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#20: Dunvegan Pipe Band

History Series: During the summer of 1984 Colin, Scott MacAulay, and John Kerr had chatted casually about trying to assemble some players in eastern Ontario to form a top level competing pipe band – the result becoming the Dunvegan Pipe Band. Colin, Scott, and John reached out to their many contacts in the area and assembled for a first meeting and practice in January 1985 at the Lindenlea Community Centre in Ottawa.

Members (left to right): Colin MacLellan, Amy Garson, Donald MacPhee, Ed Bush, Jack Coghill, John Wright, David Clyde, Margaret St John, Paul Hamilton, Gaye (Zig) Leroux, John Kerr, Neil Birkett, Ian Forsythe, Harry Madden, Jim Fryer, Skip Cleavenger, Rob Crabtree, Allan Norton, Brian Williamson, Jim Stack, Scott MacAulay

The first year, Dunvegan entered the Eastern Ontario and Northern US competition circuit in Grade 2 taking third at the North American Championship competitions in Maxville. The next summer, the band moved up a grade to compete at Grade 1. At the 1986 games in Maxville, Dunvegan placed fifth and the following summer placed third. In 1987, the Dunvegan Pipe Band placed third (but their piping section took first place against the 78th Fraser Highlanders who in a few weeks would become the first non-Scottish band to win the World Pipe Band Championships. The band continued competing until the summer of 1988, at which point the band dissolved.

The Branch is grateful for the contributions of many past members for their contributions to this article. Readers can enjoy a Q&A with several past members, including insights on the band's repertoire, approach to contests, and lots of other great recollections from throughout the band's history.


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