Members of the Gates Police Department founded the Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes and Drums in 1998. Founding members of the band realized that there was no ceremonial police pipe band in the area to honor public safety and military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In the early years of the band, members had little or no musical experience, and learned the pipes and drums with lessons provided by professionals or on their own. The early uniform was that of the police department; kilts came later.
Today, the band has come together as a professional unit, and performs at over 100 events each year in western and central New York. Our services are offered to all first responders and military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Keystone Club is the name of the union that represents members of the Gates Police Department and it sponsors the band. The band has 52 members from the local police, fire, EMS and military communities. In addition, there are several dedicated members of the civilian community.
The command staff of the band includes Drum Maj. Stephen Winner, retired, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office; Pipe Maj. Glen Johnson, retired chief, Barnard Fire Department; Pipe Sgt. Jim VanBrederode, chief of police, Gates Police Department; Pipe Sgt. Matt Rickett from Pittsford Fire Department; Pipe Sgt. and trustee Lex Sleeman from the Rochester Institute of Technology; Drum Sgt. Colleen O’Brien; Band manager and President David Rizzo, former deputy, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office; David Staub, liaison to the Keystone Club Police Union, retired, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office; Quartermaster Sarah Remelt from the Henrietta Fire Department; and trustee Mike Roffe, retired, from the Greece Police Department.
An article written by Vanbrederode titled “The anatomy of a police pipe band” was featured in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin for January 2010.
Our CD, “Blessed are the Peacekeepers” contains Celtic, military and traditional pipe and drum tunes. Featured are everyone’s favorites “Amazing Grace,” “New York, New York” and the Notre Dame Victory March.
As we celebrate our 20th anniversary (1998-2018), Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes and Drums are honored and privileged to be a part of the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Rochester.
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