To contribute or comment please email me at
25 Jul 2010 Ox
just been asked to be the lead Drum Major for Pipefest in NYC this year.
DMaj Gara is also writing the whole programme and massed bands set-up.
August 7th is the date!! New York is the place. We
are setting a record with Guinness for largest massed band on a ship -
aboard USS intrepid. For more info email Ox at OXGARA@aol.com
20 Jul 2010
The New Hampshire Highland Games 17 - 19 Sep 2010, welcomes
the first International Drum Major Gathering held at the games.
Coming together at the games will be Drum Majors ranging in age from 9 to 70
representing Scotland and Ireland, the United States and Canada, and
European countries including Germany, Belgium, and France. The highlight of
the main show is the creation of a St. Andrew’s Cross with an anticipated 50
Drum Majors marching onto the parade square in unison halting on a central
Drum Major, D/M Patti Nisco. A trained flourish team, made up of Drum
Majors that have achieved the highest standard in competitions in the world,
will execute synchronized flourishing movements as part of the display under
the direction of D/M William Jordan.
In addition to the demonstrations in which the Drum Majors
will perform, there will be a traditional EUSPBA Drum Major contest, an
International Drum Major Championship that will follow the Scottish style
competition and a high throw contest where the Drum Majors must throw their
mace over a bar that will be raised until a winner is found. Providing
music for the Drum Majors will be the RCMP Pipes and Drums (NCR) based in
Ottawa, Ontario. Wearing the RCMP Tartan and world renowned Red Serge tunic,
the band is under the direction of Pipe Major Graeme Ogilvie. The members
of the band, both Royal Canadian Mounted Police and citizen volunteers, will
accompany the Drum Major displays with slow and quick marches, jigs and
To register for the D/M competitions, go to nhscot.org, click
on the highland games tab, and then click on piping and drumming. Please
respect the closing date for registering for the contests. As there will be
a large number of Drum Majors at the games this year, the games will be
enforcing the deadline. Please also let Patti Nisco know if you are
attending; she is collecting a count of attendees for performance purposes.
Her e-mail is:
07 May 2010
The Black Watch Association Pipe Band (Canada) is a new band
in the Greater Toronto area that is just starting up. The band is
comprised of many former members of the Black Watch of Canada. They
seek 14 to 16 oz military style Royal Stewart and Government (Black Watch) tartan kilts with
the pleats set to the line to outfit the band. If you have a line on a kilt or kilts in good repair that you would be
willing to sell or donate, then please contact Kieran Boyle at
17 Apr 2010
There are Regimental Drum Major Competitions that will be held this year:
Portland (Oregon) Scottish Games 17 Jul 2010, Pleasanton (California)
Scottish Games 04-05 Sep 2010. The Rules [Link
to Rules] emphasize Dress, Drill, and Deportment. Of the 30 points
provided for the Dress component, there is a complexity score (up to 5
points) for dress to encourage the wearing of Full Dress. Marching and
Deportment is 70 points. No points are awarded for flourishing.
Our first competition was at the Pleasanton Games last year and was met with
a huge positive response. Please email me for more info (email@example.com).
[by Paul Olson]
15 Mar 2010
It is my sad duty to announce the passing of Drum Major Joseph "Joe" Leonard
on 11 March 2010.
Joe was Drum Major of the Phoenix Scottish
Pipe Band from the 1960s well into the 21st century, where he also played
bass drum and tenor drum. He was a huge supporter of pipe bands
in the southwestern United States, especially in how he encouraged kids to
learn pipes or drums. He gave many of us our first kilt or
helped us find our first set of bagpipes! Joe will be sorely
missed by all of us. [by Kevin MacHeffner Conquest]
30 Dec 2009
The Holyoke Caledonian Pipes & Drums of Holyoke, MA, USA will be celebrating
on Saturday, 06 Mar 2010. The Holyoke Caledonian Pipes & Drums,
considered to be the oldest continuously active pipe band in the United
States, was organized in 1909 by a group of emigrant Scots associated with
the Holyoke Caledonian Benefit Club. Robert Ramsay, served as the first
Pipe Major from 1910 to 1930, when he was succeeded by PMaj Wilson Mathieson
who served for the next 45 years.
The band made its first appearance in uniform in Holyoke’s Fourth of July
parade. The uniforms, appropriately enough, were of the Ramsay
Tartan. This tartan was worn until 1935 when it was replaced by the Gordon
Tartan, which was woven locally at the Livingston Worsted Mills in Holyoke.
In 1962, the band was completely re-outfitted in Full Dress utilizing the
Royal Stewart Tartan which continues to be worn today. [by Fred Benda]
19 Oct 2009 The
Fulda Tattoo will feature world premiere of the INTERNATIONAL DRUM MAJOR
SHOW! Fifty Drum Majors will be featured from eight countries and will
include the Scottish, British, European, and World Champion of Champions.
25 Sep 2009
The first Regimental Drum Major Competition was a big success.
Our first competition was kept small by design to ensure the format worked
appropriately. There are a few tweaks to be made, but by all accounts,
all had a great time and we have been approached by other games wanting to
add this to their regular Drum Major contest. This year the
contestants were: George Patterson, Dave Melton, Mel Gaba,
and Paul Olson. All were dressed in military style uniforms.
