Centennial Update: Virtual Trip to Scotland

The 100 year old Schenectady Pipe Band is going to Scotland to compete in the World Pipe Band Championship competition.  Follow along with us on the Band’s Facebook page as we begin our journey on August3rd.  Be a part of this experience for their 2 weeks of music and fun!  Were going to be doing daily Vlogs (video blogs) and posting as many photos of our trip.  Starting with packing and checking in at the air port to early morning practices to finally the worlds.  It will be like you’re right there with us.  The Vlogs will be posted to our YouTube channel and shared on our Facebook page in the morning, (eastern time).  Don’t forget to give us a like on Facebook and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.  Links are below.

Facebook    YouTube

 

Centennial History: Our 1st Pipe Major, Isaac L. Riddell

Isaac L. Riddell, pictured here with his wife Margaret Scott Riddell. Early 1930’s

With the band in the middle of it’s Centennial Celebration and we have been looking into the past to find out more about our bands history, mainly the man who started the band, Isaac L. Riddell, our very first Pipe Major.

With help for multiple sources we have found that Isaac; born 6 Aug, 1882, from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire Scotland, immigrated to the United States around 1910, at the age of 27.  He settled in Barre Vermont and worked as a stone cutter.  We’ve found multiple articles printed in the Barre Times that have him playing bagpipes at clan dinners, weddings, and other functions between 1910 and 1916.

Article from The Barre Daily Times dated July 29, 1912

In 1917, Isaac moved his family from Barre Vt. to Schenectady to start The Schenectady Pipe Band and work for General Electric. In a 1920 United States Federal Census, it lists him living in Glenville with his wife and family and was a Coil Molder at GE.  His son William Riddell also played in the band.  Isaac still has family that lives in the area.

From 1917 until the time of his death in 1938, from Stonecutters TB, (known today as silicosis), Isaac was part of the Schenectady Pipe Band.  We have been around for 100 years but we never would of been where or who we are today without Isaac.  As we look back onto our history we remember the people the came before us to make the band what it is today and we look forward to what the future holds. 

William Riddell, third from the left, is pictured here with the band cir. 1950’s.

Check back often, as we look for more information on our early history.  We would like to thank Martha Riddell Fowler, Isaac’s Granddaughter, for the providing us the picture of Isaac and his wife, Margaret.

On Monday we’ll rest….

•Phew…what a weekend.  One golf tourney, one parade, and two graduations.  Time to hang up the kilts and rest our feet for a few days before we have another parade.

This busy weekend started on Friday morning at the Stadium Golf Course in Schenectady for the 23rd Annual Capital District Scottish Games Charity Golf Tournament.  Every year band members play in and run the CDSG Charity Golf Tourney which raises money for St. Anne’s Institute in Albany.   This year we raised over $8000 for St. Anne’s.

 

After the Golf Tourney, the same band members that played golf and ran the tourney, did a quick change and headed for Proctors in downtown Schenectady for Clarkson College’s Graduate Commencement.

With the tourney and graduation under our belts Saturday gave us Saratoga’s Flag Day Parade.  With a step off time of 12 noon, and most members waking a bit tired and groggy from the busy day before, we all made it up the north way on time for the parade.  And what a parade, with folks lined up in some places 10 to 15 deep on the sidewalks,  a C-130 buzzing the parade route, American flag waving and flying with the sun shining, it sure was a great day for a parade.  One, we hope to be invited back to every year.

Sunday gave us our last job of the weekend.  Union College’s undergraduate Commencement.  The weather man said it was going to be hot, but the word hot doesn’t quite fit when you’re in your full military kit.   With plaids and feather bonnets blowing in the wind, we set off to lead the graduates to their degrees.

How Union’s Graduation goes:

Show up at Union parking lot, 8:30am right on the dot.
Get dressed, tuned and looking smart, now its time to give this graduation its start.
A bus ride across campus, to wait for the start sign and then.
First though the students leading the president and platform party, then across campus to pick up the faculty.
Then back through the students and turn left.
Down to the knot and around it, wait for the president to appear and start off down the isle.
Bring them in and play while students are seated, then back out again and wait till needed.
Wait about 45 minutes to an hour, and then we’ll get the time to get dressed reminder.
Get those tunic and plaids back on, tune, golf card pick up and then we’re on.
Back down the isle, countermarch and back out.
Back around the Knot and down in front.
Circle and play while everyone is watching, Scotland The Brave set without stopping.
Band dismissed, we all turn and exit, walk back to our cars and relax a bit.
Say our goodbyes, I’ll see you on Tuesday.
That’s it, the end, till next year Union.



Total Miles Marched: 2 & Change
Tunes Played: All of them
Holes Golfed: 18
Drum Heads Broken: 1
Sweat sweated: Gallons

 

What a Crawl it was….

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that came out and supported our Pub Crawl this past Saturday, March 25th.  What a time we had….even though it’s start was a bit rocky, we forged ahead and had a great time along the way.

We would especially like to thank our crawl stops, Clinton’s Ditch, Katie O’Byrnes, Pinhead Susan’s, Centre Street Pub, & The Schenectady AOH for their hospitality, generosity and support.  Also a very big thank you to our very own Bill Schmitt for coming up with, planning, & running this event!!

And last but not least….Congratulations to Nancy Zieker on winning the Trip to Scotland Raffle.  Thank you to all that entered.

