DUNEDIN, Florida – When you think of Champa Bay, you usually think of Lightning and Bucs. However, there is a group of musicians in Dunedin who have won championships long before anyone else.
Not to sound their own flute, but you don’t have to go to Scotland to hear the world’s greatest bagpipers, they are 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 must be upheld.
“It’s like golf, you always strive to get the perfect game,” Donaldson said.
While their group might not be perfect, they are quite close. They have won several national and international competitions over the years, they are even the reigning North American champions.
“Maybe the Lightning, Bucs and Rays combined,” said piper Shawn Pappas, comparing their success to Tampa Bay sports.
The group is made up of more than 100 members, ranging from high school students to seniors.
“It’s definitely a cool experience,” said piper Alexander Miller.
Bagpipes were introduced to the Scottish heritage town in junior high school in 1957, which led to the formation of an official town band in 1964.
Pat Snair has played in the group since its inception.
“This bagpipe set has been a huge addition to my life,” said Snair.
And you can’t forget the drummers.
“You can walk down the street and feel like a celebrity,” drummer Ben Elkins said.
They are always looking for new members. The bond between this group and their city is truly unique.
“I’ve never seen this anywhere in the world and I think other bagpipe groups are envious,” said Iain Donaldson.
For more information, click here.