While this was the norm 20 years ago, today, anything other than Day Wear is
rare. The drill was Scottish Division mace signals, which is also not
commonly used in this region (California and West Coast). Many RDMA
members were in attendance at the Pleasanton Games including, but not
limited to: Jason Paguio, Kevin MacHeffner, Nicholas Perrando (RDMA
Member No. 980 - one of the newest), Doug Weisheit (RDMA Member
No. 11), Mickie Shaw, Ken Misch, Rick Wilson (RDMA Member No. 7),
Jim Harrington (RDMA Member No. 4), Roddy McKay, Phil Lenihan, Angie
Roddan, Carson Schmidley, and several I have no doubt missed. [by Paul
25 Jul 2009
Our first Regimental Drum Major competition is set for the Pleasanton Games
over the Labor Day Weekend in Pleasanton, CA. This is a
non-flourishing competition. Email me for more details!
firstname.lastname@example.org. RDMA VP
and Instructor Billy Jordan is the 2009 European Champion. Next
up: the Worlds in Scotland! Also, below is the Regimental Style Mace
prototype being designed by RDMA members Jason Paguio and Ken
16 May 2009 Long
Commute Department: Jason Paguio from San Diego, California,
USA, has been invited by the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band to be their
Drum Major (1395 miles, one way). Kevin MacHeffner of
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, is now Drum Major for the 78th Frasier Highlanders
from Toronto Canada (2303 miles, one way).
02 May 2009
At long last we have been successful in securing express
permission from the MoD to post excerpts of
Drummer's Handbook. We have posted chapters one through four which
includes a history of the drums and drummers within the British Army; dress
and accoutrement of drummers; ceremonies, traditions, and duties of the
corps of drums; and staff and cane drill. For those pipe band drum
majors, note that this staff drill is British Army and that the Scottish
Division staff drill varies in many areas.
Also, we have revised our
RDMA Dress Manual for Pipes &
Drums v 2.5 to correct several issues. On the U.S. Military
Band front, we have found and posted several historical band manuals dating
back to the late 1800's. Note that the US Military manuals through
1969 depict Signal Baton drill which should be of interest to those in the
fife corps community. [by Paul Olson]
Drum Major staff drill a Martial Art? From the
Associated Press on 30 April 2009:
Calif. – Don't mess with the
marching band. That's what California
authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl
used her marching band baton to beat back two
Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz
Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when
two men approached her from behind, tried to
grab her coat and demanded money.
Instead, one got a
punch in the nose and the other a kick to the
groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them
with her band baton before she ran away.
The men had not
been caught. But Rust says there's a clear
message to take from the encounter:
"The moral to this
story is don't mess with the marching band
girls, or you just might get what you deserve.
Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0."
25 April 2009
On tour for 2010 will be the Irish Guards are coming on tour
next year with the 5th Bn. RRS
(THE ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS!), and at Loon Mountain
this September, the guest band will be the P&D of the 1st Bn. Scots Guards!
[By Tom Belyea]
07 Apr 2009 The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
requests your assistance:
SCOTS DG have just found out that the latest album released by the Pipes and
Drums, 'Spirit of the Glen – Journey', has been nominated for the 'Classical
Album of the Year' at this year's Brit Awards in May. The album was partly
operations in Basra last year and follows on from the hugely successful
Spirit of the Glen album released in 2007.
In last year's event, the first in which any military band had been
nominated for a Brit Award, we lost by the narrowest of margins, only 300
votes. This year, we have another chance to win and would be extremely
grateful for your support, not
only in voting, but also encouraging others also. This link
http://www.classicalbrits.co.uk/voting/ takes you to the Brit Award
webpage where you can vote for the album. All votes must be cast by
midnight on 1 May. We do really need your help to win.
Chain emails are horrible things but we would be very grateful if you could
vote and cascade this email to as many people as possible. Our appeal is
going out across the defence community, in the hope that we can achieve
success this year.
Thank you for your support,
Daniel F. Brown
Pipes & Drums
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
01 Feb 2009
It has been another successful year for the RDMA. We
closed the year out with just over 900 members from 40 countries. The
winners of the Scottish World Games were all RDMA members. The
bandwidth of information accessed by the site in 2008 was 106.6 GB (compare
to 93.9 GB in 2007). We had two RDMA members get married (to each
other) with David Rennie of the Band of the Ceremonial Guard,
Ottawa, Canada, and Maureen Baile, formerly of St. Columcille United
Gaelic Pipe Band in New Jersey.
This year we see more seminars being offered. Billy
Jordan is teaching in his native Scotland, Germany, and CT, USA.
Norm MacKenzie is teaching in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Also,
Paula Braiden, a world class competitor from Scotland, teaching in NY,
USA; Kevin MacHeffner in KS, USA; David Ricklis in MD, USA;
not to mention the many classes offered by Jason Paguio and Rick
We will have a very nice addition to the site in a few
weeks that has been the focus of our attention for literally years.
Many thanks go out to the MoD (hint).
[by Paul Olson]
24 Dec 2008
The College of Piping and Celtic
Performing Arts of Canada (Summerside Prince Edward Island), a world-class
educational institution and visitor attraction centre, has filled the
position of Executive Director.
[by Paul Olson]
20 Aug 2008
The winners of the World Scottish Games in Edinburgh were all RDMA members!
Brian Wilson won the adult division, Andrew Symon won the
juvenile division, and Iona Burns won the junior division. Also
note that Andrew and Iona's coach was Billy Jordan who placed 8th the
finals. [by Paul Olson]
Drum Majors Iona Burns, Billy Jordan, Andrew Symon, 2008
World Games Edinburgh
09 Mar 2008.
It is Seminar time again. If you haven't attended one of these
seminars, I cannot recommend them enough. Not only will these seminars
sharpen your skills, but they will also provide you with networking
opportunities that will assist for years to come. The first seminar is
with Billy Jordan in March 21-23 in Renton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.
On the other side of the pond, Norm MacKenzie will offer his
seminar and workshop in Victoria, BC, Canada also from March 21 - 23.
Next up are two more seminars by Billy Jordan. Billy will have
two seminars: April
19-20 in Albany, NY, USA and April 26-27 in Hartford, CT, USA.
