The Ppes and Drums of the Charlotte Fire Department - The pipe band is part of the charlotte fire department's honor guard unit. the band performs at all CFD ceremonies and fire service events in the region. T he band was officially formed in 2001 under the command of Battalion Chief J. Thompson as part of the department's Honor Guard. Before this time the duties of piping at special events were performed by individuals (both department personnel who knew how to play and civilian). As the department grew so did the occasions where piping was needed. In 2001, a call for all department personnel interested in starting a new tradition was made and those interested showed up to the old station #4 (which is now the museum). Many had no experience. Some had been piping on their own at various skill levels. The department decided early on that the musical development and professional image of the band was a priority. At the time, Firefighter Thornburg was taking lessons from an accomplished piper in the area and pitched the idea of instructing a new pipe band. Luckily he agreed and Dave McKenzie became the band's first Instructor/Pipe Major. Dave, a member of the the successful competition band The Grandfather Mountain Highlanders convinced a band-mate living in the area to instruct the newly formed drum section. CC Zappa became the band's first Drum Sgt. The addition of talented competition musicians to instruct this new group was a critical step. Each week the members met in the upstairs room once used as the sleeping quarters by firemen decades ago. By the summer of 2003 the countless hours of practice paid off when Chief Thompson gave the band it's first assignment: the opening ceremony for The North Carolina Chief's Association which was hosted by Charlotte that year.