Count backward to 1958. How many early Valley landmarks still hold their identity today after all that time? One of those landmarks is the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band.
The Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band is the oldest continuously running pipe band in Arizona. One of the founding members, Joe Leonard, was still with the band until moving to Florida in 2002. He and his brother Bill moved to Phoenix in 1958 from upstate New York, where both brothers had played drums with a pipe band. The magnetism of their interest drew a few others from Tempe who played pipes and drums. They set up a practice in Coronado Park, and within a short time they had collected several other musicians who had gotten their start in military pipe bands in Scotland and Canada. The Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band was on its way. Their teamwork in music overcame the mix of tartans in the kilts they wore. The band's public debut came in 1958 at the Prescott Rodeo Parade. We were quite a sensation with the cowboys, Joe Leonard recalls. In time the Band upgraded from the original Pakistani-made bagpipes to Scots-made pipes. They also settled on military-style uniforms with kilts in the tartan worn by the Seaforth Highlanders, a Scottish unit of the British Army. -
Created: 09/23/2005 ::
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