Billy will be bringing two additional instructors with him: Andy Lyons
of the Tweedvale Pipe Band and Kenny Forbes of the Vale of
Atholl Pipe Band. You will have a great time! [by Paul Olson]
23 Dec 2007 Through
the miracle of eBay we have acquired several historical U.S. military band
manuals that I will post once they arrive. The first is a 1939 Band
Manual published by the War Department (precursor to the Department of
Defense.) One of the interesting items is the manual for a mounted
band. The Baton manual is all text, unfortunately. However, I
have another manual (circa 1957) en route that may have photos for the
manual of the baton. We also received from the US Army School of Music
an approved copy of the new 12-45 Army Band Manual released in November
2007. We also have manuals from the UK, Canada, and Australia.
If any members have some pull with the powers that be and can secure
permission for us to post, please let me know. Lot's of seminars
to look forward to in 2008 with instructors that include Norm MacKenzie,
Billy Jordan, Kevin MacHeffner, and David Ricklis. [by Paul
26 Oct 2007
The Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Pipes and Drums of the
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will be touring the USA in early 2008 [schedule].
NEW MACE AVAILABLE! RDMA Member and current World Champion
Jason Paguio, has released
photos of his new line of malacca cane maces. For more
information see his website, The
Regimental Mace Co. This is the first new mace available to Drum
Majors in ten years. Member Richard Liddard, a.D. (Ret) of the Royal Scots Bavarian Pipes & Drums
is selling his Glasgow manufactured uniform. Membership has hit 750 members today! [by Paul Olson]
11 Aug 2007
This just in from Mickie Shaw: The Drum Major World
Championships has been won for the first time by an overseas Drum Major and
the Drum Major is from the WUSPBA. Jason Paguio, Drum Major for
the Kevin R. Blandford Memorial Pipe Band won the Adult Drum Major World
Championships today in Glasgow Scotland. This may be the first time an
American or a non-UK Drum Major has won the title. Two other WUSPBA Drum Majors placed well
at the Worlds. Kevin MacHeffner of the LA Scots placed 6th in
the Adult Drum Major and Robert La Var of Mesa Caledonia placed 4th
in the Novice Junior contest.
3 Aug 2007
The US Army School of Music is doing a research project on UK
trained Drum Majors and has requested our assistance. We have put the
Army School in contact with six current and former MoD trained Drum Majors
from bands that include The Scots Guards, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders,
The London Irish Rifles, The London Scottish, the 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment
and the 4th Bn Royal Tank Regiment. A few months back, the
Military District of Washington requested permission to use our manuals and
site as reference on another project they were working on.
DMaj Norm MacKenzie will be Sr DMaj of a 150 member
Canadian Massed Pipes & Drums that will perform at several parades (Dumfries,
Dunfermline, Dundee, Perth, Pitlochry, Crieff, and Irvine),
in Scotland as well as a Pre-show performance at the
Edinburgh Tattoo this month.
15 Jul 2007
We are deep into the competition and performance season! We have
surpassed the 700 member mark. We had several RDMA members (Patti
Nisco, Ox Gara, Tom Belyea, Chuck Kaba, and others) attend and
participate with Pipe Fest in Halifax. Billy Jordan held
another seminar in Germany.
30 May 2007
We have our revised RDMA Dress
Manual for Pipes and Drums v2.0 as well as a revised version of
the RDMA Drill Manual for Pipes
and Drums v3.0 now available!
10 May 2007
Our DVD, Basic Drum Major's Drill With Drum Major
William Jordan is now available. The initial release occurred
during the last two weekends of April during Billy Jordan's seminars
in New Jersey and Connecticut. Email me (email@example.com)
for purchase details. This DVD features Scottish Division Mace Drill
by former Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (1st Bn) Pipes & Drums Drum Major
Billy Jordan. Progress is being made on the revised Dress
Manual and it will be ready soon. Membership stands at 690 and
growing! [by Paul Olson]
18 Apr 2007 A
SSgt Joe Streeter was surprised to find his image
on the new USMC Band recruiting poster. Joe, the Drum Major of the
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band
from 29 Palms, CA, notes "I have no idea why they would choose a
pic with me on it. It is actually from when I was at Quantico about
five years ago."
14 Apr 2007 When
it rains, it pours. Our second large project that we have been alluding
to is finally ready! The RDMA is proud to announce the upcoming
release of a training DVD entitled Basic Drum
Major's Drill with Drum Major William Jordan. Billy is a
former Drum Major of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and has been a
perennial finalist at the World Games in Scotland for years. Billy is
the Drum Major of the Dumbarton & District Pipe Band. Billy teaches in
several countries and has several pupils that have fared very well in major
competitions. Chapters include: Civilian Dress, Static Drill, Step Off
(Quick and Slow Time), Mace Roll, Words of Command (Mark Time, Advance,
Halt), Mace Drill A (Mark Time, Halt, Advance/Reform, Circle), Mace Drill B
(Wheels, Counter March, Massed Band Drill), and Mace Drill C (Cut Off, Tempo
Change.) The DVD is designed for playback on a PC, is 44 minutes long,
and recorded on +R discs. The discs will be released next weekend at
Billy's New Jersey seminar and the following week at his Connecticut
seminar. The discs will be available starting on May 1. We will
have a PayPal link established at that point or shortly thereafter.
Price is $19.95 USD + Shipping/Materials.
2 Apr 2007
After many hours of revisions, the
RDMA Dress Manual for Pipes and Drums is finally complete and available
for download. Be forewarned, this is a large document (7.025MB) so if
you do not have DSL or Broadband this could take a while to download.
Included in the manual is Scottish Regimental Dress, Irish Regimental Dress,
Civilian Dress, RSPBA Dress, the Plaid Tying section, and other
topics. As with our other manuals we have had the experts review this
manual for accuracy. The list is a who's who of Drum Majors including
John Moon (Former Drum Major, 1st Bn Scots Guards), Joe MacDonald
(Former Drum Major, 1st Bn The Queens Own Highlanders (Seaforth &
Camerons)), Bryan Alderman (Drum Major, The London Irish Rifles and
Former Drum Major of the London Scottish), Iain McGibbon (Drum Major,
The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin & Halton Regiment)), Billy Jordan
(Former Drum Major, 1st Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, Drum Major,
Dumbarton & District Pipe Band) in addition to Bruce
Hitchings (former Pipe Major of The Highlanders (Seaforth, Camerons &
Gordons) and former Assistant Director of the Army School of Piping) and
several others - each known for their expertise. I hope that you find
this manual useful.
