The Vero Beach Pipes and Drums exist to perform and promote Scottish, Irish, and American music and culture. It is our mission to promote interest, appreciation, and excellence in this art form. To attain this goal, we are determined to attract, develop and retain top piping and drumming talent through teaching, practice, parades, concerts and competition. The band seeks to foster mutual respect among its members, to create an environment conducive to learning, to implement policies and practices designed to avoid divisiveness and to provide an enjoyable and educational experience for all associated with it.
The Vero Beach Pipes & Drums was established in 2015 and founded by Pipe Major Jacob Craig and Drum Major John Thompson with the knowledge that the City of Vero Beach and surrounding areas were not represented by a pipe band. In an effort to build community, and to enrich, enhance, and promote Scottish, Irish, and American culture through performances and participation, the band was formed.
Our overall objectives are:
To perform in venues and competitions at the highest possible levels with ensemble, musicianship, and sound technique.
Enrich Vero Beach and surrounding areas by promoting Scottish, Irish, and American culture and music.
Educate all potential and existing members to be musical, dedicated, and hard-working individuals.
Training the band will be a weekly endeavor no less than two hours a week as a unit. The band will focus on performance literature, presentation, technique, musicality, ensemble, and morale.
Rehearsals take place weekly on Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm
First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach
520 Royal Palm Blvd.
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Jacob began his piping career at the age of 8 years old, and took regular lessons from Jerry Finegan and Norman Livermoore, both previous Pipe Majors of the Atlanta Pipe Band. Jacob began competing at age 10, and was Grade 2 by age 16. For nearly 10 years Jacob attended the North American Academy of Piping and the Balmoral School where he was fortunate to study with Ed Nigh, Sandy Jones, Greg Abbott, Bill Caudill, Alasdair Gillies, Norman Gillies, Jack Lee , Albert McMullin, and many others. Jacob also spent a summer abroad in Nova Scotia where he attended the Gaelic College.
John is a retired Defense Contractor and a Vietnam Veteran. John and his wife Ivy have lived in Vero Beach of nearly 35 years. Just picking up the chanter recently, John is under the instruction of Jacob Craig. John is an accomplished Ballroom Dancer and enjoys singing and acting. John also serves on the Board of the Scottish Society of the Treasure Coast.
Patrick is a retired Police Sergeant from Long Island, New York. He started playing the pipes at the age of 15 years old. He began his Piping Career with the New York City Transit Police Irish Warpipe Band. He attended Iona College on a Bagpipe Scholarship. He played Grade 3 Competition with Inis Fada Gaelic Pipe Band. Before moving to Florida, Patrick was a Pipe Corporal with The Nassau County Police Department Pipes and Drums.
Betty is a Tenor Drummer with the band and has over 30 years experience with Pipe Bands. Before moving to Florida, Betty was a member of the Mount Kisco Scottish Pipes and Drums.
The Board of Directors meets four times a year to discuss band issues.
Board of Directors
Jacob Craig - President and Pipe Major
John Thompson – Vice President, Drum Major, & Community Liaison
Betty Ledingham – Treasurer
Bernadette McCormick – Secretary and Community Liaison
Patrick McCormick – Pipe Sergeant and Community Liaison
Marion Hamilton – Director, Assistant Treasurer
Peter Dobson – Director
Alastair Kennedy – Director