Irish style piping has a long history in St. Louis and it's surrounding area. In 1764 the British took charge of Fort Chartres near St. Louis. They garrisoned the fort with the Irish Fusilliers. The pipers of the Irish Fusilliers were said to be the best military pipers in the world. Irish Warpipes were played during the 1800's in the old Kerry Patch area according to news stories. In 1923 Father Tim Dempsey formed a pipeband whose motto was Faugh A Ballagh. This has been the motto of Irish pipebands in past years. In Irish it means Clear the Way. It was the motto of the Royal Irish Rangers pipeband in recent years. I was lucky enough to have known pipers Fahey and Lavin. Both had played with Fr. Dempsey's band. I was the last piper to receive instruction from Pete Sullivan, a piper from Co. Kerry. Pete was a great piper and teacher. I also had the benefit of some instruction from Vic Masterson and Dave Holmes. I do solo work for weddings and funerals, and band work with the St. Louis Irish Pipes and Drums. I am a member of the Musicians Association of St. Louis, local 2-197. The spirit of Irish pipe music is still alive and well in St. Louis.
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