We have 665 members from 31 countries as of today. [by Paul
23 Feb 2007 We
have secured permission from Drum Major John Moon to convert his
Staff Manual to pdf
format. This manual is now easily downloadable. John was Drum
Major of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, the youngest Drum Major in the
Brigade of Guards history. He was appointed Drummer to the Royal
Household, a position he continues to hold today. We was Director of
Music at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and later the Musickmaster of the
Fifes & Drums of Colonial Williamsburg.
After months of threatening to release our Dress Manual for
Pipes & Drums, we have completed the final draft and will be releasing it
shortly. There a few photos that are not high quality. If we
come across better photos to display the various forms of dress, we shall
update the manual accordingly. Of course high quality photo
contributions by you are always welcomed. In particular we need good
photos of the Republic of Ireland, Air Corps uniform (No. 1 and shirt
sleeve) and of UK Irish (No. 1, tropical, and Shirtsleeve.)
Seminar season is upon us! If you are able seek these
out. Norm Mackenzie (Calgary, AB, Canada) and Billy Jordan (NJ and CT,
USA) will have seminars in April. If you know of others, let me know
so that I may post to the site. [by Paul Olson]
10 Jan 2007 It
is time for our year in review as we enter Year Five. Our two
major projects are close to completion but still not quite there. This
is particularly frustrating since I wanted to announce these two offerings
in this blog. Membership stands at 624 for 2006!
We had 51,842 visitors to the site who visited 71,695 times
using bandwidth of 69.94 GB! For comparison, in 2005 we
had 44,720 visitors who visited 66,559 times and used bandwidth of 58.29 GB.
The 2007 calendar has been updated. If you note a date that is marked
TBA, TBD, or is plain wrong, please let me know. If you have a spare
moment to do some web searching, I am looking for games dates that are
marked TBA and TBD.
For members we did release our embroidered crest in bullion
wire. All that have secured one have complimented the quality.
We have several seminars coming up with Mickie Shaw, Billy Jordan,
and Norm MacKenzie. If you have seminars in your area, let me
know so that we can post and alert the locals!
If you happened to watch the Rose Parade, you would have seen
RDMA Member Joe Streeter fronting a 120 piece massed USMC band (29
Palms, Miramar, Reserve Forces, Pendleton, Recruiting.) Joe writes:
I can't tell you how incredible the enthusiasm of the crowd
was. They were like a wave the second they saw us from start to finish of
the five and a half mile parade. That really pumped up the band.
My ears are still ringing.
[by Paul Olson]
10 Nov 2006 Finishing
touches are being made to several large projects. Currently we
are on track to release both by the end of the year. Also, by year's
end, we should exceed 600 members! [by Paul Olson]
14 Sep 2006 RDMA
Tommy Belyea has opened his vault and is selling off some of his vast
collection of gear. Lots of great
uniform parts available! I went to the Pleasanton Games with Ian
Purvis, a several time winner of the Drum Major contest over the years.
I met several RDMA members while there including Kevin MacHeffner
(winner of the Drum Major competition this year), Jason Paguio (has
some amazing flourishes), Joe Streeter (of the 29 Palms USMC Band),
Brian Hyland, and others! Lot's of interesting things that will
be coming out of Southern California in the coming months! If you have
a chance to see the 29 Palms USMC band you shall be very impressed - a
talented group of musicians that looks like it has a lot of fun! Before they
were dismissed they blasted Joe with the final chords of
Bill Chase's "Get It On!"
We saw them carrying out a suit of armor, a couch, and several other
interesting items from their green room. The next stop for them
was a bus ride to the Estes Park games. Next week is Loon Mountain
Games in New Hampshire! [by Paul Olson]
07 Jul 2006
A Supplier of WHITE CEREMONIAL LEATHER GLOVES has been
found! I have been looking for years for these style of gloves.
I have tried cotton (slips around on my hands and mace), cotton with rubber
dots (grabs the mace well, but still slips around on my hands), gauntlets
(pigskin, discolors with sweat, grips well, but are incorrect for Full
Dress.) These gloves are Nappa leather (lamb or sheep skin), fit
nice and tight, and so far haven't discolored. The cuff can be easily
modified with a button or Velcro to keep tight around the wrist. The
supplier is Sue Buckley at SlinkUK@aol.com.
They run 11.75 GBP (some of her old stock may be less).
Along with the member badges, we have changed the RDMA logo
that you now see in the upper left corner of the webpage. Thanks to
Marlene at Joe Drouin, Ent., for allowing us to use the artwork for the
badge on the site!
May was a banner month for the site with a new record for
bandwidth: 7.65 GB (5702 visitors)! And, 557 RDMA members!
[by Paul Olson]
17 May 2006 We
have had quite a few Drum Major seminars this Spring. Many of the
instructors have been RDMA members (Billy Jordan, Kevin MacHeffner,
and Mickie Shaw.) I made the trek out to Connecticut to attend
Billy Jordan's seminar. He had excellent attendance! And there
were many RDMA members there as well! The night before, RDMA member
Ox Gara hosted a party at his home in New Britain, CT.
Billy Jordan put on an outstanding seminar which culminated in a
competition the following Sunday. After the seminar on Saturday, Ox
hosted a Dining In (black tie) at a Hartford, CT restaurant. All had a very enjoyable time.
