The History of the Band

CPDH, Founding Member
Larry Coleman, Pipe Major Emeritus



"The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawai'i" began in 1985 as the Shamrock Pipe Band, but the Irish name was too limiting, and it soon came to be known by its present name. The Band's ranks have expanded through a constant training program. There are currently 32 pipers and drummers, as well as Irish dancers, a fiddler, and a number of piping students. The many innovations have enhanced its reputation, and there are many calls to perform.

The increasing popularity of the Band has culminated in its extension representing the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments. Development of the Honolulu Police Pipe Band began in April 1988, and the Band, in that image, made its inaugural performance during National Police Week in May 1989. One of the special features of the Band is the symbolic military attire of the members in the Black Watch tartan kilt. The Band joined together with members of the Black Watch (42nd Royal Highland Regiment) during the Regiment's training visit to Hawai'i. In May 1993, a new dimension was added to the Band with the Colors and Honor Guard. This distinctive unit is comprised of Honolulu Police Law Enforcement Explorers under the advisor-ship of a Honolulu Police sergeant. They provide a brilliant array of flags representing the Celtic Nations (Cross of St. Andrew, Irish Harp, Welsh Griffin, and the Rampant Lion) as well as the flags of the United States, State of Hawai'i, and Honolulu Police Department.  

On August 11, 1993, the Band was honored and commended by the Council of the City and County of Honolulu for its musical contribution to the people of Hawai'i. In the past, the Band and Honor Guard have been awarded First Place at the annual Kailua Fourth of July Parade, as well as the annual Kaneohe Christmas Parade. In January 1994, the Caledonian Society of Hawai'i recognized the remarkable development of the Band by distinguishing founding Pipe Major Lawrence A. Coleman as "Scot of the Year". Pipe Major Coleman retired in July 1999 with the distinguished title of Pipe Major Emeritus. Coleman continues to perform with the band.

During any given year, Band members, all volunteers, participate in dozens of performances, including: a host of concerts and performances with military bands from the services represented in Hawai'i; working with the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, including videotaping at the Academy of Arts; welcoming Lady Margaret Thatcher during her visit to the Governor's Mansion, Washington Place; opening and closing the 1991 and 1993 U.S. Air Force Tattoos; annual appearances at Robert Burns' Nights, Highland Games, U.S. Army 25th Light Infantry Division's military tattoo (including pipe bands from the Canadian Army), Christmas and St. Patrick's Day parades; in concert with the Royal Hawaiian Band; and performances in honor of various military and veterans' groups. Band members come from all walks of life and all age levels. Many pipers and drummers are home grown through the Band's robust training program.



In Fond Memory Of Dr. John Sheedy
Pipe Sgt. Emeritus 1920-2003



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Photos: Sam Cadelinia