Over the weekend at the National Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Weekend, our instructor Jim Ryan was promoted to P/Sgt. Since he joined our band he has made a massive improvement in our playing, musicality and overall sound, and because of him we continue to improve daily. Congratulations Jim for a well deserved promotion!
Sadly, Sandy Keith is leaving the band for now as his job is moving him to Germany for at least 3-5 years and potentially longer. Sandy has been a staple with the band for quite a number of years and had served as the Secretary for the last 2 years. We said goodbye to Sandy at an “open rehearsal” at Patriots Pub and Grill in Fairfax and it was a complete surprise for him. How we managed to keep the secret is a good question! He will be continuing with his piping when he gets to Germany by joining the Stuttgart University Pipe Band. You will be missed brother! Safe travels and stop by if you get back into the area and bring your pipes!
At our 35th Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day parade, John Bidegeneta was promoted to Drum Sergeant. This is a well deserved promotion as he is the drumming instructor and is always there for the band and its mission. Please join me in congratulating John on this promotion.
On February 6, 2019 we had our annual meeting, which was delayed a week due to snow, and elected new board members. Our new board members are:
- President – Mike Lacey
- Vice President – Matt Lopez
- Treasurer – Tom Clappi
- Secretary – Jim Kraftchak
- Member-at-Large – Jim Ryan
Congratulations one and all!
As an all volunteer organization we count on YOU to keep the band going!! So come on out and support the band at our Annual Fundraiser and at the same time you can raise a glass and help us celebrate 35 years on the street!!! There will be all your favorites – Raffle Prizes, Silent Auction, 50/50, Band Merchandise including limited availability 35th Anniv Band Swag!! Oh and of course there will be band performances!! Bring the whole family as Patriot’s Pub & Grill has graciously offered their new location to us for this event!!
As part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, MD, the band joined other bands from around the nation to honor 103 fire heroes. 80 of those died in the line of duty during 2017 and 23 died in previous years but had not yet been added to the memorial. To see both the candlelight vigil and the actual memorial videos with the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums, which we are part of, you can click here. On the memorial weekend video, the video doesn’t start until 6:40 into the video for some reason so please be patient.
The band also had a few honors as Steve Cochran, our former Pipe Major, was honored by being made the Pipe Major Emeritus of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums and John Bidegeneta was named as Drum Sergeant of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums.
The band performed again at the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Retirement Picnic held his year at Dunn Loring Station 13. This picnic is held each year to honor those who have retired from the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department and also honor those retirees who have died in the last year. It is an honor to meet many of the “old timers” including those that have been retired for quite some time.
This is the band with 4 of the oldest retirees. From left to right they are:
Jimmy Woodard, Badge# 28, Hired in 1955,
Gene Gray, Hired in 1960,
James Myers, Badge# 31, Hired in 1955 and,
Vincent Guidi, Badge# 8, Hired in 1949
John McNeece was a founding member of one of our brother bands, the Baltimore Fire Brigade Pipe Band. Please come out and support this worthy cause. Information on the event is contained below.
Ed Snyder is one of the band’s original founding members and is responsible for the design of our uniform that we wear to this day. To say that Ed has made an impact on our band is an understatement. To honor his commitment to the band and all the good works he has done on behalf of the band, he has been made a Legacy Pipe Sergeant for life. Congratulations Ed on this great achievement!