Chattanooga Pipe Band riding a winning streak


Contributed photo

The Chattanooga Pipe Band marches and plays in downtown Chattanooga.

Forget the luck of the Irish. These Scottish culture enthusiasts have their own talent and dedication to thank for four straight wins at recent competitions.

The Chattanooga Pipe Band, a collection of around 25 bagpipers and drummers, is celebrating a recent winning streak and looking forward to the fall when it will compete in more competitions across the region. Its weekly Thursday practices from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Northside Presbyterian Church, 923 Mississippi Ave., are open the public.

“Our primary purpose is to continue the traditions of Scottish music and the musical traditions of the British Isles,” said the group’s spokesman Tom Arnold, who also works as Ooltewah Elementary School’s principal. “A lot of it has to do with the heritage.”

For Arnold specifically, his interest in bagpipes came when he inherited his grandpa’s set.

“I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life,” he said. “I was I guess what you’d call a jock.”

Others who are interested in learning how to play either the pipes or drums are encouraged to join the band.

“We’re always open to new members, whether they know the instruments or not, whether they have a musical background or not,” Arnold said.

In addition to competitions, the band regularly plays at festivals, football games, funerals, weddings and other events.

“You name it, we’ve played it,” said Arnold.

Members of the band, who are both men and women, come from all over Hamilton County and as far away as Huntsville, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., and Cleveland, Tenn., he said.

For more information visit ChattanoogaPipeBand.org.