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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND KILTIE BAND

CLEVELAND KILTIE BAND

The CLEVELAND KILTIE BAND was formed in 1923 by a group of Scottish immigrants employed at the Cleveland Fisher Body plant. Originally known as the Fisher Body Pipe Band, the group later changed its name to the Forest City Highlanders. Then in 1945 it took on its present name. It was the city's first bagpipe ensemble, and is now the oldest in the State of Ohio, and one of the oldest in the country.

Over the years, in keeping with Cleveland's cosmopolitan character, the band's ethnic composition broadened considerably, and while the group can play a wide selection of ethnic music, from Polish polkas to German Oktoberfest favorites, its mission remains to authentically represent and preserve the Scottish Highland heritage. Dressed in traditional tartan, the Cleveland Kiltie Band is the only local pipe band to perform in full Scottish military dress. In 1995 the band consisted of 35 members, 28 pipers and 7 drummers, including 7 women. The band plays at a wide variety of events. Members frequently perform at private functions, such as weddings and funerals, and the full band regularly participates in public events.

The band's longest associations are performing for the Memorial Day program in WARRENSVILLE HTS., the Blossom Festival in CHAGRIN FALLS, and the Independence Day celebration in GATES MILLS. The group has also long been a feature of Cleveland's St. Patrick's Day parade. The band performed at the inaugural for Ohio Gov. George Voinovich in Jan. 1995.