About

The Eagle Pipe Band is sponsored by the University of Mary Washington and thus the organization and its members serve as ambassadors for this institution. We seek to have our actions reflect well on UMW. Whenever the University requires the band’s services, we will meet that obligation.

As a musical group comprised of college students, faculty, alumni, and community members we operate with two primary goals: First, we strive to present quality music and dance. We practice diligently to present performances that are the very best we can make them. Second, we will have fun. This is a hobby, an outlet to share our love of Celtic arts with like-minded folks. As an extension of these, we hope to pass on our enthusiasm to our audiences and future band members.

We perform at various official university events, including Commencement, Eagle Gathering for incoming students, Homecoming, the opening of new buildings, and presidential inaugurations. The band plays several local events in the community, including Burns’ Night Supper for the Scottish Society of Fredericksburg and an annual St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl in Downtown Fredericksburg. When in competition mode, we make day trips in the Middle Atlantic region in April, September, and October.

Band leadership has decades of experience. Pipe Major and Band Director Dr. Lauren McMillan has been playing the Great Highland Bagpipes since 1995 and has played in several bands in the Middle Atlantic. Director Emeritus, Dr. Raymond Scott, began playing in 1965; he is a well-known dance piper and bagpipe instructor in the region and has played with many bands around the country. In addition to playing the bagpipes, Mike Yearsley serves as our Drum Instructor and has been playing since 2003. Denise Hamilton serves as our Dance Director; she has been dancing since 1990 and has a degree in Highland Dancing from the British Association of Teachers of Dancing.

The band practices on Sunday afternoons, 3:30-5:30 in Pollard Hall on the University of Mary Washington campus. We offer bagpipe, Scottish drum, and Scottish Highland dance lessons. We offer scholarships to university students who participate in the band. If you are interested in joining the band or hiring the Eagle Pipe Band to perform at your event, please contact us: umweaglepipeband@gmail.com

 

Our Origins

In September 1996, Mary Washington College asked the City of Washington Pipe Band to perform at the May 1997 commencement exercises, as they had for the previous four years. Due to scheduling difficulties, the band had to decline the invitation. Dr. Ray Scott, two of his students- Erin Brown, Rob Martin, – Paul Burgess, Bill Nightingale, and Walt McIntyre got together and played that commencement, calling themselves the Fredericksburg Piping Club.

President Anderson was inspired to have Mary Washington College adopt the group, which occurred in September 1997 as the Eagle Pipe Band. For the next 22 years the band competed up and down the east coast, performed all over the Middle Atlantic, and trained countless pipers, drummers, and dancers- all under the direction of Dr. Raymond Scott (Professor Emeritus- Chemistry). Dr. Scott retired in 2019, at which time Dr. Lauren McMillan (Assistant Professor- Historic Preservation) took over the band. Dr. Scott continues to play in the band and serves as the Eagle Pipe Band’s ensemble director and music guru.