Jim de Poortere and Steve Murray learned the art of bagpiping when they were teenagers going to high school. In 2004, they reunited and realized very little had changed, at least in their desire to play the pipes and their desire to pass this knowledge to their own children as it was once passed to them. They shared another common desire: make it fun, challenging, and most importantly keep it close to home. Fueled by these desires (and a few pints one evening), they formed the idea that became - The Guard. Another shared their aspirations: Kevin Donlon, his passion to learn and excel at the bagpipes was only surpassed by his passion to enjoy the experience. The three original founders all have enjoyed the band or team atmosphere, and provided each other a nice balance of stewardship, direction and lofty goals.
Today, what was born in a pub conversation between friends in early 2004 is now a BAND. A core group has gelled into a cohesive organization, to learn, to laugh, and to play. The Guard participates in St Patrick's Day celebrations across the area, including parades in Nutley, Belmar, Morristown, West Orange and New York City. We have appeared “Live” on the Q-104.3 “Jim Kerr in the Morning” on St. Patrick’s Day, broadcast during “Breakfast at Connolly’s” in New York. Played for Opie and Anthony's Sirius Radio Show and blasted from the stage at The HardRock Cafe in NYC. The band also has been chosen to provide musical accompaniment to the launch of Michael Collins Irish Whiskey in the metropolitan area.
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