The Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band was formed after World War II, in 1948, primarily by returning veterans who were dedicated to preserving and performing the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland. The Band has continued to pursue this goal in subsequent years. We pride ourselves in the music we present and have become particularly active in teaching young students so that the art of playing music on bagpipes and drums can be passed correctly on to new generations.
Three of the past influential Pipe Majors who helped shape the Band were John Everett MacLean, Alexander R. Glen and John Sullivan. During the early years, under P/M John Everett MacLean, the Band toured the competition circuit with great success winning not only in the US but in Canada. In the middle years, with younger people becoming involved, the Band, under the guidance and direction of P/M Alexander Glen, provided a place for music primarily focusing in the recreational venue playing at parades and other events. The Band, under the direction of P/M John Sullivan, worked with the musicians to transform it from a recreational unit into a competitive Pipe Band of distinction with many trophies and awards to its credit.
The Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band is currently under the direction of Pipe Major Debbie Kane. Debbie, a piper who learned in this band, has played with Rhode Island Highlanders since 1977.
The Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band is a member of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA). We currently play in Grade 4 as well as Grade 5 and are consistently doing well at Highland Games in the Northeast area.
As a Band, we work together to achieve our goals which are: to proudly come together to play Pipe Band music to the best of our ability; to offer our services to the community in the form of parades and events; to continue to improve, grow and teach the musical art Pipes and Drums; to provide an opportunity to participate and enjoy the competitiveness of the Highland Games not only as soloists but also in a Band environment; to enjoy and share our music and our friendships.
The Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band practices weekly at the Varnum Memorial Armory, 6 Main Street, East Greenwich, RI. Please check the current schedule for the most up-to-date scheduling information . We welcome visitors and anyone interested in joining our Band.