shamrock and thistle bagpipe band
The Shamrock and Thistle Pipe Band was founded in February 1974 under the direction and tutelage of Pipe Major Dennis Staer and Drum Sergeant, William King, Sr. The original idea for the band was that of James Curry, Esquire, a Toms River attorney whose love of bagpipe music, although not a player, promoted the initial gathering of prospective students. Through long and tedious lessons, and countless hours of practice, the band began to emerge. Over the first two years, the band raised on its own, over $1,200.00 to outfit itself in the full dress highland military uniforms, including the world famous black feathered bonnet.
To outfit the band now, it costs approximately $2,500.00 per person. Parades, concerts, and contests were entered in order to offset these costs. After 37 seasons the Shamrock and Thistle Pipe Band has compiled an admirable record, including numerous appearances at festivals, ethnic affairs, and bicentennial events.
The band attended dedications all over New Jersey and New York , including the New Jersey Vietnam Memorial, Gulf War Veterans in Seaside Heights, and the 175th Anniversary in Freehold for the Adelphia Fire Company. The band recently traveled to Ireland (1998) to participate in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Scotland (2000) where we played at the Stirling Highland Games.
March of 2004 we went to Ireland and marched in the Limerick and Galway St. Patrick’s Day Parades. There we won 2 awards and brought home 2 trophies! The trips were a great success and could not have been made possible without all the hard work and determination of band members and their families. In 2007 the band once again performed abroad this time on the open seas of the Carribean on the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas from Royal Carribean.
The bright yellow color of the dress MacLeod Tartan, the “skirl” of the pipers and drummers led by Drum Major Thomas J. King, Pipe Major William J. King, Pipe Sergeant Keith A. Tice, and Drum Sergeant John J. King, will surely strike a thrill in your soul.
Our instructor for piping is: John Cumming for beginners. Drumming instructors are: Drum Sergeant John J. King for snare drummers, Thomas J. King for bass, and Tim Cook for tenor drummers.
We as a band would like to thank all members past and present as well as all who have supported us through the years especially our families. This band could never be where it is today without you.