|Pipes & Drums|
The Regimental Pipes & Drums serve as the Ambassadors of the Regiment and continue to uphold the high standards their predecessors have established. This page highlights the history of the Pipes & Drums as well as any pertinent news.
Military Regiments live and die on the strength of their traditions and history. In the case of the Black Watch, the unit's tradition and history are embodied in the sounds, uniform and deportment of its Pipes and Drums. The Black Watch Pipes and Drums are the oldest organized pipe band in North America, and has, over the years, been consistently ranked among the top Canadian Forces bands in all rated categories.
As members of a Royal Regiment, its pipers wear the Royal Stewart tartan, which is the tartan of the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as an ongoing symbol of loyalty to Queen and country. The regimental drummers wear the Government tartan, which came to be known as the Black Watch tartan due to its dark hue. Tradition also holds that this tartan got its nickname from the independent companies that were formed in the Highlands of Scotland in 1729 to "watch" for "blackmail". The drummers wear the King's crown their scarlet tunics as a further sign of the Regiment's royal affiliation. Similarly embroidered on the Drum Major's Baldric, or sash, is the Queen's Crown and Cipher. Twenty-one of the Regiment's most important battle honours are also embroidered on the Drum Major's Baldric, as well as engraved on the Drum Major's Mace. The Regimental Dancers wear blue glengarries with the Black Watch insignia as cap badge, and dance the traditional soldier's dances which include the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance, which would be danced over crossed swords for luck in the coming battle. In addition, the dancers perform the Argyle Broadswords which is a dance designed to entertain the troops.
The Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch (RHR) of Canada are always in great demand, both locally in Montreal, and throughout North America and Europe. Members of the Pipes and Drums have appeared at over 200 engagements so far this year alone! The Pipes and Drums have appeared at many events over the years, including the Ed Sullivan Show, Tattoos and Highland games throughout North America, including Fort Ticonderoga New York, Maine, Miami, Kentucky and the Stone Mountain Highland Games and Tattoo near Atlanta Georgia. The Black Watch have played at the U.S. Bicentennial Celebrations in 1976 and was the only foreign band to march in the parade celebrating the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, Members of the band have also participated in the Edinburgh Tattoo, the Nova Scotia Tattoo and for the Trooping of the Queen's Colour in London, as well as the Queen Mother's 90th and 100th Birthday Celebrations on Horse Guard's Parade in London. Recently, the Pipes and Drums have re-entered the competitive highland games circuit and are consistently placing in every competition they enter. The Pipes and Drums are proud to exemplify their proud Canadian military heritage and will continue to offer superior performances, both for the Regiment and the community at large.