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!
October 18, 2010
It's been over a year since our last Round Table entry. How do I sum
up a year in just a few short paragraphs? It won't be easy, but I'll
give it my best. In lieu of writing in great detail about a glorious St.
Patrick's Day season (we're closer to the next one than we are to the
last one) I'll focus my thoughts on the 2010 competition season.
The 2010 competition season consisted of two events. At Rockland, we
placed last. 14th out of 14. There were 14 bands and each piping judge
gave us 14th. We received a 14 in Ensemble, as well. The drummers, who
had been working hard all season long, took 9th overall. Now normally
you might say "why would you even bother competing at another?!" But our
story doesn't end there.
This wasn't the American Celtic Pipe Band of years past. We didn't go
out there with pipers carrying 20, 10, 5 or even 2 years of experience
under their sporrans. We went out with 6 bagpipers, 3 snares, 3 tenors
and a bass. 13 playing members. Less than half with contest experience.
Pat Ryan and Connor Frances were the only pipers left from 2009, and
Bill Meehan, fresh off a return from Band Camp out west, also re-entered
to contest circle for the first time in years. The other three pipers
were players who - in June - weren't even considering competition. Peggy
Gould, Sean O'Donnell and JoJo Vanderveldt were focused on learning
music, getting drones going and figuring out how to strike up their bag.
All things they continued to work on up to (and even after) the
competition. On the drumming side, we had Mike Cronin Jr. and Walt
Frances on snare and Harry Resnick on tenor coming back from 2009. After
that, it was the first time out for John Bertino (snare), Michelle
LeClaire (Tenor) and Becca Rothmaler (Tenor). Mike Cronin Sr. saved the
day (just like Nassau 2009) by strapping on the bass drum - once again
without a day of practice.
The Rockland Feis was not about winning a competition. It was about
starting something new from the ground up. It was about giving our drum
corps the opportunity to see if their hard work during the offseason
would pay off. When we finished competing, every single one of us was
proud of our performance. Each person who competed played a critical
role in the future of the American Celtic simply by being there. The
judges that day told us what they thought of us in comparison to the
other bands, but they don’t know where we came from to get this far.
Rockland was a huge step for all of us.
The band had expected to play at Hunter 5 weeks later, but the numbers
just couldn't justify it. When you're working with 6 bagpipers to begin
with, the margin for error is very slim. So our next and final contest
of the season was Nassau. And while we were thin and inexperienced at
Rockland, we were even moreso at Nassau. We had only 5 pipers that day.
No Connor Frances. No Pat Ryan. Only James Elliot as the lone hold-over
from 2009 to lead the band out onto the field. With the help of Scott
Gajdos setting us up, and the performance of Billy, Peggy, Sean and
JoJo, the band took 6th out of 9. Yes, once again, we receive points for
year-end standings. Those points wouldn't have been possible without our
drum corps. They're pretty much the reason we started this whole season
to begin with, weren't they? Coming off the disappointment of 9th at
Rockland, the drummers came in 4th at Nassau - the best performance for
an American Celtic drum corps in decades.
One look at our roster and you can probably identify 9 or 10 bagpipers
who might be a welcome addition to any Grade 5 pipe corps. In 2010, life
got in the way of bagpiping. In 2011, we have a new foundation on which
to build. We may see more new faces, and hopefully we'll see some old
ones too. Our drum corps continues to improve under Mike Cronin's
leadership. And our pipe corps, though getting younger, is certainly
getting more experienced. 2010 was a fresh start. Now that the year is
coming to a close, and all of those "newby's" have a couple of contest
under their belts, who knows what 2011 will bring.
September 23, 2009
The band wrapped up the 2009 competition season by competing at the
annual AOH Nassau County Feis, which was held this year at Molloy
College. The band came prepared but knew they were going in as an
underdog. You see, going into the event, we knew we would have only 5
pipers, 2 snares, 1 tenor and 1 bass drummer competing.
What we did not know was that change was in the air before we got
into the circle. Three pipe reeds had to be replaced with new ones
during tuning. A hole appeared in one of the snare drums and the bands
regular bass drummer was unable to make it, getting stuck on the
Bayville bridge. As a result, drummer Mike
Cronin Sr., having never played bass before, stepped up and strapped on
the bass about one hour before step off. After playing the set a few
times through with Mike on the bass, the band was off to the circle.
