Carmel, NY – The bagpipes have been a staple of music for as long as there have been parades, memorial services and traditional ceremonies. Renowned composers such as Joseph Hayden and Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote symphonies incorporating the bagpipes. The unique sound of the pipes can even be heard in non-traditional music in the songs of Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, and unbelievably, AC/DC. Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne recently visited the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #704 to show their support of the mission and the music of the Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band by presenting them with a grant for $1,000. The grant was provided by the American-Irish Legislators Society.
The Band was formed in November 2007 in honor of New York City Emergency Police Officer Stephen P. Driscoll, who was killed in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. The Band is based out of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge #704.
“The Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band provides some of the finest traditional Irish and Scottish music heard today,” said Senator Murphy. “They proudly represent the 40th Senate District, and have continued the time-honored custom of giving back to their community by mentoring young musicians and volunteering their talents to help other organizations.”
An accomplished piper in his own right, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne met the Driscoll family in 2000, learning to play the bagpipes with Stephen’s son, Barry. The two played together in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Pipe Band. Barry Driscoll has since followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a detective.
“It is with great pleasure we bring back this grant from the American-Irish Legislators Society to support the Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band,” said Assemblyman Byrne. “As a charter member of the band, I’ve seen this band grow and expand, teaching dozens of young people about Celtic traditions, music and art. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the band, and I expect this band to continue to grow for another 10 plus years.”
The band’s mission is to promote the appreciation of bagpipe and drum music by providing class instruction, presenting innovative musical events, pursuing group competition, encouraging individual competition, and fostering Celtic tradition.
The Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band has marched in parades throughout the Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut, performed at the U.S. Military Tattoo at West Point, played with the Chieftains and opened for Shillelagh Law.
The Fraternal Order of Police was founded in 1915 by two Pittsburgh patrol officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle, who pledged to improve their fellow officers bleak 12 hour work days and lack of representation. They formed Fort Pitt Lodge #1 and held their first meeting along with 21 other officers on May 14, 1915. By 1917, their dream of having a National Organization of Police Officers had become a reality. The Fraternal Order of Police has since become the largest professional police organization in the country, with more than 318,000 members and 2,100 lodges.