The Glengarry Pipe Band was formed in early 1961 and has operated continuously since that time. The original purpose of the band was to provide a local host band for the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario, and the band has maintained its close relationship with the Highland Games ever since.
Over the years the band has acted as both a community band (playing at local parades, shows, and other events) and as a competing pipe band, traveling across North America and to Scotland in pursuit of its goal of musical excellence.
With the arrival of Colin MacLellan as leader in 1987,
the band began competing regularly in Grade 4, and was soon winning
many competitions, including the North American Championship in
When the band was promoted to Grade 3, there was an obvious need to start training players at a basic level, and a second junior band was formed to compete in Grade 4. Over the years, this progressive system has graduated many players from learners to the junior band and on to the senior band.
The senior band progressed from Grade 4 (1987-88), through to Grade 3 (1989), and Grade 2, becoming Canadian, US, and North American Pipe Champions each multiple times, and taking prizes in Scottish contests (including 4th overall and 2nd in drumming at the Grade 2 World Pipe Band Championship). During this period, the junior band continued as a community and prize-winning competitive band, training many players who graduated to the senior band.
In 1997, the senior band was poised to enter Grade 1, but a combination of circumstances caused the group to fold. While the senior band dissolved, the junior band continued strongly, absorbing some members of the senior band, and continuing the Glengarry Pipe Band name. Under the leadership of Ross May, the band competed at Grade 4 and Grade 3 levels from 1997 to 2001.
In 2001, Colin Clansey assumed leadership of the Glengarry
Pipe Band to reconstitute a senior grade competing band. The band
succeeded in Grade 2, winning prizes in Canada and the US, as well
as at the World Pipe Band Championship in 2004. In 2011 the grade
2 band merged with Ottawa Police PB in order to field a more competitive
band from the Eastern Ontario region.
Currently, the Glengarry Pipe Band has two groups:
- A senior band, currently competing in Grade 3,
which combines competition and community activities.
- A training band at the Grade 5 level which teaches students from the Glengarry School of Piping and Drumming how to play in a band. This group does not compete every year, but always has a strong community presence at parades & local performances.