With all odds against us, the ACPB competition band gave it their all
with the bare minimum. Out of the 6 competing bands the band placed 4th
and 6th in piping, 4th in ensemble, and 3rd in drumming. The band placed
4th overall which - remarkably - earned us 3 champion supreme points.
That meager point total placed the band 41st out of 113 pipe bands in
the EUSPBA Grade 5 annual rankings. We'll take it!
The Nassau Feis was a great day for solo performers from the American
Celtic Pipe Band. James Elliot finally entered the contest circuit
and took 6th place in the Grade 4 Junior 2/4 March! Congratulation James
- this was a good taste of what's to come in 2010! Tom Ryan - now a
grizzled veteran amongst the solo ranks, took 2nd in the Grade 4 Senior
2/4 March, and Pipe Major Pat Ryan took 2nd in the Grade 3
Strathspey/Reel and 4th in the Grade 3 2/4 March. It was Pat's first
time ever competing in a Strathspey/Reel contest. Congratulations to all
members of the competition band on such a great season! We all look
forward to the 2010 competition season which will be here before we know
We need to toss out an extra special thank you to the Siol na
h'Eireann Pipe Band, who placed 3rd in the Grade 5 pipe band
competition. As mentioned above, we competed with the bare minimum in
all sections of the competition band. By the time massed bands came
around that day, we were down a few more players... Because of family
commitments, excessive travel for our Maine contingent, and other
reasons, we were faced with the prospect of participating in massed
bands with 2 pipers and 2 drummers. Not something we were too keen on
doing. The members of Siol na h'Eireann allowed us to participate with
them during the closing ceremonies, and for that we are extremely
thankful. What a great group of people in both their generosity and
August 17, 2009
The band made its way up to the Hunter Mountain and competed in the
Grade 5 competition on Sunday on one of the hottest days of the year.
Fortunately, Cutch and Tom thought ahead and brought with them two nice
tents - which not only provided the band with cover but a nice place to
set up home camp for the day.
Kelly, on the other hand, provided us with something else which as a
view that none of can quite erase from our memories. At least we all
know the answer to the age old question “boxers or briefs." Please
Kelly, if you are ever pulled over on the way to a Feis stay in the car!
After much preparation and tuning the band hit the circle and gave it
their all at 10:56. In a little over three minutes it was all over and
in the hands of the judges. Overall, the band was pleased with the
performance. The tuning was not quite what we expected, since our Pipe
Major made the field decision to tune dramatically sharper than normal.
And we had one pipe chanter swapped out just 10 minutes before
game-time. There's always something... Alas, our high expectations
were not achieved - in large part to the tuning issues. C'est la vie -
we'll get 'em next time.
Following the competition, the band participated in the Mid-Day parade
which Peggy Gould marched in for the first time. Although the parade was
short the band sounded strong and proudly marched through the
fairgrounds. Drum Major Brian Graham also participated in his first
Hunter Mountain parade as Drum Major.
Mass bands are always a highlight of Hunter Mountain and this year was
no exception. First timers Brian Graham and Peggy Gould enjoyed the
march down the mountain along with the rest of the band. All band
members managed to stay on their feet with no slip and falls.
A great day was had by all band and family members who made the trip!
July 22, 2009
The ACPB’s competition season began on Sunday, July 19th at the
Rockland County Feis. The Feis was held on a beautiful summer's day at
Anthony Wayne State Park in Stony Point, NY. In addition to the band
competing, Pipe Major Pat Ryan and his brother, Tom Ryan, both
participated in solo competitions. It was Pat's first solo contest in 15
years, and he finished in fine form, taking 6th place in the Grade 3 2/4
Unfortunately the day did not fare as well for the ACPB competition
band. The band took 12th place out of 13 bands. A couple of early E’s, a
late E, a fingering mistake, and a broken drum frame before we went on
contributed to the poor results. It would seem that, once again, “we
left our best performance under the trees.”
The band took six pipers, 2 snares and the bass drum to Rockland. On
pipes were PM Pat Ryan, Tom Ryan, Mike McMillin, James Elliot, Donna
Elliot, and Connor Francis. On snares were Walt Francis and Mike Cronin,
Jr. And on the skins was the ever present and capable bass drummer Brian
McCutcheon. Thanks for stepping in at the last minute Brian!! What time
did you get dressed anyway?
