|A Pipe and Drum Band comprised mainly of Police Officers and Firefighters from Union County N.J|
The Union County Police and Fire Pipes & Drums band is comprised of Police Officers and Firefighters from Union County, NJ. We officially became a band in October 2001, but there were many hours of practice that began in April of the same year. Our founder and Pipe Major is Ed Donnelly, a piper with six years experience and a Township of Union Firefighter. Since beginning the bagpipes, he often wondered why Union County didn't have a pipe band to call its own. When he sent notices to every fire and police station in the county he had no idea of the kind of response there would be. The first meeting - 21 want to be pipers showed, and we haven't stopped growing since. At present the band is 65 members strong, comprising of beginners, intermediates, and pipers/drummers with at least two years experience. The band was fortunate enough to acquire John Martin Bradley as our bagpipe instructor. John Bradley has 18 years of piping experience, and has appeared playing the bagpipe in the Touchstone Pictures movie Dead Poet's Society. He has also played on television in an episode of As the World Turns. John began piping in 1984 at the age of twelve with the Essex Shillelagh Pipes and Drums of New Jersey. In 1986 he began his first year of what is now sixteen years of private instruction under Pipe Major George M. Bell. P/M George M. Bell, a World Champion Piper, is regarded as one of the fathers of piping in America. Our Drumming instructor is Andy White, author of the instructional drum book Roll Control. In his career he was a studio drummer for two of the Beatles songs. He has also studio performed with Tom Jones and Burt Bacharach numerous times. The Bands kilt is the McNaughton dress plaid and contains the colors representing our members: Red for Firefighters, White, Blue for Police Officers, and Green for Ireland. Our uniform is military in style signified by the black beret with badge of members department, white spats, long-haired military sporran, and the uniform shirts/sweaters almost identical to those worn by on-duty Police and Firefighters.