NewsPinellas County


Pipe Band blows away Dunedin with pride

Posted at 5:13 AM, Jul 23, 2021

DUNEDIN, Fla. — When you think about Champa Bay, the Lightning and Bucs usually come to mind. However, there is a group of musicians in Dunedin who have been winning championships long before anyone else.

Not to toot their own pipes but you don’t have to go to Scotland to hear the greatest bagpipers in the world, they’re right here in Dunedin.

“The idea for the pipe band is to make all the pipers sound like one bagpipe,” said Iain Donaldson.

As the director of the City of Dunedin Pipe Band, Donaldson knows there is a rich tradition that needs to be upheld.

“It's like golf, you are always striving for the perfect game,” said Donaldson.

While their band might not be perfect, they are pretty close. They've won several national and international competitions over the years, they're even the reigning North American Champs.

“Maybe the Lightning, the Bucs and the Rays combined,” said piper Shawn Pappas, comparing their success to Tampa Bay sports.

The band is made up of more than 100 members, ranging from high school students to senior citizens.

“It’s definitely a cool experience,” said piper Alexander Miller.

The bagpipes were introduced to the city of Scottish heritage at the junior high level back in 1957, leading to the formation of an official city band in 1964.

Pat Snair has been playing in the band since its inception.

“This set of bagpipes has been a huge addition to my life,” said Snair.

And you can’t forget about the drummers.

“You can walk down the street and just kind of feel like a celebrity,” said drummer Ben Elkins.

They are always looking for new members. The connection between this band and its city is truly unique.

“I’ve never seen that anywhere else in the world and I think other pipe bands are envious,” said Iain Donaldson.

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