We just got in our RDMA patches. We are still figuring
out pricing, but you can view it on the Member's Page. It is far more
impressive in person. The photo leaves it looking a bit dull. It
is made of gold and silver wire and looks great! Proceeds will defray
the costs of running the site. We are still bringing in many viewers
to the site. We have bumped up our bandwidth to 10 GB per month!
We are getting a record number of new members as well including the Drum
Major of the London Scottish and the London Rifles. [by Paul Olson]
18 March 2006 We
have reached our 500th member! Norman Ervine is with the ACFD Sand
Pipers in New Jersey! We have released our fourth newsletter tonight
thanks to Maureen Baile. Members have been emailed or you
can access a copy from the member page. We have several seminars
coming up in April. If you have been to a tattoo, you may very
well have seen DMaj Norman MacKenzie. He has been the Tattoo Drum
Major for many tattoos including the Virginia Tattoo, the Halifax Tattoo,
the Bermuda Tattoo and many others. DMaj MacKenzie is offering his
seminar and workshop in Victoria, BC, Canada on 14 - 16 April, 2006.
The following two weekends will find DMaj (and RDMA Member) Billy Jordan
in New England with a seminar in Albany, NY and Glastonbury, CT, USA.
DMaj Jordan is a former Drum Major of the Pipes & Drums of the 1st Bn Argyll
& Sutherland Highlanders. If you can, you should take advantage of the
chance to learn from these masters as these opportunities are rare.
We are very close to having available embroidered patches
available to members. I expect they will be ready at the end of April.
Check back in. Any profits made from the sale of these will go towards
seminar sponsorship and assisting in defraying the cost of the website.
[by Paul Olson]
07 January 2006
Well folks, we are entering our FOURTH year! It sure
doesn't seem that long. The RDMA started with several conference calls
between Mick Stewart, Scott Grant, and myself in November of
2002. The year in review. We have 469 members from 25 countries
- every continent is represented! Forty-six states are represented in
the US, eight provinces in Canada, six states from Australia. We had
44,720 visitors to the site who visited 66,559 times using bandwidth of
58.29 GB! Consider that after a major site redesign in February
resulted in a major decrease in bandwidth. For comparison, in 2004 we
had 26,425 visitors who visited 40099 times and used bandwidth of 52.32 GB.
The major accomplishment of the year was getting the Drill
Manual for Pipes and Drums completed. We are currently on version 2.5.
There have been hundreds of downloads of this manual alone. Add to
this the hundreds of downloads of the Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums and
Joe MacDonald's Pipe Band Drum Major Manual. We are definitely getting
information out to those who seek it out (and are on-line.) And this
information is FREE! We also sponsored our first Drum Major seminar in
California in July.
Areas where we fell short were on the Signal Baton Manual For
Fife and Drums (still in progress) and the Dress Manual for Pipes and Drums
(still in progress and taking on a life of it's own - over 60 pages
currently.) Goals for 2006 are to complete these manuals.
Updating the site has begun! We have updated the
seminars and tattoos for 2006. Next is the arduous task of updating
the games calendar. We have, for now, foiled current attempts by
spammers to infiltrate the site!
Sadly, we lost one of our own this year. Our member No.
2, Don Davidson, passed away last month. Although I had not personally
met him, we had emailed quite a bit. He was very enthusiastic about
the RDMA and what we were doing.
2006 will prove to another fruitful year. We expect to
complete the above manuals and one other that we have planned (Guards Mace
Drill.) You should expect further issues of the Newsletter. We
are in the final approval stages for patches and there will be other logo
items available for the many members that have requested them. Any
profits resulting from sales of such items will be used to provide future
seminars and defray the costs of running the site. Funds will not be
used to compensate those that run the RDMA. Again if you have comments
please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
[by Paul Olson]
05 November 2005
Our guestbook has been spammed for the last time! We
have brought the guestbook "in house" which should eliminate further
infiltrations. Work still progresses with the dress manual - it
currently is 48 pages with much still to do. We have made several
additions to the links page. Our membership stands at 442. Also
of note, The Royal Regiment of Scotland are taking in its first recruits.
[by Paul Olson]
25 September 2005
The RDMA Drill
Manual for Pipes and Drums has been released and has been a bit hit!
We our focusing our efforts on the RDMA Dress Manual for Pipes and Drums.
The merger of the Scottish Regiments continues with MoD determination with
the unveiling of the Single Regimental cap badge despite promises to the
contrary. Apparently there are concessions to retain kilt and trews
tartans of the old regiments - but we shall see. Also of note is that
Wilkinson Sword, Ltd., is closing their sword manufacturing unit earlier
If you haven't already, check out member
Alastair Pether's site under
the drill section for QuickTime movies depicting DMaj Clark of the UK Army
School of Piping and Scottish Drumming demonstrating several signals and
maneuvers. American and Canadian Drum Majors - please note the wheel
turn signals! Those of us that are pipe and drum Drum Majors
should preserve the Scottish Division mace manual before they too are lost
to history. [by Paul Olson]
31 July 2005
It has been a busy month. We are on the verge of
releasing the RDMA Drill Manual for Pipes and Drums. As you know if you have
read prior entries this has been a long time arriving. This manual
should be available this week.
The next project is to complete the Dress Manual for Pipes
and Drums. We have most of the text complete, but we need to get the
photos done. The photo subjects will include Drum Majors Iain McGibbon
and Kieran Boyle. Look for that manual by years end.
Also, waiting to be completed is the RDMA Signal Baton Manual for Fife and
Drums. So we have plenty to do!
Last weekend saw our first RDMA sponsored Drum Major seminar.
Drum Major Iain McGibbon was the instructor who did a masterful job.
Iain is a very enthusiastic, engaging, and knowledgeable speaker as well as
an outstanding drill technician. Students included members Richard
Charette, Lyman Howard, Phil Lenihan, and Angie Roddan
in addition to Fred Sommer and Brian Hyland of the Los Gatos Police Pipe
We have also received assistance from member Colonel
Jonathan Scott Congleton who has been updating the sites links.
