History of KHPB
1952 to 1980
Several members of the Seattle Pipe Band, established in 1916 and now defunct, left that band to form the Keith Pipe Band in 1952. G. Colin Buchan, Robin Buchan and Carlton Wilds formed this new band and created a band constitution, modified only slightly since its inception, providing the organizational structure and operating procedures for the band.
In 1952, the original members of the band sought and received permission from the 10th Earl of Kintore, Chief of the Clan Keith, to wear the Keith tartan and cap badge. The band decided to wear a quasi-military uniform, including traditional uniform parts: tunic, plaid, cross belts, spats, military horsehair sporrans, feather bonnets or glengarries. KHPB is one of the few bands in the area who still wear this type of uniform on special occasions. Complimenting the formal uniform for more casual events, the band added a casual uniform alternative in the late 1970s. The casual uniform included a khaki short-sleeved military shirt with a custom-made Saltire patch on the right sleeve and an olive green wooly pulley (commando sweater) for colder weather performances.
Performances through 1980 primarily included parades, celebrations and dedications. Notable events included representing the United Kingdom at the United Nations Day program in 1952, performing for the British Consulate during the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, and receptions and parades for military ships during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. The band performed in many parades, fairs and festivals throughout the region. The band also conducted stage performances at a variety of venues.
The band competed occasionally in regional Highland Games from 1954-1980. Members also competed in solo events, but the band primarily focused on being a performance band during this timeframe.
As an all-volunteer organization, in 1963 the band formally became a non-profit organization under the name “Keith Highlanders Pipe Band”. The band’s performance fees and monetary competition awards pay for the band’s uniforms, drums, certain piping supplies and band instruction/education.
The band’s membership fluctuated during this timeframe, but concerted efforts in training and recruiting programs kept the band going. The band’s 25th anniversary in 1977 was notable, as the 12th Earl of Kintore and his wife graciously accepted an invitation to join the band in their celebrations in Seattle.