THE ROUND TABLE
This page is a source for periodic updates on the band, whether
it's contest information, parade happenings, or just plain
personal tidbits on our members. It also serves as a venue
for our members to catch up on things they may have missed.
Hopefully, we'll be able to give you some insight into the
kind of people that we are outside of our parade demeanor.
So continue to check back in and see what's new with the American
Celtic Pipe Band!
April 17, 2008
With the St. Patrick's day parade season safely behind us,
the band is beginning preparations for the summer months ahead.
Here's a brief glimpse at the band's doings from the month
We opened up the season in Bethpage with a lot of new members
joining the parade band. Marching for the first time were
Chris Bowles, Doris Jelinek, Tom McCarthy and Caitlin Waring
in the pipe section and Walt Francis and Brendan Whelan in
the drum corps. This was the shortest of our March parades,
so this surely gave these new participants a false sense of
confidence. One was even overheard to say "jeez, this
was easy! This whole bagpiping thing isn't as hard as I was
told!" -- alas, reality set in at Bay Shore and Huntington
the following weekend.
The Bay Shore parade was marked by periods of heavy rain
and tired drone reeds. The weather put quite a damper on the
day - so much so that there was little inclination to head
upstairs to the AOH hall for a pint... straight home for everyone.
Now that, my friends, is NOT what this band is about!
The reality check for our newbies really came with the Huntington
parade. We had a large (for us, anyway) group out there, sporting
16 pipers and 5 snares, and the uphill march to get to the
downtown area was sometimes grueling. As we reached the village,
our long and steady trek was rewarded by rousing cheers from
parade spectators 3, 4, and even 5 deep. At the end of our
march, we headed off to the "lodge" to play. Perhaps
the size of the band was unexpected, as our entrance was greeted
with stares and surprise at the numbers coming in through
the door. Next year we may decide on a slightly different
The following weekend was the big one - three parades and
two performances over three days; which brought us to such
far-flung destinations as Smithtown, Bayport, Westhampton
Beach and midtown Manhattan. Oh yes... midtown Manhattan.
Once again we had the honor of marching with the Fighting
69th Veteran's Corps on St. Patrick's Day. This was, as always,
our largest turnout of the season, with 18 pipers and 6 snares
marching down 5th Avenue. Though our portion of the parade
ended at noon, our day had just begun. We spent the midday
hours whiling away at Social
on 8th Avenue, where we regaled the masses with band and
solo performances, and in turn received plenty of libations
to keep our whistles wet. Thanks to the owners of this terrific
place for their hospitality!
As the day turned into night, we discovered a new talent
within the pipe band family, as Marty Rowe, Jr. strapped on
the bass drum for the first time, and his performance far
exceeded our expectations. He's now a full-fledged member
of the pipe band! Welcome aboard Marty! We also discovered
a lack of talent from our pipe major on Bass, our drum seargent
on pipes (yeesh) and our piping instructor on snare. No instruments
were harmed in thier performances. Spectator's eardrums, however,
are a completely different story. Our last stop of the night
saw a much smaller group playing extremely worn-out instruments.
Tuning was not a high priority at this point in the evening...
"you push your reed in, you take yours out, you in, you
out..." Not the best approach. And young Connor Frances
also learned a valuable lesson that day. If you, as a teenager,
decide to come into the bar to rouse the masses back to the
bus, you need to have some ammunition beyond "um... they
told me to get you..."
We closed out the season with Rockville Centre and Montauk.
Now that Montauk parade... that thing'll kill ya! Well...
maybe not the parade, but certainly the hospitality of the
Graham's. For once the weather was beautiful, with many enjoying
a pint, an Irish coffee, and even a stogie or two. However
the fun didn't end when we left the Graham's. The bus ride
home featured a flying pipe instructor, a beer covered pipe
sergeant, a misplaced uniform courtesy of our pipe major,
and one tidbit of information about one of our newest members.
Turns out Mike McDotDot "lost his innocence" at
a particular NYC "pride" parade one year. His one
solace, as he said, was that he "made a lot of money
that day." That pretty much brought the bus conversation
to a screeching halt.
