History

The band's primary goal is to foster the understanding and appreciation of Celtic music and it promotes this goal through performances, competitions and instruction.

Since its formation in the mid-1970's the band has established itself as Kentucky's pre-eminent piping and drumming group.

Organized piping and drumming in Louisville and therefore the LPB, dates to the mid-1970's. At that time, two area high schools periodically used the Great Highland Bagpipe as a part of their band programs -- Jeffersontown High School beginning in the mid-1960's and later, Floyd Central High School in southern Indiana. The Kosair Shriners also sponsored a bagpipe unit. Most original members of the band came from one of these organizations. At this time, several members of the Jeffersontown High School band made an effort to contact other pipers in the community. Robert Caudill, Skip Cleavinger, David James and Rob Modys were involved in these early sessions. Rehearsals began at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Billy Wallace was the band's first Drum Sergeant. The band had no matching gear but did manage to present several regional performances before dissolving following the departure of key members to attend college.

Shortly afterward, Bill Wallace, a member of the Kosair band, assembled some of his more promising students into the Pegasus Pipe Band. With the inclusion of weekend members from the earlier group, the band grew under PM Charlie Marlatt's direction. During this period, the band began to purchase uniforms, other matching materials, and began to compete.

PM Marlatt was a founder of the Highland Games in Carrollton, Kentucky and under his leadership the band was host to the first incarnation of that event. Dr. Andy Henry then served briefly as interim PM before Robert Caudill (a Jeffersontown H.S. alumnus who had played in the band's earliest versions) returned from college to rebuild the group once again.

From 1984 - 2005, PM Caudill organized the band around an educational format. The band's name was changed to the Louisville Pipe Band and a training program was instituted offering free instruction. Pat Benningfield led the band from 1992 - 1995 and again in 2007 - 2009 and emphasized competition success and an elevated standard of play. Currently, the band is led by Ted Palmer.

In 2000, the band was designated as the official pipe band of Kentucky.

The band chose the Henderson kilt (see pattern below) for its uniform in recognition of the historical relationship between Daniel Boone and Col. Richard Henderson. Clan Henderson assisted with the initial purchase of kilts in September 1994 and continues to kindly provide periodic financial support.

Training programs developed by the band have produced most of the members on the current roster. These members got their start as students of the band and developed into active members.

On August 7, 2011, the LPB was joined by more than 40 beginning piping/drumming students in the newly formed Louisville Police Pipe Band.. Following the traditions of the great police bands of Scotland and those in the northeast, the Louisville Police Pipe Band, organized and led by John Blumenschein, asked the LPB to help start piping and drumming students on their way to becoming a part of this fine piping and drumming tradition. The Louisville Pipe Band and new members of the Louisville Police Pipe Band are very appreciative of the welcome Father Jon and Calvary Episcopal Church have extended to each group. The goal of this endeavor is to one day have a police pipe band ready to play at police ceremonies and for parades. It is also the hope of LPB members that the police pipers and drummers will audition for full membership so they may compete with the band and in solo competitions at highland games in the spring and fall!

Many others too numerous to name, have contributed their time and talents to the goal of establishing and sustaining a quality pipe band in the city of Louisville.

We hope you too will join us in this effort.

 


 
   
 

 

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