MacMillan Victorious at Fair Hill! 

The Colonial Highland Gathering at Fair Hill proved to be another success for the MacMillan organization on May 16th. All three bands competed in 4 events total, and over a dozen members also competed in solo events.

Congrats to all MacMillan soloists, winning 6 events and placing in 10 others! Winners included Beth Morgan, Sam Johnson, Jeremiah Whitney and Chris Imlay. Keep up the great work!

The MacMilllan-Dunn band again improved their performance in a tough field of seven talented bands and continue the trend of learning from every contest and peformance. Huge congratulations go to the Rockville High School Pipe Band, earning straight 1st place from each of the four judges in the Grade 5 event.  MacMillan-Birtles too had stiff competition in the Grade 4 contest, and are well on their way to the prize list for our next contest in New Jersey, July 11th!

The MacMillan band had two strong performances, winning both the Medley and MSR events. The pipe corps won the MSR event with firsts from both judges, and the drum corps won with an AGL from judge Tom Kee. The Medley event was a bit less stellar for the pipe corps, getting a third and second from the piping judges, tying the Ulster Scottish pipe corps, but the drum corps again won with and AGL and the band earned first in ensemble, showing how much the new members are not only fitting into the band, but improving it. Onward and upward for MacMillan!



Next up for the bands, we are playing the Sharpsburg, Maryland Memorial Day Parade on Saturday May 23. For our less experienced players, performances like this offer opportunities to mingle with the higher level musicians.  Mixing and mingling between competiton bands is part of the mission of MacMillan, to teach every player how to improve and evnetually move up between competitive groups. For any interested pipers, be sure to send us a message either on facebook or leave a comment right here! We always welcome new  members, even stark beginners!
Till next time, keep rooting for Big Mac!

Southern Maryland

The MacMillan bands had a wonderful time at the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland’s Festival on April 25 in St. Leonard. Even though the weather could have been better, hitting only 45 degrees for a high and raining a bit towards the end of the day we all enjoyed the first contest of the year.

MacMillan-Dunn fielded a lot of new players for their first competitive experience. Lots of positive comments about the performance and potential of the band, with some informative points to improve as the season continues.

MacMillan-Birtles also brought on a good deal of new members and although were missing some of the band’s veteran players, earned 2nd place in the Grade 4 event.

MacMillan won the contest with some great comments and straight first places from all four judges. Welcome as well to the new members of MacMillan who joined the band in competition for the first time.

On the solo front we had:

Sean Kelly- 6th Place Grade 4 Sr 2/4 March

Gordon Fraser- 4th Place Grade 4 Sr 2/4 March

Chris Imlay- 2nd Place Grade 3 Piobaireachd, 5th Place Grade 3 2/4 March

Jeff Walden- 4th Place Grade 3 Piobaireachd

Andrew Donlon- 1st Place Open MSR, 2nd Place Open Hornpipe & Jig, 2nd Place 6/8 Marches, 5th Place Open Piobaireachd, Open Piper of the Day.

All in all Southern Maryland was a strong start for the MacMillan bands and soloists. The next few weeks are very busy with the Rockville High School Pipe Band festival on Saturday May 2, the Frederick Celtic Festival on May 9 and the Colonial Highland Gathering on May 16.

Enjoy the end of April and make sure to practice!

MacMillan 2015: The Big Mo’

The second half of the 2014 season went by so quickly we forgot to update the website! All three bands had a productive season, culminating in the MacMillan-Birtles (Grade 4) earning 2nd place at the Celtic Classic, and the MacMillan Band (Grade 3) earning 2nd place at both the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario and at the Cetlic Classic. MacMillan-Dunn (Grade 5) has been working diligently to move players up the ranks into our other two bands, as well as training new players for the future!

November came quickly and led to an influx of new members, including a slew of drummers for the MacMillan band from the City of Washington Pipe Band including Alex Kuldell, Jason Hoffert, Ben Elkins, Jack McClamrock, Sam Johnson and Beth Morgan. Other new drummers include Seton Helwig and Mike Kelly, both of whom have vast experience in competitive pipe bands. New pipers Kyle Grasty, Adam Tianello, and Sean Gearhart are working their way through the music to be on the field at Southern Maryland this April. Welcome aboard, everyone!

The MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band got some new leadership in November at the band’s annual meeting. Congratulations to P/M Jason Barth and D/S Betsy Meade! We trust both of these experienced players will be great in their new roles, and can’t wait to see the work they are doing through the year.

MacMillan-Birtles now has a new D/S as well, congratulations to Ron Limparis for stepping up and helping make the drum corps stronger than ever!

Even though the offseason was busy, a small group of 5 made the trip to Kansas City for Winter Storm in January. Alex Kuldell and Harry Meade played in the Gold Medal Snare Drumming contest, Sam Johnson in the Gold Medal Tenor Drumming, Dawn Meade in the Intermediate Tenor Drumming and Andrew Donlon in the US Silver Medal Piobaireachd and the US Gold Medal Ceol Beag. Alex Stewart made the trek to the midwest as well to help out drummers, and was an integral part of the weekend.  Team MacMillan did well, and Andrew Donlon won the Silver Medal!

