bellingham pipe band
contact the band
Those interested in learning more about the band, its members or information on how to join should contact Pipe Major Peter Rolstad.
Phone: (360) 319-2815
Bellingham Pipe Band
PO Box 5809
Bellingham, WA 98227
About the band
The Bellingham Pipe Band is a self-supporting/non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, teaching and playing at a high standard, Scottish Highland bagpiping and drumming in the Bellingham and North Puget Sound region.
One of the oldest pipe bands in the Northwest, the band was originally formed in 1961 as the Clan Cameron Pipe Band, under the direction of Pipe Major Bill Paterson, who - with his family - also founded the Bellingham Highland Games that same year. The current name was adopted in the late 1960s to reflect a more local identity.
Since that time, the band has performed at literally thousands of regional events, including parades, concerts, highland games competitions, graduations, military and veteran's services, memorial ceremonies, schools, athletic and other events around the Puget Sound Area. Currently we practice, and play year round at a large variety of events, with an emphasis on continually improving our playing level for summer highland game competitions.
Recent band highlights include: Placing 2nd in Grade IV at the BC Annual Gathering in March 2005 & April 2003, Leading the Welcome Home Parade for the USS Lincoln in Everett - May 2003, playing for the Western Washington University graduations and other special events, and US Navy ceremonies at NAS Whidbey Island.
The full band, quartets, pairs, or individual pipers and drummers are also available for private performances. Please call or email for more information and availability.
History of the band
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.
In the year 2000, the band adopted it's current uniform. The tartan is now the stunning Ancient MacLean of Duart.
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.