As was often done in the 1950s, the society helped “import” pipers and drummers, helping them find work in the states. Many of our pipe majors came from good Scottish bands by that route. The Worcester Kiltie Band brought Dan Mooney who later led Sutherland.
David Hogg, Archibald MacLeod and John Rennie served as P/M at various times between 1951-1969. The band continued to grow in the 1950’s and 1960’s and gained widespread recognition. Archie reminisced that when Sutherland went to games, opposing bands got nervous.
The late Pipe Major, Hamilton (Hammy) Workman led the band to hard fought victories. In Scotland, in 1975 the band competed well at Cowal and Rothesay. In 1976, the Band was the first U.S. Pipe Band to win the Canadian National Championship in grade II.
Dan Mooney, Hammy’s Pipe Sergeant, took over in 1978. Dan had played with several world class Pipe Bands, both in the U.S. and Scotland and has brought his training in traditional pipe band methods. His band continued winning contests in grades IV, III and II.
Membership in the Clan Sutherland Society had declined by the 1980’s. In 1991 the band officially changed its name to the “Sutherland Pipe Band” and updated our status as a non-profit organization. Band members continued the traditional Burns Nights many years after the clan could no longer afford to.
We competed in Scotland in 1987 at the Bridge of Alan and at Maxville, Ontario in 1993 and 1995. In 1992 the Band elected Drum Sergeant, Jack Giunta. The new combination of talent propelled Sutherland to 3rd place Grade IV Champion Supreme in 1995.
We did well also in 1996 and capped that year with performances as guests of the Bermuda army unit. One spectator at Heritage Plantation that summer was so impressed, he offered to buy us the new Sutherland Kilts we now wear. He wanted to see the Sutherland band in the Sutherland tartan in honor of his mother, who was a Sutherland.
Dan Mooney was put on night shift so he handed the reigns to Pipe Sgt. Peter Henderson in 1997. (Peter played “Flowers of the Forest” on world news at the bicentennial of the battle at Concord MA, in 1975). When Dan’s work schedule improved he was re-elected pipe major in 1999. Dan retired as pipe major in 2010.
Frank Igoe was piper major through the mid 2010’s. Neil McCarthy is the current pipe major.