Scott will be going to Scotland in the next few weeks.
Membership stands at 378! [by Paul Olson]
21 May 2005
We have made some slight revisions to the website. We have
linked directly to the home page to reduce bandwidth. Unfortunately, the
intro page took awhile to load and some were never able to move onto the home
page. Also, we are getting spammed in our guest-book, we are aware of the
problem and check this several times a week to clear out commercial messages. We
have recently updated the calendar and links section. If you notice any errors
in the dates for the various events or if there is an event that we missed,
please let us know.
We took a few steps back on the drill manual for pipe band. Some
of the commands used on this side of the pond vary from standard British foot
drill. So we are in the process of changing the foot drill from essentially
Canadian to British.
Also, we are in the middle of writing a manual for Signal Baton
for Fifes and Drums.
Lastly, we are close to completing our next newsletter for our
309 members. [by Paul Olson]
04 December 2004
We are fortunate to have Drum Major Joe MacDonald
(formerly of the Queen's Own Highlanders, (Seaforth and Camerons) to permit us
to offer his Pipe Band Drum
Major - A Basic Guide. There is a link on the "Pipe and Drums" page
directly below his photo.
One of the consequences in becoming a very popular site is the
increase in bandwidth usage. To help reduce bandwidth, we are linking
directly to the downloadable RDMA Mace
Manual for Pipes and Drums instead of posting the entire manual on site.
Please note that while the screen clarity is not as good with the pdf, it does
[by Paul Olson]
30 November 2004
I have been putting off reporting the news until the RDMA
downloadable RDMA Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums was
completed. I am happy to report that the final draft is now out and posted
to the Archives section. This is version 3.0. It is much expanded
from the manual posted to the pipe section (v 2.0) We will update that
page shortly. There are many people to thank in getting this manual out.
Notably John Moon and Joe MacDonald for their historical and
technical expertise, Lyman Howard for being the model and weathering four
photo shoots, Maureen Baile for formatting and pdf'ing, and Kieran
Boyle, Scott Grant, and Mick Stewart for support. Of course if
you find any errors let me know.
Also, we have set another new record this month in bandwidth.
For the month of November we have viewers from 58 countries! Our
membership stands at 287.
On a more down note, we did managed to get hacked into at the end
of October. Fortunately, damage was minimal - limited to the guest book and
our global email system. As a result we disengaged our global email.
We will re-engage briefly when we have our next newsletter go out. We did
hear from Ken Hosey from Panama City - they weathered the three
hurricanes and are back on parade! [by Paul Olson]
06 October 2004
The RDMA Pipe Band Drill Manual continues to progress. We
completed our second major photo shoot for the RDMA Pipe Band Mace Manual.
It is hard to believe our first shoot was a year ago! We have made several
revisions to the mace manual as more information has become available.
Maureen Baile is working on Newsletter number three which will be our best yet!
To get a newsletter all you have to do is sign up as a member.
Particularly of note for those members in North America, Kevin MacHeffner
has a new venture called
Scottish Drumming. Kevin has been extraordinarily successful at the
world games and we can expect him to be a leading resource and instructor this
side of the pond for many years to come.
There is a rally in Dundee, Scotland to be held on October 23,
2004 in an effort to save the Scottish Regiments. The event will be held
at Camperdown Country Park in Dundee starting at 1 PM. Please try to attend if
you are able.
We have many RDMA members in Florida and sincerely hope that they
came through the record number of hurricanes with minimal damage. [by Paul
31 August 2004
We passed the 240 member mark and hit a new bandwidth record at
5.09 GB. Maureen Baile has taken over the newsletter and within days
our second newsletter went out to the membership. The pipe band drill
manual is about 50% complete and should be out in two months. We are continuing
to refine our site with some subtle and not so subtle changes. We did have
a hiccup on the site with our new intro page. Please let me know if you
have problems with images not properly loading or the absence of a hyperlink on
your system. With the end of the competition season
approaching several new projects will be started - more on these later! As
always, suggestions and comments are most welcome! [by Paul Olson]
06 June 2004
We reached some milestones in May. Our membership level
reached 200 and we set a new record in website access! We are currently
working on our second newsletter that should be out in a few weeks. We
just posted a 1970 vintage Drum Major manual from the American Big 10 Colleges.
[by Paul Olson]
10 May 2004
When most people think of pipe bands, they conjure up the image
of the kilt, plaid, and feather bonnet of the archetypal Scottish pipe band.
However, there are many Irish pipe bands in the world whose dress is just as
distinctive as their Scottish neighbors. To help educate those about the
variety of Irish uniforms, we have posted three varieties under the pipes
section under Irish
Regimental Dress. There have been several seminars taught by some very
talented instructors over the past month in Victoria, British Columbia; New
York; Connecticut; and Pennsylvania. We have received positive feedback
from each one and would encourage all to seek out personal instruction whenever
possible, no matter what your skill level.
We have been working on a few projects that should make learning
the Drum Major craft easier. In the test stage are QuickTime movie clips
demonstrating the various mace commands. We are critiquing those currently
and hope to have those accompany the Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums shortly.
We have also been working on the Fife and Drum section of the
site. Added are sections on the
history of the fife and drum
corps and regimental biographies of three of the five U.S. Military related
fife and drum corps. We have also made an addition to the Fife and Drum
uniform section. But more work needs to be done!
We added more pictures of members to the
media section. Keep those photos coming in! We are also working
on the second newsletter. If you have information that others might find
useful or of interest send those articles along. [by Paul Olson]
30 March 2004
It is always interesting to hear from members and what they are
curious about. For example, some wonder that since we update the news
section about every month or so, is that as often as we talk. The answer
is definitely not! Scott, Kieran, and/or Mick and I email each other many
times during the week and discuss issues telephonically every week or so.