Although the results were not what he had hoped for, everyone had a
great time and the band is looking forward to Hunter Mountain on August
July 7, 2009
Spring has come and gone here on Long Island and the ACPB has been
very active. The weather feels more like Ireland than Long Island but
the band has been practicing and playing out.
Unfortunately the current scrivener has been lax in his duties so
here is a recap of what the band has been up to in the recent months.
Monday May 25th – Lindenhurst Memorial Day Parade
Once again the band had the honor of marching with the men and women
of the American Legion Post 1120 in the annual Lindenhurst Memorial
parade. After playing in a ceremony in the Breslau Cemetery before the
parade, the band continued down Wellwood Avenue honoring those veterans
who have passed on. Cutch was seen with his brand new set of gleaming
pipes out for their first parade.
Saturday May 30th – Amityville Historical Society Fair
The band played at the Village of Amityville’s Historical Fair on
Park Ave. The band had a strong showing and sounded great on a beautiful
spring day. Thanks to Peggy Gould for setting up the gig.
Friday June 26th – Deer Park High School Graduation
The band played the first of its two graduation ceremonies of the
year. The ceremony was moved indoors inside of Deer Park HS due to down
pours outside. Although it was short the performance was strong as the
band marched the 2009 graduation class to their seats. Tom, please
re-hemp your pipes.
Saturday June 27th – Babylon High School Graduation
What a difference a day makes. On a bright and sunny Saturday morning
the band played at the annual Babylon HS graduation ceremony. PM and
Babylon alumni Pat Ryan led the band across the field to the tunes of
American 2 (over and over again). The band was able to negotiate the
maze of chairs and emerge unscathed on the other side of the dais.
Following the ceremony the competition band returned to the gym for a
competition practice. “Expression people, expression” was heard echoing
around the gymnasium with the sound of pipes in the background.
Saturday July 4th – Southampton Parade
The band played out in Southampton on a perfect sunny Independence
Day. Once again the band had s strong showing. Tom Mac showed that not
only was he a piper but “the voice” of ACPB as he was interviewed on the
parade route by a woman with a camera.
The band had the honor of playing once again with former piping
instructor Scott Gadjos who returned home from Belfast for a brief
“holiday” here on the island. Fortunately, no styrofoam coolers were
kept on the bus so the were no flying pipers on the ride home.
This was the first parade for new Piper Sean O'Donnell. Well done!!
Also marching with the band on the parade route were bass drummer
Kelly Linden’s father, himself a decorated Marine, and son Liam wearing
grandpa’s medals. Following the parade Kelly hosted a 4th of July party
back at his house. Thanks Kelly.
The competition band has been hard at work preparing for the
competition season. Joining the band this season is piper Tom Ryan. The
competition band will be competing at the Rockland county Feis on July
19th, Hunter Mountain on August 16th and at the Nassau Feis on September
The band has been working hard for many months and looks forward to
the upcoming competitions. Win or lose hopefully we are able to find
that mythical keg at the top of Hunter Mountain once again before mass
bands. Just somebody please keep an eye on Mc dot dot so he does not
slide down the mountain again.
Remember all members of the band are invited to the competitions
whether you are competing or not. Each one is a lot of fun.
In addition to ACPB competition band PM Pat Ryan and Tom Ryan will be
competing solo at the Rockland Feis.
The band marches on…
Next band dates:
- July 11th - Mastic beach Fire Department Parade
- August 8th - Sayville Fire Department Parade
Please stay tuned as I, your humble scrivener pledge to keep current
on all the band news…
March 26, 2009
The 2009 parade season is drawing to a close and
that means that the ACPB could be found at the Rockville Centre and
Montauk parades this time of March.
The band played at the annual Rockville Centre parade. The good weather
streak continued here and the band had a very strong showing once
again. Post-parade festivities were celebrated at Monohan's, and many in
the group received a worthwhile education in the game of Rugby thanks to
Tom McCarthy. Special congratulations to the Ireland Rugby team on their
Grand Slam victory.
