History Of The Band
Celebrating 10 years of having fun and playing great music while honoring the sacrifices made by our fallen brothers and sisters before us.
The Fire Brigade Pipes & Drums is a Fire Department bagpipe band consisting of firefighters from the Baltimore Metropolitan Area and the surrounding counties. Our mission is to represent the pride and sacrifice of the Fire Service and to celebrate its heritage.
Pipe and drum bands are at the core of the fire department tradition. They are a symbol of firefighters' strength, values, and brotherhood.
The idea to start a bagpipe band for our fire department had been discussed from time to time. After 9/11/2001 some members of the band attend the funerals of our fallen brothers in New York City. After returning home the discussions continued with renewed interest and in January of 2004 a group of firefighters got together at the Westview Fire Station and started putting together a pipe band for our Department.
In February 2004 the band consisting primarily of firefighters and firefighters' family members became the first Fire Department Pipe Band in Maryland. On April 19, 2004 the band was granted non-profit status under section 501 (c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Our mission is to represent the pride and sacrifice of the Fire Service and to celebrate its heritage. We have had the pleasure to perform at several venues. We have played retirements, expos, parades, and parties. We have had the solemn duty to play at numerous fallen heroes ceremonies and at the funerals of our fallen brothers and sisters.
When we started the band it was decided that we would accept firefighters and their immediate family members from the greater Baltimore area, both career and volunteer. We now have members from Baltimore County and City, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Montgomery County and Carroll County. We accept members with or without experience. You only need to be a Firefighter, Paramedic or EMT, paid or volunteer, or family member and be willing to practice.
I am Allen Roody and am proud to be the President of The Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore. I'm also proud to be one of the only remaining founding members of this organization. (My wife Kellie, is the other one). We strive to continually remember the fallen, celebrate the happy occasions, preserve the Brotherhood of the Fire Service, and to "Remember the Pride and Sacrifice of the Fire Service." We have come such a long way in since 2004 and are in great anticipation of good things to come in the future.
When we formed, our mantra was "to play good music and to have fun". We still continue to do just that and hope to continue for years to come. We welcome new members, both pipers and drummers. The only prerequisite is to either be in the fire department or have family that is in the fire department. No musical experience is necessary, just the desire to learn and the willingness to practice. We practice every Tuesday night at the Ellicott City Fire Station on Montgomery Road off Route 29.
I am proud and extremely honored to have been chosen to serve as the Pipe Major of the Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore. This is a unique band because we are the first and only regional fire department pipe and drum band in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. We are also unique because our members consistently demonstrate an unrivaled level of pride and dedication that is apparent in our performances. Our unofficial motto has become to “have fun and play good music”. I believe the reason that each member of the band shares such a strong sense of spirit and teamwork is because we are firefighters who share a common bond – we are accustomed to combining our individual talents to work toward a common goal. I feel that this spirit of pride and teamwork has been a key element contributing to the success of the band and it shines through during our performances.
Another major reason for our success is the dedication and talent of my predecessors, our first Pipe Major Jim Dunn and his successor Todd Marino. Each of these men has left an indelible mark on the group and played a key role in overseeing the tremendous progress that has occurred in the four short years that this band has been in existence. Both Jim and Todd continue to take an active role by performing with the band and teaching student pipers, we are grateful for their ongoing contributions. I would also like to thank Pipe Sergeant Dave Hunley, Drum Sergeant (and President) Allen Roody, Band Manager Bob McCurdy, our instructors Dan Lyden, Jonathan Quigg as well as retired instructor Carl Wark for their efforts, many of which occur behind the scenes but are crucial to our success.
Finally, I would like to thank those individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the band, both financially and otherwise. Whether it is a donation to help us purchase uniforms, time working at our fundraisers, or providing us a place to practice, our band would not be where we are today without your support. We are sincerely grateful.