A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common.

The most common form of pipe band, the Scottish/Irish Pipe Bands, consists of a section of pipers playing the great highland bagpipe, a section of snare drummers (often referred to as ‘side drummers’), several tenor drummers and usually one, though occasionally two, bass drummers. The entire drum section is known collectively as the drum corps. The tenor drummers and bass drummer are referred to collectively as the ‘bass section’ (or in North America as the ‘midsection’). The band follows the direction of the pipe major; when on parade the band may be led by a drum major, who directs the band with a mace. Standard instrumentation for a pipe band involves 6 to 25 pipers, 3 to 10 side drummers, 1 to 6 tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer. Occasionally this instrumentation is augmented to include additional instruments (such as additional percussion instruments or keyboard instruments), but this is typically done only in concert settings.

Pipe bands are a long-standing tradition in other areas with Celtic roots, such as the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria in Northern Spain and Brittany in Western France, as well as other regions with Celtic influence in other parts of Europe. The tradition is also long-standing in the British Commonwealth of Nations countries and former British colonies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Pipe bands have also been established in countries with few Scottish or Celtic connections such as Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.

For more information, contact Rory Howe.

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Ben Linton, Senior Drum Major

 

Ben, a native of Savannah, Georgia, is no stranger to bag piping and Celtic culture. As a wee lad he would watch Robert W. Groves High School’s, Key Club’s pipe band (The Scottish Rebels) practice in the field behind the school. He remembers telling himself he was going to do that when he got to high school. Unfortunately the pipe band was disbanded two years before Ben was eligible to attend. In college he heard he skirl of the pipes behind the Fine Arts building at Armstrong State College and befriended Cathy Wood who agreed to teach him how to play the pipes. Ben borrowed a fraternity brother’s practice chanter and began lessons for only a short time as school, work and seminary had to be given precedence. After college he moved to Atlanta and the skirl of the pipes started calling him again. In 2008, he joined The Atholl Highlanders of Stone Mountain, USA. While waiting on his pipes to be made, Drum Major Don Bogue and Pipe Major Evan Kohler-Camp approached Ben in 2010 about taking on the role of drum major with the band. Ben began training with Don and assisting him at games and parades. Eventually Ben began training and assisting other drum majors. In 2019 Ben agreed to become the drum major for the Appalachian Saint Andrews Pipes and Drums of Blairsville, GA. In 2020 Don Bogue recommended Ben as Senior Drum Major of the Blairsville Highland Festival and Scottish Games.

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John Mohr McIntosh Pipes and Drums

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The Atholl Highlanders Pipes and Drums

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North Georgia Pipes and Drums

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Alhambra Highlander Pipes and Drums

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Appalachian Saint Andrew’s Pipes and Drums

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