Got pipes? We want you in Spencer. The Spencer Fire Brigade Pipe & Drum Corps is currently seeking new members. If you are an experienced piper or drummer, or would like to learn to play bagpipes, we are interested in talking to you. The band has immediate openings with experienced teachers available for lessons.
The Spencer Fire Brigade Pipe & Drum Corps is proudly the only call and volunteer fire department pipe and drum corps in Massachusetts. This small marching band was started by a group of Spencer call firefighters in November 2002 and is made up of firefighters, EMTs, and civilian personnel that have been invited to participate. From our first public appearance in May 2004, the corps has enjoyed enthusiastic support from the citizens, civic leaders, and businesses of Spencer and the surrounding towns. We are incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with all operating funds derived through membership dues, donations, fund raisers and performance fees. Our mission statement is “To create an opportunity to gain knowledge of and carry forth the traditions of Celtic pipe and drum music within the fire service and to the citizens of our communities and to perform at such functions as parades, memorials, funerals, or dedications and to provide members with an incentive to better serve the community through interactions with the band.”
The Spencer Fire Brigade Pipe and Drum Corp’s creation was actually inspired from the events of September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2002, the Spencer Fire Department along with other public service organizations were invited to the first anniversary vigil of 9-11 held at the Spencer Housing Authority facility. During that service, bagpipes were played as part of the program. After the program had concluded, members introduced themselves to pipers Reverend Ralph DiChiara and James Parsons. During the conversation, Reverend DiChiara and Jim Parsons offered to help us learn about the bagpipes and also to act as instructors to get the process started. Bagpipes have long been associated with and are very significant in fire departments throughout the country and the world. Eight members of the fire department signed up and started receiving lessons on November 11, 2002. Since that time we have not looked back and as we move forward the interest from within and outside the department has continued to grow. As of this time, we have 11 playing members including pipers, snare drummers, tenor and bass drummers, and a Drum Major. This group is made up of current/retired firefighters from Spencer, West Boylston, Oxford, and Charlton, as well as family members and friends of current members. Our goal is to master these instruments and join the bagpipers and drummers to form a marching unit that will represent our community. This is a venture that is not only exciting to build morale within the fire department but something that our entire community can be proud to have.
Our initial objective was to perform in the 2004 Spencer Memorial Day Parade. That Monday morning was a beautiful spring day and the band performed in the parade in our brand new Lesley Red tartan kilts. The reception to the band by the crowd was unbelievable and all were exceptionally proud of our progress in the first 18 months of our history. Since then, the band has performed at the following events:
June 2004 District 7 Recruit Graduation, Oxford
July 2004 East Brookfield Fire Department 4th July Parade
Sept. 2004 Charlton Olde Home Day Parade
Sept. 2004 Spencer Fair Opening Ceremonies & Concert
Oct. 2004 Spencer Savings Bank 5th Anniversary Celebration
May 2005 Spencer Town Meeting
May 2005 District 7 Recruit Graduation (Central/South), Oxford
May 2005 Private Benefit Concert, Spencer Country Inn
May 2005 Spencer Memorial Day Parade
June 2005 District 7 Recruit Graduation (North), East Brookfield
July 2005 East Brookfield Fire Department 4th July Parade
Sept. 2005 Charlton 250th Anniversary Old Home Day Parade
Oct. 2005 Brookfield Fire Department 150th Anniversary Banquet
To learn more about joining the band, please contact Deputy Chief William Locke, Spencer Fire Department or e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also make band members available for department or group visits to discuss membership opportunities. We have a website that can be visited to view our repertoire, playing schedule, and some photographs of recent outings. You will also find a Band Request Form in PDF format that can be downloaded and printed if you are interested in hosting the band for a department event. To access the website, go to http://www.spencerfire.org/sfdpipes.
Cleighton Tourtellotte, Snare Drummer
Deputy Chief, Oxford Fire Department