Brief History

Cameron of Lochiel Tartan Crawford Tartan Black Watch Tartan Ancient MacLean of Duart

Early History

The first organized effort to gather together pipes and drums and create an official pipe band for the city of Bellingham was in 1962. The first pipe major was a bright talented young piper known as Bill Patterson and the band was named the Cameron Highlander's Pipe Band. Some of the original pipers and drummers were George MaKay, John Munroe, and Fred Marquand. The original tartan of the pipers was the Crawford tartan, and the original tartan of the drummers was the Cameron of Locheil. The full "rig" military band uniform was impressive ... and added to the show of the great music played by the pipes and drums of The Cameron Highlander's Pipe Band.

The Middle Years

As time passed, the uniform changed several times. In 1996 the band adopted the the military Black Watch tartan. Every hat imaginable has been worn by the Bellingham Pipe Band - feather bonnets, glengarrys, white foreign service helmets... However, the head gear didn't effect the stimulating march music as the band marched in parades with pomp and circumstance.

Current History

In the year 2000, the band adopted it's current uniform. The tartan is now the stunning Ancient MacLean of Duart.

Pipe Majors

Pipe MajorYears
Bill Paterson 1962- 
John Munroe  - 
Warren Clarke  - 
George McKay  - 
Bruce Merrick  - 
Ira Uhrig  -1998
Sinclair Bishop1998-2000
Peter Rolstad 2000
Craig Wood 2000-2008
Peter Rolstad 2008-Current

Each year that the pipe band has existed, the pipe majors have made contributions to our community in highland music and adding to the rich culture of ethnic heritage in communities and towns and cities where the band has performed. Students and those learning the rudiments of piping and drumming have all encountered our talented pipe majors who have set standards for the highland music played by the pipe band. Many pipers, drummers and students have come and gone as the years have past. All feel a fond connection to highland pipe band music as a result of our past and present Pipe Majors.

Drums

Every drum ever made for pipe bands has been used also, from the old leather pull wide heavy ancient bass and tenor drums to the heavy Primier sides made in England to the most recent side drum made in Japan, the Pearl high tension side drum. Pearl sides are played world wide as competition band music increasingly grows more competitive.

The Bellingham Highland Games

Bill Patterson, our first Pipe Major, and his wife Isla, were the founders of the Bellingham Highland Games, and they promoted the games for many years. The original site for the games was Bellingham Civic Field. The games were eventually moved to Hovander Park in Ferndale, where the games are held each year. Each year top bands from around the world gather at the Bellingham Highland Games, as do dancers and individual piping and athletic competitors.