Kansas City St. Andrew's Pipe Band Continues to Strengthen with Recent Upgrade
April 3, 2017
By Contributor: Zach Cochran
Since 1962, The Kansas City St. Andrews Pipe Band has worked hard to preserve the traditional music of Scotland, and to further the Scottish arts in Kansas City. We incorporate the talent of over fifty musicians, ranging in ages from fourteen to over seventy. We are primarily a community-oriented band committed to furthering the development of piping and drumming in Kansas City and the Midwest.
The Kansas City St. Andrews Pipe Band actively supports the cultural diversity of Kansas City through participation in the Kansas City Highland Games, the Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Festival, the Kirkin' of the Tartans at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, The Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Kansas City St. Andrew Society, and many other events.
In addition to our community outreach, we currently compete with two competition bands: a grade III band, and very recently upgraded grade IV. The Grade IV band is under the leadership of Pipe Major, Jack Williamson, Pipe Sergeant, Griffin Hall, and Lead Drummer, Zach Cochran.
Jack joined the band in 2009 at the ripe old age of 12 and has played under PMs Tommy and Iain McKee. He has also played with Bleary & District Pipe Band, a Grade 1 band based in Northern Ireland, under PM Nigel Davison. Jack studies privately with Chris Armstrong and Dr. Jack Taylor.
Griffin joined the band in 2013 at age 14 and has also played under both Tommy and Iain McKee. He studies privately with Donald Mc Bride.
Both are outstanding pipers and teachers who have played important roles in the band’s resurgence over the past three competition seasons. Their dedication and leadership will be a tremendous asset to the band as we roll into 2017.
Zach Cochran recently moved back to his hometown of Kansas City, MO and he brings a wealth of playing and teaching experience. He is the former lead drummer of the Capital City Pipes & Drums in Columbus, Ohio. Zach has been highland drumming for 4 years and competes as a Grade III solo drummer. Zach currently studies privately with Alex Wright, lead drummer for the Grade 2 Great Lakes Pipe Band.
The Grade IV band owes their newly-minted upgrade to PM Tom McKee. Tommy committed himself to elevating the level of play of the Grade 5 band four years ago, and his efforts have been rewarded with eight top three finishes over the past three seasons, including wins at Chicago and Estes Park last year.
Thank you, Tommy, for your dedication and for showing great care in bringing the group along over the past few seasons.
The members of the Grade IV band can’t thank you enough!