The band wrapped up its 2009 parade season out in Montauk. We had the
luxury of playing in the 1st group of the parade this
year. The band continued its strong showing with an impressive march
through the village of Montauk despite some untimely sock issues and the
Drum major suffering a major Ghille blow out. Where was Scott when
Brian needed him? The weather was great and the crowds were out in large
numbers to cheer us on. There was only one question that arose from the
day. Are your pipes still on the bus Tommy?
It was the first time that Peggy Gould had marched
in Montauk as a piper in ACPB and the Graham family was out to show
their support. Congrats Peggy. Speaking of the Graham’s, once again the
Graham family opened their house and their hospitality to the band by
inviting us to their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration at their
beautiful house in Montauk. After playing a set out front the band was
treated to the worlds best Irish coffee and Murphy’s stout out back on
the deck. Former band member Kevin Graham provided a rare treat of a
limited edition ceremonial keg of German lager of which there were only
100 in the United States. Make that 99 now.
Many thanks again to the Graham family for their
incredible hospitality. That wraps up the 2009 marching season round
table. Remember just because the season ended does not mean that the
round table posts will end. Keep checking in for ACPB updates
throughout the year. Competition season will be upon us soon, as well as
the summer parades. Oh and when will that beer be ready Walt?
March 19, 2009
And the band marches on…
Parade season continued on this past weekend for
the ACPB. The band played at 6 different functions between 03/13 and
03/17 so here we go:
The ACPB had a great showing at the Flowerfields St. Patrick Day
Party in St James. The evening began with Tom MacCarthy christening a
table, the floor and at least one pipe bag (mine) with what appeared to
be a Diet Coke. The Diet Coke was doing nothing more than sitting in the
table when it was sent in motion by Tom’s bass drone. Following the
cleanup, the band tuned up and played a great show. All the party goers
really enjoyed it. Amazing Grace was played with PM Pat Ryan leading
the way with his solo. Roger McDowell, oh I mean Robin Adair was played
and the band really come together on it.
Westhampton Beach Parade
The next morning found the band out east in Westhampton for the
parade. Unfortunately the ranks of the band were al little lighter then
they had been at previous parade but as they say, “the band played on”.
Connor Francis took a spot in the 1st row for the parade.
Just hours after the Westhampton Parade Mike McMillin and James Keenan
participated in St. Baldrick’s at Napper Tandy’s in Northport. Both Mike
and James raised money for research into childhood cancer. Then they had
their heads shaved as part of the fundraiser. Pat Ryan, Mike McMillin,
Brian McCutcheon, Connor Francis, Tom MacCarthy, and Walt Francis played
at the event. The crowd at the bar loved it. So did the people running
the St. Baldrick's foundation. The band played on as Mike ascended the
stage in kilt and had his head shaved. Of course Connor was seen eating
out in the beer tent as the others enjoyed some nice pints of Guinness.
American Legion St. Patrick's Day Dance
That night ACPB was playing at the American Legion St. Patrick’s Day
party. The band once again had a strong showing at the hall and all of
the party goers enjoyed it. The show capped off a very busy day with
Bayport/Blue Point Parade
The band played at the Annual Bayport/Blue Point St Patrick’s
Day parade. The weather was perfect for playing and the band had a
much larger showing than at Westhampton. Marty was in search of a
long missing kilt and a large bald man was seen hiding in a volunteer
ambulance as it passed by the assembled band. The driver’s side window
was seen being rolled up as the ambulance passed by. New bass drummer
Kelly Linden was once again on the bass and kept a strong booming beat
for the band to follow.
Following the parade several band members went to
the Brick House Brewery in Patchogue where they were seen sampling some
of the excellent home brewed beers at the establishment. While partaking
in the liquid refreshment, Brian, Tom, Mike, Walt, Connor and Kelly were
asked to play a few tunes for a fund raiser that was being held there.
Being all too happy to play (with beers being purchased for them) the
group set into a nice set which was anchored by Connor playing a solo in
Amazing Grace. Nice job Connor. The real question of the day was why
were Tommy and Brian left unattended in a bar together alone with no
St Patrick Day Parade –NYC
The band once again had the distinct honor to play
for the 69th Infantry’s Veterans Association at the annual
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. The weather was beautiful and the band
looked and sounded great!! The band’s yearly band photo on the steps of
the library appears to be a cover shot for some magazine with all the
tourists taking pictures themselves.
