lochaber pipe band
- August 4, 2022
In October, 1966, four pipers and one drummer gathered at the Canadian Legion Hall in Lorain for the first practice of what had already been named the Lochaber Pipe Band. Over the next few weeks, others joined them and by the end of the year the founder’s roll of the Lochaber Pipe Band was complete. The first engagement of the Band was a Social Night sponsored by the Canadian Legion, Post 54.
The Legion had agreed to allow the Band to use their hall for practice, and had purchased a bass drum for the Band. In return, the Band agreed to play for Legion functions as needed.
In the fall of 1967, the Band held the first of what has become their Annual Highland Ball. The event was held at the upstairs hall of the Elyria Eagles, and was billed as “A Social Evening with the Lochaber Pipe Band”. Admission was $2.50 per person. This event evolved into being called “The Mayor’s Ball” honoring the Mayor’s of neighboring Cities.
Eventually it became Simply “The Lochaber Highland Ball” Venues for the dance has evolved from the Elyria Eagles through our current location, the Amherst Eagles. The first few dances offered no refreshments, then for some year’s meat pies or sandwiches were served, with the Band now offering a full buffet dinner and dance. The event is usually held the first or second Saturday after Easter.
Officers have remained almost constant over the years with Allister Wright serving as Pipe Major and John Noble is the new Master of the Privy Purse. Walter Burke became Drum Major of the Band shortly after it was formed, serving until his retirement in 1985 followed by Art Sweet, Ron Tennant, and our current Drum Major, Steven Heider.
In 1991, the Band filed for and received official status as a non-profit organization. The Band is a 501(c)(3) not for Profit Corporation. All proceeds from band engagements and functions remains in the Band treasury to purchase uniforms, equipment, and supplies and provide for educational and charitable endeavors.
While the Band is not primarily a competition Band, we have competed successfully winning firsts, seconds and thirds in Grade 5 at the Ohio Scottish Games, Ligonier, Sarnia and Detroit.
Since its inception, the Band wore the Royal Stewart tartan. In 1998, new kilts were purchased in the Black Stewart tartan giving the Band a new look to enter the new Millennium. The Band has had engagements in places as diverse as Canada, Michigan, West Virginia, the Lake Erie Islands, New York and many venues in Ohio.