As those of you that have signed on as members know, this month's emphasis was
getting out our inaugural newsletter. We have received a lot of positive
feedback from you about the newsletter.
Our most recent completed project was converting the manuals
available on the Archives page to pdf format so that you can download them
One of the recurring topics that we touched upon in the
newsletter is that of growth. We are coming up with far more projects than
we handle at one time. Thus far we have been able to prioritize pretty
well. One member has set up a non-profit corporation so we will be moving
forward with this project. Once we have a non-profit status, then we will
need someone to head up merchandising. Revenues from logo wear, artwork,
badges, etc., will go towards defraying costs associated with the site,
sponsoring seminars, etc. All work within the ranks of the RDMA will
continue to be volunteer.
Also, for those of you on the fence, please complete a
membership form. It is free and it allows to match up those of you that
have experience with those that are desperate for instruction and guidance.
Use of the membership list is limited exclusively for RDMA purposes and we shall
not release or sell this info to anyone or any entity outside the RDMA. I
know how much I dislike spam and will do everything I can to avoid subjecting
you to it as well. Members also receive the newsletter.
The site continues to set bandwidth records. We have had as
many visitors to the site in the last three months as we have had in all of
2003! [by Paul Olson]
6 March 2004
We have received permission to post the original
Old Guard Espontoon Manual.
Actually, Bob DuFour of the Kentish Guards had a copy of the original
manual which he sent to us. They had acquired the copy in 1973.
Because the manual had been photocopied many times, the graphics were difficult
to see and some of the typewritten text was difficult to decipher. We
restored the manual and sent it along to the Old Guard. They confirmed
that it was a copy of the original manual which they no longer possessed.
This manual renewed an interest at the Old Guard to develop a new espontoon
manual! We were glad that we could help!!
Scott Grant and I spoke at The Company of Fifers and
Drummers in scenic Ivoryton, CT on February 14th. The fife band community
is looking for well trained Drum Majors and we believe we can help in this
regard. We will be developing a plan in the coming weeks. The
Company's hall is also a museum that, if you are in the area, we recommend you
visit! The trip to New England also resulted in meeting several RDMA
members: Tom Belyea, Ox Gara, Tom Darling, and Philip
Staples. We had a great time and confirmed that the RDMA is
essentially a group of friends that haven't met yet!
We are putting the finishing touches on the Regimental Dress
page. We will be adding photos shortly. We have recently posted the
1759 Espontoon Manual in the
Historical section. We are also in final editing stage of our first
quarterly newsletter to the members. Additionally, we are in the process
of providing downloadable (pdf format) copies of various manuals in the Archives
section. [by Paul Olson]
21 January 2004
month. The big project for the month has been the
Regimental Dress page.
There are several areas where regimental dress deviates from the standards set
by the RSPBA that we wanted to point out. In addition, there are many
subtleties that the RSPBA dress regulations do not address such as correct
patterns, sash variations, traditions, etc. Even if you know how to dress,
you may wish to peruse this page for the historical and detail content.
This has been a collaborative effort and our sincere thanks go out to Drum
Majors Iain McGibbon, Joe MacDonald, Tom Belyea, and
Boyle, without whom this manual would not have been possible. We shall be
adding photos to the manual in the near future.
Additionally, we have put together a
Plaid Tying manual that many will
find very informative. There are several ways to tie a plaid, but
this is the most common and is used by the Black Watch of Canada. Thanks
to Kieran Boyle and Lyman Howard for this project. [by Paul Olson]
31 December 2003
It has been a
busy month. The three historical Drum Major manuals have been posted and
we have more on the way! We have a mid-1700 era Espontoon manual from the
David Stewart Museum in Montreal that we shall be posting shortly. The
calendar has been updated for 2004. If you see any competitions that we
have missed, please let us know. We have surpassed the 100 member mark and
expect to double our rolls by year's end 2004!
Seminars! We have seminars set for the early months of
2004. For those just starting out or for those in need of a tune up, we
recommend taking advantage and supporting these workshops. The first is
set in February, sponsored by the EUSPBA, and located in Malvern, PA. The
instructor is David Ricklis. Drum Major Ricklis is a former Drum Major of the 257th U.S. Army Band,
long time EUSPBA judge, and current Drum Major of the MacMillan Pipe Band.
Drum Major Ricklis and Drum Major MacKenzie,
CD are both RDMA members.
Projects for 2004 include a RDMA Regimental Dress for Pipes and
Drums that is currently underway. There are several items of dress that
vary from the RSPBA dress regulations. We will also explain the quality of
items worn by the various band members, placement of items, and add a little
military dress history. Also for 2004, will be the RDMA Drill
Manual for Pipes and Drums. A quarterly newsletter will be coming out
early in 2004. We will also set our focus on the fife and drums genre as
We are still looking for photos that you are willing share with
the Association. And, if you are interested in participating in any of our
projects, please let us know. Your expertise and assistance is most welcome! [by Paul Olson]
01 December 2003
We have posted
the Words of Command v.2.0 to the site [NOTE: this manual has been incorporated
into the RDMA Drill Manual for
Pipes & Drums, PO 3/06.]
We have also posted all the photos we have to the
Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums. There are several more that need to
be taken and added to the manual. We hope to have those done by the end of
January providing the weather cooperates. Once we have all the photos done, we
will have an downloadable copy available to those that would like one.
This has also been the month of the historic manuals. We have acquired
three manuals via eBay and will post them upon receipt and permission from the
publisher (1880 Rollinson is
already up and running.) All of these manuals apply to the signal baton.
We have a renewed request from the MoD regarding publishing the Drum Major
portions of The Drummer's Handbook. I expect this to be delayed
with the recent announcements of military deductions in the UK and its expected
public response. We have been making refinements to the site. Soon
it will be time to redo the calendar. [by Paul Olson]
23 October 2003
We have a recent addition to the staff in Drum
Major Kieran Boyle of the Paris Pipe Band. Drum Major Boyle has been a
valued resource as to regimental form and practice. He has been in several
pipe bands as well as having been in the Black Watch (RHR) of Canada as an
Infantry medic and bandsman (tenor Drummer).
