A local pipe and drum group will soon be performing with some of the best ensembles in the country.
Since 1919, the Rochester Scottish Pipes and Drums has honored local military and first responders, while celebrating all things Celtic at local events. Now, for the third year in a row, they’re taking the show on the road to the West Point Military Academy’s annual tattoo.
“This year there are 17 different agencies or groups participating in the tattoo, so it is a huge event,” says Scotty Montcrieff, the group’s business manager.
It’s a huge honor for the group just to be invited.
“When we got the thumbs up to be invited back to West Point we immediately started working on the program and everything that’s involved in it,” says Janice Blue, Pipe Major of the band.
With close to 35 members ranging in age from children to some in their eighties, this is the only Scottish Pipe band in the area. Practice makes perfect for the group. They meet in East Rochester once a week, but spend countless hours on their own practicing their instruments.
“This is a labor of love and what you’re seeing here today is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole lot that goes on underneath to play at this level and we’re constantly striving to raise our level of art our education is never done,” says Drum Sergeant Aaron Hughes.
Education is part of the reason they practice in a school. The group hopes to recruit more young people to carry their 97-year-old tune.
Montcrieff says, “It’s an old type world type of instrument and it’s a culture, tradition, and I’m just glad we can carry it on.”
The band is traveling to West Point next week for the tattoo which is April 17th. For more information on Rochester Scottish Pipes and Drums head to rochesterbagpipes.org or check them out on Facebook.