History

RHS Pipe Band Crest






The Maryland Youth Pipe Band was originally formed in 1961 at Robert E. Peary High School in Rockville, Maryland as a class taught by members of the United States Air Force Pipe Band. The organization later became an extra-curricular activity. The Robert E Peary Pipe Band was the first high school pipe band in Maryland.

At the beginning of the 1984-1985 academic year, the Band moved to Rockville High School due to Peary High School closing. The band continued to win awards and prizes. Several notable individual pipers came out of the program, competing at an international level.

In January 2017, after 56 years, the Montgomery County School system announced the withdrawal of funds to sponsor the Pipe Band at Rockville High School. The band’s Booster organization rallied parents, alumni and friends and made a valiant effort for the band to remain part of the school system but to no avail. The band ceased to be a school activity playing their final performances as the Rockville High School Pipe Band by winning two first place awards in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade and opening the Washington Folk Festival in June 2017.

The Maryland Youth Pipe Band debuted at Strathmore Performing Arts Center on June 11, 2017 in a Celtic concert in conjunction with the Strathmore Children’s Chorus. The band hopes that with the support and help of alumni, and friends we will continue to be a vital part of the community.



Our Tartan: The founding members of the Robert E Peary High School Band chose the Ancient Hunting MacMillan tartan to honor Rear Admiral Donald Baxter MacMillan, a Scots-American who was second-in-command on Robert E. Peary’s polar expedition in 1909. Admiral MacMillan gave permission for the Band to be the “MacMillan Club” and met band members after his talk at the National Geographic Society in 1961.

General Sir Gordon MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap, Chief of Clan MacMillan, granted permission for the Band to wear the clan tartan. General MacMillan was a member of the Argyll and Southerland Highlanders, the band wears their tie in his memory.



The Pipe Band has participated in thousands of performances. Some notable performances include concerts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the nationally televised Bicentennial Parade, the dedication parade for the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, a Redskins' half-time show, the world premieres of the movies Patton and A Bridge Too Far, and appearances on local television broadcasts such as WUSA-TV’s Broadcast House Live in 1994 and 1995, WTTG-TV’s FOX Morning News in 1998, and the Maryland Governor's Inauguration in 2004; Good Morning Washington in 2011,

The majority of the Band’s performances are for events in the D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. The Band can be seen at St. Patrick’s Day Parades, including the parades in Alexandria and Gaithersburg, at every Marine Corps Marathon, and in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade. The Band performed at football games and other functions at Peary and Rockville High Schools and in the greater MCPS community - such as homecomings, international nights, back to school nights and graduations.

For almost 50 years, the Band has hosted the annual National Capital Area Scottish Festival. Many local pipe bands, Celtic acts, and local dance groups donate their performances. The Scottish Festival is the Band’s primary fundraising event.

The Band also participates in many Celtic and Scottish events and competitions up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States and has finished first in competitions against many adult pipe bands. The Band has made several international appearances, including parades in Toronto and several tours of Scotland.

Since 1961, the Rockville High School Pipe Band has produced hundreds of talented pipers and drummers, with many continuing to perform in college and adult bands. The Band’s current and past pipers and drummers compete regularly in individual competitions, often walking away with top honors. The Maryland Youth Pipe Band is proudly continuing its tradition of excellence in piping and drumming, welcoming and teaching new students every year.

The band or band members can be booked for performances. To book a performance, please send an email to Lisa Frazier, Band Director, at RHSPBYFL@yahoo.com
.