First Annual Piping Clinic

This past weekend – 5-6 March 2022 – your Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums held its first annual piping clinic. We had the good pleasure of hosting and learning from Mr. Andy Fusco, Pipe Major of the Las Vegas Pipe Band and Dojo University bagpipe instructor.

Pipe Major Andy Fusco

Recently, our band has committed to (at least) a year of individual work with Dojo University in addition to our regular work together as a band. In many ways, this weekend clinic was the kickoff to a promising year of growth as pipes and as a band.

And, in typical Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums fashion, we had a really good time doing it!

Our gratitude to P/M Fusco for coming out to Iowa to share of his time and expertise, to Piper Kevan Norin for having the groovy idea, to Piper Dave Hawkins for tending to planning, logistics, feeding, etc., to Learner Piper Randy Tolley and his fellow Masons for opening up space for the weekend at the Masonic Lodge #125 in Dubuque, to Piper Joe Berger and Susan for opening their home for fellowship, food, and libations, and to the two groovin’ moose that cheered us on all weekend! Cheers!

PM Fusco nursing a yard of ale!

If you are interested in taking up bagpiping or drumming and being part of this fine organization, do let us know. Send a note by clicking here.

With Gratitude

On this 11 November 2021, the Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums were honored to participate in the annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony at the Mystic Ice Arena in Dubuque. The event is organized and hosted by the Dubuque American Legion Post #6, to whom we are grateful for their warm hospitality.

The last few weeks the band has worked diligently on a medley of the service hymns of all branches of the United States Armed Forces, concluding with “America, the Beautiful.” We were pleased to share this set for the first time in public today.

Above all, we are grateful for those who have given in service to our country. All have given; some have given all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

9/11 Twenty Years On

It was a privilege for a contingent of the DBQFPD to play at the 20 year memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks. So long ago, and yet so immediate.

Our gratitude to all who serve and have served neighbors, known and unknown, selflessly.

Never forget.

Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums
9/11 Memorial Plaza, Dubuque County Firefighters Association Training Center
11 September 2021

Labor Day Parade – Benton, Wisconsin

A sizable, enthusiastic contingent of the band traveled into the Land of Cheese (a.k.a., Wisconsin) to play in the village of Benton’s Labor Day Parade on Sunday, 5 September 2021. We had a lovely time and greatly appreciated the warm welcome — by the crowds along the parade route and the high-minded folks in the local pubs afterwards.

As our photo of the day shows, we’re not above monkeying around.

Cheers, Benton!

2021 Irish Hooley – Celebrating with Gratitude

‘Twas a fine day along the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, yesterday. After a year’s pandemic hiatus, the Hooley was back. The Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums were proud to be part of a robust line-up. It was good to “celebrate living,” as MC and musician Ian Gould reminded all of us throughout the day.

DBQFPD – Irish Hooley 2021

We had the pleasure of leading the hosts of the event, local members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Auxiliary, together with a color guard representing all service branches of the United States. Our primary set came later in the evening, when we rocked a half-hour of old standards and new tunes. Our drummers provided rat-a-tat-tatted a rock-n-roll-worthy salute mid-set. And to top it all off, not a single train rolled over the bridge while we were playing!

It was a hot, humid day but Mother Nature did provide a wee breeze to help cool folks down and keep the flies away. For all the water consumed throughout the day, it was a darn good thing that the band’s primary hangout was adjacent to one of the banks of porta-John’s. Word on the street was that t-shirt sales were outstanding this year.

We are grateful to all the folks – family, friends, and friends we just haven’t met yet – who support the Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums! It’s a honor to be included in our hometown Hooley every year. Our gratitude to the Ancient Order of Hibernians for their work in organizing the event! A particular note of gratitude to Pat and Vicki Leonard, Brian and Sarah Fitting, and Rob McCullough.

Looking forward to celebrating living again at the 2022 Irish Hooley!

Dubuque Hooley – This Saturday!

Come check out the Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums at this year’s Dubuque Irish Hooley! It’s going to be quite the party!

We did a little run-through at the Alliant Amphitheater last evening as the storm clouds rolled around and over the mighty Mississippi.

The band will be playing at the opening ceremonies at noon, and then again with a longer set at approximately 7pm, before this year’s headliners, Gaelic Storm.

For more information, check out the Dubuque Irish Hooley at:

9/11 Memorial – Jesup, Iowa

A contingent of the band was honored to participate together with the Jesup Fire Department and the Buchanan County Honor Guard in welcoming the traveling 9/11 museum back to Jesup, Iowa. As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it was a moving reminder of the resiliency of community in the face of adversity.

Our gratitude to the Jesup Fire Department for the invitation and hospitality.

4th of July – Bellevue, Iowa

It was our honor to play in the Heritage Days / 4th of July Parade in Bellevue, Iowa. We have had the honor of playing in this parade for many years, and it is an annual highlight of our band’s schedule. The route is always lined with enthusiastic bagpipe-loving folk.

We are deeply grateful to John and Sue Kieffer for their gracious hospitality! Always a joy to hydrate and hangout with good friends!

This year was particulary special as Heritage Days included the sesquecentennial of the Bellevue Fire Department. Contragulations to these fine servants and gratitude to the generations upon whose shoulders we all stand.

Honoring Bellevue Fire Department