Before we close out this Round Table, there was one valuable
lesson learned by one of our newest pipers, Mr. McCarthy.
Turns out Tom has never heard the legend of Exit 49.... and
it also turns out it's not so much a "legend" as
it is a reality. Be sure to ask him about his experience next
time you see him. Thankfully, he did NOT lose his innocence
March 2, 2008
The 2008 parade season is underway. Congratulations and welcome
to the ranks to our first time marchers and those who moved
from color guard to the musical ranks. For everyone, it was
chance for new experiences - whether it was keeping your kilt
up on your hips (Walt), your bagpipes on your shoulder, or
trying to hit the skins and stay in step at the same time,
the only way to learn this stuff is to do it.
New pipers yesterday were Chris Bowles, Doris Jelinek, Tom
McCarthy and Caitlin Waring. We also introduced Connor Francis
to his first St. Patrick's Day parade season as a playing
member of the pipe corps - congrats to all!
We also had two new snare drummers yesterday, adding Walt
Francis and Brendan Whalen to the corps. It was particularly
impressive to see Walt take over lead tip after just a couple
of months of work with the band. Great job drummers!
We've got one parade down... and SEVEN to go!
June 4, 2007
Ok, so we've come to the end of the St. Patrick's Day parade
season, and gotten past the Memorial Day parade in Lindenhurst.
What did you miss? Well, quite a lot actually.
On February 24th, bagpiper James Keenan took a stab at performing
in the New York CLASP contest held in Babylon. James has been
a solo competitor for less than a year, but what the heck
right? I mean... it's the CLASP! Can't hurt to give it a try,
right? Well, apparently not. He ended up taking 2nd place
in the grade IV 2/4 march. Congratulations James! A great
start to what will surely be a productive solo competition
season in 2007!
The St. Patrick's Day season was a blur once again. Though
we've managed to eliminate the night of a thousand dances,
we still kept ourselves mighty busy. As mentioned in the previous
Round Table update, 6 parades in 22 days turned out to be
quite a calendar - but as usual, nobody was harmed in the
making of this year's parade season. We were once again graced
with the presence of Wayne Skelton in NYC, and again at Rockville
Center. His participation in our March parades has earned
him a spot on our active roster (whether he likes it or not).
At the close of March, we headed off to Montauk, as we do
every year. One slight change this year, though. Brian Graham
had the honor of leading the pipe band in this year's parade,
as he took over the drum major duties (temporarily) from John
Cronin. Quite a sight considering there were 38 other Grahams
watching the parade from the sidelines. Rest assured, Brian
made his kin proud - and he made the band proud too. Great
Every year, we're seeing more members become active participants
in the parade ranks. The summer season started off no differently.
Donna Elliott made the transition from color guard to pipe
corps for the Lindenhurst Memorial Day parade - congratulations
Donna! Not to be outdone, Connor Frances and Caitlyn Waring
both donned the kilt and glen to join Doris Jelinek in the
color guard at the same parade. Now we grant you, Connor's
kilt had to be wrapped around him twice, but both did a terrific
job under Doris' guidance. And they'll need to keep that up,
because you can be sure Doris won't be carrying a flag again
any time soon. Though she took a spill during one of the ceremonies
(the demands of seven ceremonies in one parade may have been
a bit much to ask), Doris had no problems making it back to
practice on Wednesday night.
You'll hear us next at the upcoming graduation ceremonies
at Babylon and Deer Park high schools at the end of June.
February 9, 2007
The March parade season is just around the corner, with only
two more practices until our first St. Patrick's Day parade
in Bethpage. We'll begin this season with a new Drum Sergeant
leading the way. Julie O'Callaghan was recently elevated to
the post, and leads a young and growing drum corps down the
cold and windy streets this season. She'll also take hold
as the leader of the drum corps in the contest group, building
on her tutelage from Andy Hamilton. We look forward to a bright
future with Julie in charge.
As has been the case for lo these many years, the march parade
season is jam-packed with activity. We have 6 parades in 22
days, and will likely have a few other appearances thrown
in for good measure, as usual. The band has seen steady contributions
through the winter months at practice from all areas of the
unit, and we expect to be in top form on March 4th.
