Local pipe band brings Scottish culture to Vero Beach


Performing at First Presbyterian Church for their annual Kirkin’ O’er the Tartans Scottish Blessing services, April 29, 2018.

On a clear Tuesday evening, if you listen carefully, you might hear the sound of bagpipes drifting through the night air. It’s coming from First Presbyterian Church, where the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums hold their weekly rehearsals. Exciting things are happening for this traditional Scottish regimental pipe band as they gear up for this year’s concert season.

The Vero Beach Pipes and Drums is under the direction of Pipe Major Jacob Craig, Drum Major John Thompson, and Pipe Sergeant Jack Anderson. As a fully accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, they embrace Scottish culture as well as traditional dress and values.

The band, which is available for hire at private events, has several public performances coming this fall. Two performances are scheduled during the Downtown Friday event on 14th Avenue in Vero Beach on September 28 from 6-9pm. The band will perform at 7pm and 8pm respectively.

Each year, the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums holds one fundraiser concert. Proceeds benefit the education and promotion of Scottish culture and heritage throughout the community. This year, the performance will feature a collaboration with the Vero Beach High School Celtic Club. It will be held at 7:00pm on November 10 at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Royal Palm Boulevard, Vero Beach. This performance is free to the public; a suggested $10 donation will be accepted at the door.

It’s no secret that the band members love what they do. Dr. Alex Ross is one of the band’s bagpipers and treasurer. He says, “Seeing how much those we play for enjoy a good pipe & drum band is especially great.  Even the rehearsals are a wonderful experience: working together to develop an even better sound and execution.”  Ian Clark, another one of the band’s bagpipers, says, “Sharing the music and the emotion connected to it is my favorite part of the piping experience.”

Currently, the band is recruiting drummers and has an immediate need for a Drum Sergeant (a paid position). The Drum Sergeant, ideally, is someone with a professional background in music specializing in percussion and/or experience playing drums in a Scottish Pipe Band. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm at First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach.

The Vero Beach Pipes and Drums is a community-based regimental Scottish Pipe Band consisting of bagpipers and drummers from throughout the Treasure Coast. Their goal is to perform, entertain, educate, and bring Scottish culture and values to the community. Through education, practice, performance, and competition, the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums aim to enhance their community through standards of excellence at all levels.

To find out more about the band or receive information on how you can have them perform at your upcoming event, contact Jacob Craig, Pipe Major, at (772) 696-2546, vbpipesdrums@gmail.com, or visit http://www.verobeachpipesanddrums.org.

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