The band fielded pipers and drummers for the
parade. Brian Graham led the band up the Avenue. Peggy Gould and Kathy
Whelan made their first march up Fifth Ave with the band.
Congratulations ladies - you made it. Tom MacCarthy considered pulling
the plugs on his drones for the parade but then thought better of it.
Pat did his best uniform inspection yet and dished out many a lesson as
to the appropriate way that flashes should be worn on the hose. Hey Pat
can you please turn down your IPOD on the bus. Brian is trying to
listen to his.
The parade kicked off right on time and the band
kept up a nice quick tempo. Pat did his best to test the endurance of
the new and old pipers when he called Garryowen 2 blocks before the
reviewing stand and continued to play it for a total of 5 times. After
the parade, the comment overheard at Mad River was “I don’t know how
you guys played Garryowen five times. I have enough trouble faking it
After a very interesting band photo with a
“suspect” photographer at the end of the parade the band set off for the
Mad River Grille. I wonder how that picture will look in Germany Cutch?
Once at the Mad River the band discovered that the place was more of a
bar than a Grille. Sadly Connor, James and Junior were seen standing
outside looking dejected after being denied entry. After some coaxing
and negotiating by Mc dash dash the younger fellows were allowed to
enter. Can you guys please grow any quicker? Mc dash dash wants to
The band played a great set inside of the Mad River
and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. Pat and Sean Meehan played solos.
Several band members showed off their non “band related” talents. Mike
Mc dash dash was seen performing his best American Idol impression
throughout the afternoon leading several sing-alongs and Walt showed
that not only is he a talented chemist he also understands physics as he
was spinning a pint of Guinness over his head. Several gasps were heard
from the crowd with each swing!!
The bus ride home brought more fun with a lovely
duet of Tom MacCarthy and Bill Meehan. We did not know you had such
lovely singing voices. Then Tom treated us all to an attempted solo in
the aisle of the bus as he played Minstrel Boy with all his drones
open. What a perfect way to end the day.
Before closing out this entry of the Round
Table, we’d like to convey our condolences to the Police Pipes and
Drums of Bergen County.
Steve Dunne, a tenor drummer with the Police
Pipes and Drums of Bergen County, tragically suffered a fatal heart
attack on the corner of 75th St and 5th Ave
and passed away while in the line of march. Our thoughts and prayers
go out to his family and the members of the band.
March 10, 2009
A new year bring to us a new scrivener for the
American Celtic Pipe Band's Round Table. Off we go...
Parade season is in full swing here on Long Island.
The band kicked off the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day season on March 1st
in Bethpage. March certainly came in like a lion with a bitterly cold
parade followed by a whopping 14 inch snowfall that night. The band had
a strong showing at Bethpage with new pipers Peggy Graham and Kathy
Whelan marching for the first time. Good job ladies!! Following the
parade the band warmed up at the St Martin of Tours party and played a
few sets to the crowd.
The following weekend, it was off to Huntington.
What a difference a week makes. We had some beautiful weather here on
Long Island this past weekend. All the snow from last week’s snowstorm
melted just in time for the annual Huntington St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Although traffic and parking was a nightmare the band had 14 pipers and
4 drummers making it to the parade. The band also welcomed Kelly Linden
to American Celtic. Kelly is an experienced bass drummer who enjoyed
his first parade with the band.
Following the parade the band ventured off to
Finnegan’s Pub where we marched through the bar and out to the back to
the waiting kegs which unfortunately were not covered by a tent this
year. The raindrops began to fall as we all enjoyed a few pints in the
rain. Of course Connor was enjoying some food too.
The band will be busy this week, too. Following our
normal Wednesday night practice we will be playing at Flowerfields on
Friday. Saturday brings up the Westhampton Parade in the morning and the
American Legion Hall St. Patrick Day party that night. On Sunday, the
band will be found at the Bayport/Blue Point parade.
On Saturday between the parade and the American
Legion party Mike McMillin, James Keenan, and Damien Murray Jr. will be
having their heads shaved at
Napper Tandy’s in Northport. They are raising money for the
St. Baldricks Foundation. St Baldricks raises money for research in
childhood cancer. Come on out to support them in this cause!
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
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