Rampant Lion Pipe Band is lauded everywhere it performs and competes for its careful and devoted attention to dress, drill and deportment. Learn more about RLPB's stance on dress, drill and deportment in the below sections.

Dress - Symbols and Flags

A properly and correctly dressed band will gain credibility from those knowledgeable about proper dress. This is why every attempt has been made to design the Rampant Lion Pipe Band uniforms to comply with appropriate Scottish military-styled day dress. Each part of the uniform is worn for a reason and is worn in the proper way and manner according to Scottish military specifications. In the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, band dress is required to be completely uniform among its members (excluding differences between drum and pipe corps uniforms), and any less than this standard will result in disqualification in a competition.

Great care has also been taken to design the RLPB coat of arms shown on the top-left of every page and its symbols. These symbols embody the band's appreciation and adherence to correct heraldic tradition and are used in the design of the cap badge, collar badges, and the band's flag. Designed by P/M David Palladino, the arms are correctly read as follows:
ARMS: Escutcheon (shield) Sable (black), four chevronels Argent (silver) between three oak leaves Argent. On a chief of the last Argent, three Rampant Lions Gules (red) with right hand extended up holding a Cross Formy Gules.
CREST: On a wreath of the colors Azure (blue) and Gules, A Lion Rampant Gules, right arm extended with Cross Formy Gules.
MOTTOS: Deus Vult (God Wills It); Exsurge Domine In Ira Tua Exultare In Finibus Inimicorum Meorum (Rise up oh Lord, in Thy anger, and be Thou exalted within the borders of my enemies) from the Psalm of David 7:6 in the Old Testament.
In lay-mans terms, the shield's four silver chevronels represent the pipe major's rank. Good leadership is a key factor in the success of the band, and the band officers are expected to exemplify it. Younger members are expected to become good leaders not only within the band, but the community.

The silver oak leaves represent the 600-year-old white oak tree in the center of Basking Ridge, where the band finds its roots, on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church. It is said that George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette picnicked in its shade. It is one of the oldest white oaks in the Western hemisphere, and its 156-foot spread is the widest in New Jersey.

The Azure (blue) and Gules (red) torse, or wreath under the crest, is symbolic of both Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, whose school colors are red and blue, and the Highlander Band, the school's famed marching band. Over half of the members of RLPB, including P/M David Palladino, draw their roots in piping and drumming from the Highlander Band. The red and blue of the torse honors the tradition of excellence of the Highlander Band under the direction of Daniel Kopcha, under whom most of the Governor Livingston alumni in RLPB learned.

The red Rampant Lions symbolize the ancient royal house of Scotland which started with the House of Canmore. In about 1070, Queen Saint Margaret married King Malcolm III. They had four sons together, and David was the youngest. David became King David I, the Saint. It was through his invention of the Lion Rampant on his shield that it became the Royal Scottish Standard.

Drill - The Colour Party

RLPB is consistently set apart by the attentiveness to the detail of our drill. In fact, at least 30 minutes are devoted during weekly rehearsals to rehashing and improving on drill commands and maneuvers.

The band adheres to the closest interpretation to the UK technique of foot drill which most pipe bands attempt to emulate. This includes marching with posture and a full, confident arm swing, performing stationary commands such as "right face" and "about face", and executing band maneuvers such as the wheel and countermarch. The voice and hand signals of the Drum Major (or Pipe Major in the Drum Major's absence) are the primary means of communicating with the band on the field. Clear, confident, and concise vocal and mace commands allow the band to perform confidently. Our confidence in our drill always translates to and enhances confidence in our music.

In addition to musicians, RLPB also features a colour party which marches with the band on parade and formal band functions. The colour party's role is to exude the confidence and character of the band by demonstrating its focus on dress, drill, and most importantly, deportment. In addition, it is the duty of the colour party to bear and guard the colours, or flags and symbols of the band with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Excerpts from Drill Manual for Pipes and Drums; www.drummajor.net; Regimental Drum Major Association © 2004 - 2007


Of "The 3 D's" (dress, drill and deportment), the most important is deportment. Deportment is the key building block for the other two components. Without deportment, dress and drill are meaningless.

Deportment is the foundation on which dress and drill are taught. It is the key to understanding leadership, professionalism, and personal conduct and how each can be understood, developed, and exhibited. Deportment is also the primary incentive behind the motto: "Lead by Example." What we say and do on parade will be long remembered once we have departed, so it is imperative that what we say and do leaves people with the image of a band of professionalism. Every performing member is expected to lead by example and know how to conduct themselves both on and off the parade ground.

Deportment is a nebulous concept that is not easily explained yet is vitally important for the look and professionalism of our band. It is defined as: the manner in which one conducts oneself, behavior. Deportment encompasses many interrelated attributes that include, but are not limited to poise, bearing, confidence, diplomacy, courtesy, awareness of personal limitations, conduct, knowledge, and attitude. