Who We Are
The Maryland Youth Pipe Band (MYPB) is one of only a few organizations in the USA that is dedicated to teaching piping and drumming to youth. We believe that it is important to provide a welcoming space to pass on the great traditions and musical excellence of Celtic piping and drumming. Our current band consists of members from 8 to 18 and from brand new rookies to musicians who compete along the East Coast. We perform in parades, festivals, various ceremonies including the Rockville Memorial Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Gaithersburg, and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. We also participate in band competitions sanctioned by the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA). We have world class instructors (truly) that are patient and encouraging with beginners.
Graduates of our band include members who earned scholarships through their music as well as a few who studied bagpipes and drumming in college. Two of our former members are professional musicians. And two graduate pipers compete at the Gold Medal level with the absolute best pipers in the world.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and all donations are tax deductible. If you would like to make a donation, please click on the “Support the Band” link in the upper right corner of the page.
If you would like to have fun learning a new instrument, come join the band!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join?
Participation in the band is open to anyone of school age who is willing to practice regularly, attend practices, and participate in band activities. Contact our Band Director, Lisa Frazier, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What are the costs?
• Each beginner bagpipe player is required to purchase a Practice Chanter for about $80.
• Pipers purchase their own set of bagpipes when they are musically ready. These cost about $1,000 and up. If a piping student is unable to afford bagpipes, the Pipe Band can offer a loaner set based on availability.
• Each beginner snare drummer is required to purchase drumsticks and drum pad (about $80).
• Each beginner tenor drummer is required to purchase drumsticks (about $80).
• Snare, Tenor and Bass Drums are provided by the Band.
• Uniforms are provided by the band (members provide long and short sleeve white shirts and black oxford shoes).
• If payment of any of these fees is a hardship, the Band will work on alternate arrangements.
For more information, please contact our Band Director, Lisa Frazier, at email@example.com
When and where do we practice?
The Maryland Youth Pipe Band practices Thursday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. during the school year.
Do we participate in Scottish Festivals?
We love Scottish Festivals! We usually participate in: Southern Maryland Celtic Festival, Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games, and Fairhill Scottish Festival. We also participate in local events and parades.
How long does it take to progress from the chanter to the bagpipes?
This often depends on how much one practices; however, usually 1 year is a good estimate.
Do I need to take private lessons?
Even though our band members have their weekly lessons that are fully funded through band participation, we encourage band members to add private lessons once they are able to perform with the band. We are lucky to have many wonderful instructors in the area who can provide lessons. With the help of an outside instructor members progress faster and are able to join the competition band sooner.
Is there a sanctioning body for pipers?
Yes, the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA)
The Maryland Youth Pipe Band was originally formed in 1961 at Robert E. Peary High School in Rockville 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 2017, after 56 years with Montgomery County Public Schools, we became the independent Maryland Youth Pipe Band (MYPB)! We debuted at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center on June 11, 2017 in a Celtic concert in conjunction with the Strathmore Children’s Chorus.
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.
As part of the school, the Band performed at football games and other functions at Peary and Rockville High Schools. The Band has also played many homecomings, international nights, back to school nights, and graduations. The Band can be seen at St. Patrick’s Day Parades, the Marine Corps Marathon, and in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade.
For 50 years, the Band hosted its annual National Capital Area Scottish Festival. Many local pipe bands, Celtic acts, and local dance groups donated their performances. We have recently replaced the Festival with a Ceilidh, a more informal evening of music, food, and friends, as our annual fundraiser.
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 Band has produced hundreds of talented pipers and drummers, with many continuing to perform in college and adult bands. The local and extremely successful MacMillan Pipe band, was formed on the 40th Anniversary of the band and is home to many band alumni. 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 members 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Above: Our Tartan, specifically the Ancient Hunting MacMillan