We even made the Schenectady Gazette on Sunday 3/26

•For pictures of the event    Click Here
(photos are owned by Matthew J. Kelly, any reproduction or use without his written consent is prohibited)

The chance of a life time!!

spb_100_concert_logo


AND THE WINNER IS……..

Congratulations to Nancy Zieker on winning the raffle!!  We hope you enjoy your trip with us.


The Schenectady Pipe Band will travel to Scotland to compete in the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships in August of 2017.

We’ll be leaving from JFK on August 3rd, 2017, and we would love to have you come with us.  Just to make it possible, we will be selling raffle tickets that could put you and a companion on a seat on that flight, and also a week’s lodging at Stirling University where the Band will be staying.

Only a maximum of 300 raffle tickets will be sold, and the drawing will be held at the Band’s Pub Crawl in April.  And don’t need to be present to win, and if for some reason you’re unable to travel with us, you can choose an alternate prize of $2,000.

So buy a raffle ticket before they’re all sold out!!  Just send a $25 check, made out to The Schenectady Pipe Band, to P.O. Box 13792, Albany, NY 12212.  Include your Name, Address, Phone Number, and email address, and we’ll enter you in the raffle and send your ticket stub back to you.

Sounds of a Century Concert

spb_100_concert_logoThe Schenectady Pipe Band, a Celtic heritage organization based in upstate New York is proud to announce the celebration of their centennial year.  As one of the oldest bagpipe bands in North America, The Schenectady Pipe Band was formed in 1917 when a stone cutter from Vermont named Isaac Riddell was chosen as the band’s first Pipe Major.  Mr. Riddell relocated to Schenectady NY and began a 100 year tradition of musical excellence that, in addition to winning the band multiple musical awards and championships, has  showcased their talents for international dignitaries, rock stars and thousands of loyal fans.

On November 27th, The Schenectady Pipe Band will present “A Century of Sound” at Proctors GE Theater.  We’ll record our second CD to commemorate the Centennial that afternoon, with lots of new music that the Band has been rehearsing. We’re doing this in partnership with the Schenectady St Andrews Society.

Get your tickets early at  Procters website as there are only 440 seats at this awesome venue. You’ll want to be part of this live recording. The concert begins at 3 PM, and an after concert gathering is planned at the AOH Celtic Crossing, 1748 State St.

Purchase Concert Tickets

An Evening of Piping

This past Saturday April 9th, The SPB hosted An Evening of Piping at the Celtic Hall in Albany.  The evenings featured piper’s were Cameron Drummond & Alasdair Henderson, Pipe Sergeant from The Inveraray & District Pipe Band.   The event was well attended and it was great to have two pipers of their talent in the Capital District.  We hope to hold this event again.  Check our Facebook page for photos & videos from the night.  

SPB Garage Sale!!

Come support your local bagpipe band!!

The Schenectady Pipe Band will be holding a Multi-family Garage Sale.  The sale will run from Friday April 22nd through Sunday April 24th.  New items added everyday.  All proceeds will go to benefit the band’s Centennial Celebration in 2017.


Location:
799 Rainbow Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303
Friday 4/22 | 9am-4pm
Saturday 4/23 | 8am-4pm
Sunday 4/24 |10am-3pm

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St. Patrick’s Day Parades

The St. Patrick’s Day season has come and gone.  With three parades and a performance under our belts, we’re off and running on the 2016 band season.

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SPB on the march. Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2016 (M.Kelly ©2016)

We started things off with the Albany St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday March 12th.  It was a awesome day weather wise for a parade.  With lots of people watching the band led the Albany AOH down the Avenue.

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Our performance after the Mass. (N.Munro ©2016)

The following day the band took part, as it does every year, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception’s St. Patrick’s Day Mass.  This is always a favorite of ours.  We look forward to this mass every year.

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SPB on the march. Delhi’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (RedHenStudios ©2016)

The following weekend we all got on a bus and heading for Delhi, NY for their St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The weather wasn’t as nice as it was for Albany’s parade but we bundled up, as much as you can wearing kilts, and got to it.  This parade is always well attended no matter the weather and again this year didn’t disappoint.   After the parade we played a few sets at O’Neill’s Shire Pub.   A very fine pub and we strongly recommend stopping by for a pint and some food if you every find yourself in Delhi, NY.  Click HERE for the video of the days events.

SPB on the march.  Lake George, NY St. Patrick's Day Parade.  (G. Burdett ©2016)
SPB on the march. Lake George, NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (G. Burdett ©2016)

Just a few hours to catch our breaths….well maybe just the pipers.  The following day after Delhi the band headed north for Lake George’s Sham ‘Rock’ The Block, St. Patrick’s Day celebration.   Another cold day but it was well worth the trip.  This was a new job for us and one we hope will be an annual one.

Well that’s is for the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day season.  We have a few weeks to practice up to get ready for College Graduation season.

Irish 2000 Festival

Our 1st preformance of the day (Courtesy of I2K)
Our 1st performance of the day (Photo courtesy of I2K)

On Saturday September 19th The band played at the 19th annual Irish 2000 music and arts festival at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds to close out our season.  The band has been playing at this festival since its inception in 1996.   It was a beautiful day filled with music and fun.  This festival has always been a band favorite.

Pipe Major Jeff Scheneck (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)
Pipe Major Jeff Schenck (John Carl D’Annibale / Times Union) Click on Photo for TU article
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)
(Photos courtesy of Ray Bedard)

Sponsor of the Capital District Scottish Games in Altamont, NY