|The first high school pipe band in Maryland, founded at Robert E. Peary High School in Rockville in 1961.|
The Rockville High School Pipe Band was originally formed in 1961 at Robert E. Peary High School, Rockville, Maryland. At the time, the Pipe Band was the first and only high school pipe band in the state of Maryland. (A second high school pipe band would later form at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, MD.) The Band remained at Peary High School until 1984, when it was closed down. As the 1984-1985 academic year began, the Pipe Band, as well as many of Peary students and special programs, was moved to Rockville High School. After doing much research, founding members of the Pipe Band chose the Ancient Hunting MacMillan tartan to honor Rear Admiral Donald Baxter MacMillan, a Scots-American who was second-in-command on ... Peary's polar expedition in 1909. Admiral MacMillan was alive when the band was formed, and he, through General Sir Gordon MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap, Chief of Clan MacMillan, granted permission for the Band to use the tartan. Because of the unique nature of the Pipe Band program, the Band has participated in literally thousands of performances. Some of its more notable performances include concerts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Washington, DC; the nationally televised Bicentennial Parade; the dedication parade for the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial; a Redskins half-time show; the world premeires of the movies Patton and a Bridge Too Far; and, more recently, appearances on local television broadcasts such as WUSA-TV's Broadcast House Live in 1994 and 1995, and WTTG-TV's FOX Morning News in 1998. The Pipe Band also made several international appearances, including parades in Toronto, ON, Canada, and tours of Scotland on four seperate occasions. The Band has also participated in many Scottish events and competitions up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, sometimes beating out many adult bands. Of course, not all performances are so extraordinary. The majority of the Band's performances have been for events in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, metropolitan areas. Annually, the Pipe Band performs in Alexandria's and Baltimore's St. Patrick's Day Parades; Rockville's Memorial Day Parade, in which it has won several awards; the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC (The Band has performed at every Marathon since the beginning.); Kensington's Labor Day Parade; and, of course, various functions for Rockville High School (Homecoming, Graduation) and Peary Alumni (Reunions). For over 30 years, the Pipe Band has also been responsible for holding the annual National Capital Area Scottish Festival (NCASF), which attracts hundreds of people each year. Many local bands and Celtic acts, including the Pipe Band, perform at the event for free, allowing the Pipe Band to earn the profits from the event. The NCASF is the Band's primary fundraiser throughout the year. The Pipe Band has produced many talented pipers and drummers, with most of them moving into college and adult bands. Many of them continue to compete regularly in individual competitions, often walking away with top trophies.