April brings in the first performance for all three bands, MacMillan United Pipe Bands in Concert. Check for details. It is sure to be a great time!

On April 25th the bands will be competing at the Southern Maryland Highland Games in St. Leonard, MD. Be sure to come by our tent and hang out if you’re there! This will be the debut of the MacMillan-Dunn March Medley for this year, the new MSR for MacMillan-Birtles and the competitive debut of the 2015 MacMillan Medley. Each performance is sure to be one to remember!

As always, any pipers or drummers, or those interested in learning are welcome to send us a message about playing in the bands. The door is always open!

Go Team MacMillan!

MacMillan Soloists Rock the Prize Lists

Even when the band doesn’t attend a particular competition, the pipers and drummers from MacMillan Pipe Band, MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band and MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band continue to challenge their talents in competitions throughout the United States and Canada.

So far this year, we’ve had players in the prize lists at Metro Express Contest in Newark, NJ (2/14/2014), Charleston Indoor Games in Charleston, SC (3/1/2014), Erepa Grotto Indoor in Erie, PA (3/1/2014), Cary Indoor Solo Piping Contest in Cary, NC (3/29/2014), Woodberry Forest Indoor Games in Woodberry Forest, VA (4/12/2014), Savannah Scottish Games in Savannah, GA (5/10/2014), Bonnie Brae Scottish Games in Basking Ridge, NJ (6/7/2014), Ohio Scottish Games in Wellington, OH (6/28/2014), Rockland County Feis in Rockland County, NY (6/28/2014), and Kamloops Highland Games in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada (7/14/2014).

So, congratulations and WAY TO REPRESENT the MacMillan Bands to our prize-winning solo competitors for the first half of the 2014 season!

Pipers – Scott Blevins, Andrew Chalfoun, Andrew Donlon, Chris Imlay, Jacob Loughlin, Kevin O’Brien, William Shropshire, Joey Votta, Jeff Walden, Mary Wallace, and Kevin Watkins

Drummers – Husam Al-Zubaidy

Jersey Shore Celtic Festival – Small Games, Big Results

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, The MacMillan Pipe Bands traveled to Tom’s River, New Jersey, for the Jersey Shore Celtic Festival.

A very large number of MacMillan players took part in the solo events at Jersey Shore.  In drumming, Dawn Meade took 2nd in Amateur 2 Tenor and Betsy Meade took 2nd in Grade 4 Senior Snare.  In Grade 3 Snare, Nicholas Shropshire took 3rd and Matthew Niblock took 1st in the March event. Nick also took 2nd in the March Set event. Harry Meade took 2nd in Professional Snare.

In Grade 4 Junior Piping, Joey Votta swept the event with 1sts in March and Piobaireachd.  In Grade 4 Senior Piping, Scott Blevins took 4th in the March event and 2nd in the Piobaireachd event, while Spencer Grinnell took 5th and Kaitlyn Jacob took 6th in the Piobaireachd event.  In Grade 3 Piping, Kevin Watkins placed 4th and Chris Imlay placed 3rd in Piobaireachd B, while Jeff Walden took 2nd in Piobaireachd and 4th in Strathspey and Reel.  In Grade 2 Piping, Kevin O’Brien placed 3rd in Piobaireachd.  In Grade 1 Piping, William Shropshire placed 1st in MSR, 2nd in Hornpipe/Jig, and 3rd in Piobaireachd, while Andrew Chalfoun placed 1st in Hornpipe/Jig and 2nd in Piobaireachd.

Because of scheduling conflicts, not all of the members of the MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band could attend, so they played for comments in the Grade 5 event.  In Grade 4 bands, The MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band took 2nd place, while The MacMillan Pipe Band took 2nd place with straight 1sts in Piping in Grade 3.  Congratulations to all!

Fair Day at Fairhill Games

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the MacMillan Pipe Bands traveled to Fairhill, Maryland, for the Colonial Highland Games.

A large number of MacMillan players participated in the day’s solo events, including Bill McKinley who placed 2nd in Amateur Drum Major competition.  In solo drumming, Dawn Meade took 3rd in Amateur 1 Tenor, while Beth Morgan took 1st in both Novice Tenor and Grade 4 Senior Snare.  In Grade 3 Snare, Husam Al-Zubaidy took 6th, Nicholas Shropshire took 5th and Matt Niblock took 1st.  Harry Meade took 4th in Professional Snare and 2nd in Professional Bass.

In piping, Joey Votta took 1st in Grade 4 Junior March, Scott Blevins took 4th in Grade 4 Senior March, and Kayla Harper took 6th in Grade 3 March.  In Grade 2, Kevin O’Brien took 6th in Piobaireachd and Jacob Loughlin took 3rd in both Piobaireachd and MSR.

In band competitions, the MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band took 6th in Grade 5.  The MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band took 3rd in Grade 4, with straight 1sts in piping.  The MacMillan Pipe Band took 6th in Grade 3.   Congratulations to all!

MacMillan Bands Kick Off the Season with Southern Maryland Successes

On Saturday, April 26, the three MacMillan bands traveled to Prince Frederick, Maryland, for the Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland.  Many of our players participated in solo competitions throughout the day.

