it was a struggle to acquire uniforms and equipment and to train members for the rigors of a “street” pipe band. At the time there were no other organized pipe bands in the state of Vermont. We played many engagements throughout Vermont and upstate New York gaining the reputation of a solid pipe band.
Today, St. Andrews Pipeband of Vermont has been in existence for over 35 years and has the distinction of being the longest continuously operating pipe band in Vermont. The band performs parades, competitions and other events each year.
The band is a Grade V pipe band focusing on parade and concert performance venues. We are a non-profit organization with the components of a traditional Scottish pipe and drum band. Our function is to provide entertainment, a finer sense of appreciation for the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe, Highland drumming and traditions for its members and others who are interested. We formed exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
The St. Andrews Pipeband of Vermont is governed by a “Constitution” which was first adopted in 1976. This Constitution provides the framework for the election of officer, their duties and responsibilities, membership, conduct of meetings, uniforms and purchasing, etc.
The band offers instruction for piping and drumming as encouragement and incentive for attracting new members. Our instructional program is designed to meet the needs of both the individual member and the band. The goal is to integrate and transition the piper or drummer into the performance band at a level of basic competency.
We wear the full highland dress uniform including the officially recognized Vermont “Dress” tartan kilt. We are proud to wear the Vermont Tartan and extend our thanks to the St. Andrew’s Society of Vermont and Lilias MacBean Hart of Quaigh Design Center for making it possible.
The band rehearses at the St James Episcopal Church, 4 St James Pl, Essex Junction, VT every Wednesday night at 7:30pm.
For an excellent video about the band and the bagpipe itself: Click Here