Band History

Prior to the efforts that led to the founding of "Mississippi.s Own Father of Waters Pipes & Drums", it could be said with some certainty that the State of Mississippi could boast of fewer than a dozen pipers. There were small "pockets" of piping that existed in some areas at one time or another, for example at the University of Southern Mississippi the story is still told today of how a small group of pipers used to play before every football game. That of course is no longer the case, as academic administrations have come and gone through the years. Not only were pipers few in number, but they seldom if ever came together at one place. The Mississippi Scottish Highland Games, through the Caledonian Society of Mississippi, attracted a forum of local state pipers, who would ultimately forge a "pipeline" between them. This "pipeline" was and still is the basic channel for the placement of pipers at requested events. The Caledonian Society also sponsored (and still does) a student bagpiping scholarship through Belhaven College, which fanned the flames of pipe band aspirations in the years prior to the formation of the Father of Waters Pipes & Drums. Kris Carmichael, past president of the Caledonian Society and the East Mississippi Scottish Society, knew that if a pipe band was to be realized it would have to be done by Mississippians, and would need to exist as an independent, autonomous organization. As exposure increased, the call for solo pipers began to rise. Other organizations such as the Jackson Fallen Firefighters Association, the East Mississippi Scottish Society and the Natchez Scottish Society, all played a vital part in promoting the art as they regularly called on the pipers for their events, memorials and special occasions.

There appears to have been no serious attempt at organizing a legally chartered band prior to August 1, 2001. That is, a band dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe through instruction, lecture, and performance. With that goal acknowledged by a handful of the state's active pipers and drummers, "Mississippi.s Own Father of Waters Pipes & Drums" was born and some years later, received its legal non-profit status. Today, the band can boast of a growing membership, as well as having paved the way for future pipers and drummers. Unofficially, the band existed as far back as 1997, and by the year 2000, it won its first trophy in the Mal.s St. Paddy.s Day Parade. Before its charter was granted, it had seen service in parades in Laurel, Meridian, Jackson, Natchez, as well as in small towns such as Lena, Hickory, and Lake. In the year 2000, the band marched Governor-Elect Ronnie Musgrove to the steps of the Capitol Building for his inauguration, and in 2004 marched in the inaugural parade for Governor-Elect Haley Barbour as well as participated in the inaugural service at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson. Since its conception, its rank and file consisted of members from Jackson, Vicksburg, Natchez, Kosciusko, Carthage, Meridian, Laurel, Hattiesburg, Madison, Wesson, Brandon, Harperville, Forest, and Starkville.

This unit and its individual members have touched the lives of countless people and is widely recognized as one of Mississippi.s greatest ambassadors. It is said that the rain seldom falls as the pipers play and the drums resound. Perhaps the host of Heaven bends a little bit closer to earth to lend a fond ear to that immortal sound. And, why shouldn.t they? To see and hear that which the Lord has created, and brought forth in the fullness of His time, "Mississippi.s Own Father of Waters Pipes & Drums".


© 2003 Father of Waters Pipes and Drums