Congratulations to Nathan Hurt, who placed 1st in Amateur 2 Tenor, and to snare drummers Nicholas Shropshire, Jeremiah Whitney, and Matt Niblock, who placed 4th (Nick), 2nd (Jeremiah) and 1st (Matt) in Grade 3 Snare.

On the piping front, Joey Votta swept the Grade 4 Junior events with straight 1sts, and in Grade 4 Senior, Scott Blevins took 6th in Piobaireachd.  In the Grade 3 Piping events, Kevin Watkins took 5th in March and 3rd in Piobaireachd A. In Grade 2 Piping, Jacob Loughlin took 1st in the Hornpipe/Jig, MSR, and Piobaireachd events, and 2nd in the 6/8 March event, while Kevin O’Brien took 5th in Piobaireachd.  In Grade 1 Piping, Mary Wallace took 1st in Hornpipe/Jig, 2nd in Piobaireachd, and 4th in 6/8 March, while William Shropshire took 2nd in 6/8 March and MSR, and 5th in Piobaireachd and Hornpipe/Jig.  In Professional Piping, Andrew Donlon placed 1st in 6/8 March and MSR.

In the band competitions, the MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band placed 5th in Grade 5. The MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band placed 1st in Grade 4, and The MacMillan Pipe Band placed 1st in Grade 3.  Congratulations to all for a great season kick-off!

HERITAGE – MacMillan Pipe Bands in Concert, April 5, 2014

The MacMillan Pipe Bands are proud to announce their upcoming concert, HERITAGE, on Saturday, April 5, 2014. The concert will be held at the Performing Arts Center at the Sandy Spring Friends School at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door – $10.00 for ages 13 and older, $5.00 for ages 5-13, and children under 5, free.

Directions to the Sandy Spring Friends School campus can be found at

Join MacMillan Pipe Band, MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band, and MacMillan-Dunn Pipe Band for an evening celebrating our Celtic Heritage. The concert will include band performances, dancing, smallpipes and small groups performances, solo piping, drum salutes and more! Additionally, there will be a silent auction and a number of raffle items available in the lobby. Come one and all and join the Mid-Atlantic region’s premiere pipe band organization for an evening of music and fun. We look forward to seeing you there!

Solos Success for MacMillan Players at MHAF WinterStorm 2014!

MacMillan Pipe Bands were well represented at the 2014 Midwest Highland Arts Fund WinterStorm Competitions! Grade III’s Lead Tenor, Dawn Meade, placed 4th overall in the Amateur Tenor Competition – her first year in Amateur, having won the Novice competition last year. Grade III Pipe Sergeant Andrew Donlon placed 4th overall in the Silver Medal Professional Piobaireachd competition and 7th overall (out of 27) in the Gold Medal Professional Ceol Beag (Light Music) competition. Andrew’s accomplishments are even greater, considering that this weekend was his first ever Professional competitions! Well done to both of them, and to Grade III Drum Sergeant Harry Meade, who placed just out of the finals in the Gold Medal Professional Snare Drumming competition. Great job, all of you!

MacMillan Rides High in EUSPBA Season Results!

As the 2013 competition draws to a close, the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association has released its year-end overall results and standings. As in year’s past, the MacMillan organization is well represented in those results.

Our Grade III band finished the competition season in 4th place overall in EUSPBA Grade III. Congratulations, guys!

MacMillan’s Andrew Donlon placed 1st overall and Mary Wallace, 3rd overall, in Grade I solo piping. Andrew also placed 1st overall in Grade I solo piobaireachd, while Mary took 4th in the piobaireachd only results. There were 73 total competitors in the Grade I events. MacMillan’s Jacob Loughlin placed 9th overall (out of 294!) in Grade III piping, while MacMillan-Dunn’s Chris Imlay placed 5th overall (out of 611!) in Grade IV Senior Piping and 2nd overall in Grade IV Senior Piobaireachd only results. Impressive work, pipers!

MacMillan’s Harry Meade placed 9th overall (out of 35) in Professional Snare Drumming, and 4th overall (out of 31) in Professional Bass Drumming. MacMillan’s bass drummer (and Harry’s dad) placed right behind him in 5th overall in Professional Bass. MacMillan’s Matt Niblock placed 5th (out of 51) in Grade III Snare. MacMillan’s Dianne Duncan placed 4th (out of 21) in Professional Tenor Drumming, and MacMillan’s Dawn Meade placed 3rd (out of 26) in Amateur I Tenor Drumming. MacMillan-Birtles’ Martina Murphy placed 7th (out of 50 overall) in Amateur II Tenor Drumming. Great job, drummers!

Overall, it was a fantastic 2013 season for the MacMillan organization. While our Grade IV and V bands did not finish in the prize lists this year, it was a good building year for these bands, particularly the fledgling MacMillan-Dunn band. And players from all three bands placed in the Top 10 prize lists, so all should be proud of our work this year.

Here’s to a restful off-season and a refreshed outlook for 2014, when we hope to have more players – from all three bands – competing in solos and placing on the prize lists. Thanks for all your hard work, and we’ll see you next season!