2007 marks the 14th consecutive year that the American Celtic
Pipe Band has the honor of marching with the Fighting 69th
in New York City on March 17th. This year, we expect to honor
the regiment with a new tune, written specifically for those
members of the 69th who gave their lives in the Iraqi War.
"Heroes Fallen" is a tune written by Frank Riggio,
who is a past commander for the Fighting 69th.
Though the parade season ends on March 25th, the work doesn't.
We've been making significant strides in our contest set over
the past few months, and expect that our hard work will mean
strong results in the 2007 competition season.
August 21, 2006
The band returns from Hunter Mountain
yesterday without a trophy, but with a great feeling about
our performance. A month ago we weren't sure if we were going
to this contest… but there we were yesterday at 11:05 marching
into the circle. We put in a lot of work over the past month,
reinstating the long-lost "Sunday practice," and
it showed. With 16 bands competing, we took home an 8th overall,
with the pipers coming in 5th against very strong competition.
It was a beautiful day overall, with the exception of a quick
blast of rain, and it was great to get back into the contest
The day marked an introduction to the competition world
for two of our three snare drummers. Congratulation to Damien
Murray, Jr. and JulieAnn O'Callaghan on getting the first
contest under their belts! You both did a great job and
we're looking forward to bigger and better things at future
Speaking of introductions, yesterday was the first time
down the mountain with us for Noreen O'Callaghan, Tom Fehling,
and Amanda Hitchins. It was great to have the three of you
with us! Hopefully next year you'll be joining us for more
than massed bands.
Nassau is just 4 weeks away, and we're looking forward
to improving on the results from yesterday. Wish us luck!
February 13, 2006
OK -- it's been a while... and before you start complaining,
understand that we've been having some major problems with
the new server... it has nothing to do with finishing 11th
at Hunter or second to last at Nassau... True, had we taken
1st at Hunter and/or Nassau, you can be sure that those "server
problems" would have been addressed right away.... but
Once again, another St. Patrick's Day season is upon us.
And, as we all kiss our loved ones goodbye for the month of
March, you'll be sure to run into us at least once or twice
over the next 6 weeks. Our schedule, as is normally the case,
is quite full. Be sure to wave hello as we march on by...
or buy us a drink (alcoholic or non) at any one of our 4 dances.
Our fearless leader (Scott, not Marty... Marty's quite fearful)
has been putting us through the paces for about a year now,
so the pipe corps should be in fine shape. We welcome two
new pipers to the parade unit, as James Keenan and Noreen
O'Callaghan have made the move from the practice table to
the pipe ranks. Congratulations to both and we look forward
to marching with you this year!
Not to be outdone, 2005 Band Member of the Year Tim Delaney
has come through in his first full year as Drum Sergeant with
new settings for all of our tunes, so you won't be hearing
the same ole "Steve 1 / Steve 2" from the drum corps
this year. And we're keeping our fingers crossed for two new
snare drummers to begin marching with us before the March
parade season is through (when you guys get up on snare, you'll
earn your Round Table mention...). We've also added a little
something to the tenor ranks, as Harry Resnick has put down
his pipes and done a terrific job picking up rhythm tenor
in a short period of time to bring additional flavor to the
sound of the group.
We finished the 2005 contest season with good spirits, in
that it was our first year back on the circuit in a while.
We took home a first place finish at Round Hill, and are looking
forward to better results in 2006. We may be seeing you out
that at more contests than last year this summer, so be sure
to root us on!
Before closing out this Round Table, it would be an injustice
not to applaud the efforts of Noreen O'Callaghan on organizing
our 35th Anniversary Piper's Ball. Noreen has been with the
band just a short time, but happily took on the responsibility
of coordinating our annual dance, and came through with flying
colors. Despite the Blizzard of '06, the Ball turned out to
be one to remember. There's one catch, however. When you do
such a great job, everyone presumes you'll do it again next
year! Thanks for all your hard work Noreen.
Finally, be sure to join us at our Open
House on April 5 at 8:00pm at our practice hall in Lindenhurst.
If you have any interest in learning pipes or drums, or already
know how to play but are looking for a band, be sure to stop
down to find out what the American Celtic Pipe Band is all