Add it to the list: Pelham now has its own tartan-clad bagpipe band


Pelham Regional Pipe Band.

Bagpipes have arrived in town thanks to the Pelham Regional Pipe Band, started by Thomas Callahan and Andrew Scott, teachers at Pelham Memorial High School.

The band is nine months old and already has eight pipers and three drummers. Callahan is the lead piper. He and Scott both knew how to play bagpipes prior to starting the band. Scott said he had been in another band for a volunteer fire department, but is no longer apart of that. Both men wanted to play together and thought the band would be a great way to bring the instrument to Pelham.

Callahan, who has played for thirty years, started when he watched one of his friends perform in a youth bagpipe band. He attended Iona College and performed with the school’s bagpipe band. He said he has played in numerous bands, including two competition-level bands, one of which was East Coast champion in their grade.

Callahan said his favorite part of playing is “working with friends to accomplish a common goal and to have fun while we are doing it.”

Scott said he started to play the pipes in college after seeing an ad in the Irish Echo newspaper selling bagpipes. He said he loves the pipes and the group’s association with Pelham. He said he likes to swap different tunes with the other players.

Scott Orlansky, one of the drummers, said he had started playing the snare drum when Callahan reached out to him and asked if he would like to play the drums in the new Pelham outfit. Orlansky plays six instruments but had never played drums formally.

“All of us are very different individuals that are connected in multiple ways but tied together through the band,” he said.

The band performed at the high school on Saint Patrick’s Day and in the Bronx for a funeral. They perform in kilts with a blue plaid called Ramsay Blue Modern. They hope to one day have their own Pelham plaid consisting of white, blue and yellow. The band would like to grow, but members don’t want it to expand too quickly and cause the group to see a decline in skills.

Visit the official website here.