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Are bagpipes Scottish or Irish?

Photo: McGuire's Pipe Band

I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without acknowledging the Celtic sound of the bagpipes. For Pensacolians, we immediately think of McGuire’s Irish Pub Pipe Band.


Often thought to be synonymous with Scotland, bagpipes are also very much a part of Irish culture. In some early records dating back to Irish records from the 400s, this pipe instrument was referred to as “The Pulse.” We like the sound of that name!

The unmistakable sound was intended to both encourage warriors to victory in battle and also belt mournful melodies that would escort the fallen to their graves.

McGuire’s Irish Pipe Band was born in 1988, the brainchild of Molly Martin and Jack Dasinger. The band wears the tartan of McDonald, Lord of the Isle, for its Emerald Isle color and design. Currently, they are led by Pipe Major Michael Vazzana and Drum Major Michael Clark.

The band is often a centerpiece of any major parade in Pensacola and can be seen in rehearsal every Monday night in the Pensacola State College Ashmore Auditorium.

They have performed at many Highland Game and Celtic Festivals across the southeastern United States, winning honors in Alabama, Georgia, and south Florida. They have been featured nationally on The Travel Channel, CBS, ESPN, and The Discovery Channel.

In addition to many upcoming festivals and parades, they will also perform in nearby Daleville, Alabama for the Southeastern Highland Games. The games will take place on September 23 at Culpepper Field. Daleville is located between Enterprise and Dothan.

The band is always at McGuire’s Irish Pub on St. Patrick’s Day, but will also be in the following upcoming locations:

March 25, Gulf Breeze Arts Festival, Gulf Breeze High School,  12-1 p.m.
April 4 – O’Riley’s beer-tasting event
April 15 – Pensacola State College International Festival
For more information on McGuire’s Irish Pipe Band, follow them on Facebook here.