“Pittsfield Needs a Pipe Band”… at least this was the claim of an ad appearing in April 1976 in the Berkshire Eagle. The ad drew a group of potential pipers and drummers, a group that grew and matured musically from its founding in that bicentennial year until it ultimately achieved not just local but international recognition.
In April 1977, just one year after most of its members first saw a set of pipes, the band was part of a concert performance at Berkshire Community College. Later that year, George Bisacca, founder of Eastover Resort in Lenox and a visionary always intrigued by the unusual, engaged the band to march with his contingent in the town’s 4th of July parade.
From those first public appearances, performances in parades and concerts grew more frequent, with the band playing at Tanglewood On Parade (annually for more than 25 years), at a Celtic night with the Boston Pops, and on a National Public Radio broadcast with Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion show. Other notable venues included the Saratoga (New York) Performing Arts Center, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, West Point, and the Clark Museum of Art. Favorite local engagements include the band’s annual concert atop Mount Greylock and Pittsfield’s 4th of July parade, which was televised worldwide on the Armed Forces network for several years.
From St. Patrick’s Day in March to Columbus Day in October, the band marches and plays in a splendid array of college graduations and alumni reunions, patriotic ceremonies, fund-raisers and benefits, Highland games and gatherings, fairs and firemen musters, and such one-time engagements as the inauguration ceremony for a Massachusetts governor. In addition to maintaining this demanding schedule, individual pipers and small groups also perform at weddings, funerals, and other occasions where a full band may not be appropriate. If you have an event you would like to see the Berkshire Pipe Band at please contact us.