We had a telephonic staff meeting on 15 October. We reviewed the progress
to date and vision of the future. For the short term we will be making
several revisions to the website. This will include making revisions to
the Pipes & Drum Mace Manual, adding a Voice of Command page for Pipes and
Drums, adding a member's photo page, adding a "spot the errors" photo page,
adding a search engine and site map. For the year 2004, we will be placing
an emphasis on the Fife and Drum genre of field music. Our medium range
goals include sponsoring seminars and Regimental Drum Major Competitions.
These competitions would not place an emphasis on flourishing, but rather on
proper dress, drill, and deportment. We will be developing competition
regimen as well as our long range goals further in the First Quarter of 2004.
We await word from the Ministry of Defence as to posting portions of The
Drummer's Handbook. They have been in contact with us and we expect
final approval or denial shortly. Photographs have been made to augment
the mace manual. Barring further hardware problems, they should be up
shortly. [by Paul Olson]
27 August 2003
This has been a long day coming. We have released the first edition of the
RDMA Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums today.
In addition you may find it in the site at Pipes
and Drums/Mace. This was one of our major goals for the year. This
release will be augmented by an edition with photographs that we expect to
release in mid-October. I hope that you will find it helpful. But
that is not all we have in the works. We expect to be posting the
Major's Staff Drill by Drum Major John C. Moon within the next month. Drum
Major Moon assisted us greatly in the development of our Mace Manual for Pipes
and Drums. He has a CV that is most impressive that includes being the
Senior Drum Major for the Brigade of Guards and of the British Army as well as
an overall expert in field music. Skip Kirkwood, Band Manager of the
Marion County Sheriff's Pipes & Drums sent us a copy of the 1985 UK Drummer's
Handbook. This is the Regimental Staff drill handbook for the UK. We
are currently seeking permission to publish this work from the Ministry of
Defence. We also have several articles that will be posted shortly!
Keep checking back - there will likely to be something new! [by Paul Olson]
18 July 2003
I am sure that many of you, such as myself, are in the
middle of competition season. Over the last two months our membership has
nearly doubled. We have been making some refinements to the site. In
addition the first draft of the RDMA Mace Manual for Pipes and Drums is nearly
completed. Our site affiliate has been growing as well. Rick has
added a QuickTime movie to demonstrate military beating of time. We hope
to utilize this form of media in our site as well. [www.onlinedrummajor.com/beatmilbaton.html
] We will be looking at this after competition season. Also, many
have been asking for logo items such as shirts, patches, pins, etc. We
will be looking into this if the response is strong enough. Should we
proceed, we will provide those items at cost plus shipping. [by Paul
30 May 2003 This month sees the membership continue to grow. Our
Highland Mace manual is nearing completion. We have posted an excellent
article on Scottish Massed Band by Jim Harrington [Pipes
and Drums/Drill/Massed Band]. Jim is the senior judge for the WUSPBA,
an influential drum major presence in the California Bay Area for decades, a
fount of drum major information, and all around nice guy. His article
compliments Mick's Massed Band article very nicely. We have also added a
new Historical section to the site. We have posted the 1830 - 1836 vintage
staff manual. We expect future postings to this section shortly - things
you will find quite interesting! [by Paul Olson]
29 April 2003
The site continues to grow! We have received a
packet from the USAF including manuals and photos. You will find these on
the Mil/USAF section as well as the Media section. We have made contact
with several parties regarding fife and drum manuals. The calendar is up
and is being expanded thanks to Mick Stewart! We are in the initial phase
of developing a Highland Mace manual which is our first major project outside of
the website. We have also heard from the Edinburgh Tattoo, which has
agreed to send us some photos for posting. [by Paul Olson]
17 April 2003
We made a significant breakthrough in our contacts.
Scott Grant made contact with the USMC which has graciously provided us with
it's band and drill manual, in addition to photographs. Our friends from the
USAF Ceremonial Brass are also sending us a package of manuals, photos, and
contacts. You shall be seeing a significant expansion of the Military
sections very shortly. The members keep flowing in despite us not yet
going public, although that day is coming soon. We have some very
influential members in the US Military realm, including the drum major
instructor for the Armed Forces School of Music. Currently our highest
percentage of members are USMC drum majors! We also have a new member from
Sweden! This week also marked the passing of the United States Drum Major
Association (USDMA), our precursor, into the history books. The USDMA
website was taken down and retired. I also enlisted the help of Lyman
Howard, one of the pipers from the Stewart Tartan Pipes & Drums, my home band,
to model the Full Dress uniform (Pipes/Dress/RSPBA
Dress). We shot pictures
on Treasure Island (site of the 1939 S.F. World's Fair, former US Navy base, and
best all around view of San Francisco) in between squalls of the last major
storm of the season. [by Paul Olson]
10 April 2003
This has been very exciting week. We received
permission from the Ministry of Defense to publish the
UK Drill Manual (1935).
You shall find it posted in the Pipes & Drums/Drill section. Also we
received and posted a guest article from Rick Wilson discussing what catches the
judge's eye during competition [Pipes & Drums/Competition]. We are
currently putting together the calendar. [by Paul Olson]
3 April 2003 A lot has happened
over the past few weeks. The site (drummajor.net, v1.4) is now up and running!
The site continues to be fleshed out with new material that I wish I had when I
started my D/M endeavor. Many contacts have been made to secure additional
information. You shall see those shortly. Many thanks to VP and Web Marshall
Scott Grant, who spent many long hours working to get this site created and
implemented. [by Paul Olson]
20 March 2003
We have made a significant strategic alliance. The RDMA has
entered into an affiliation with Rick Wilson’s Drum Major Resource Center (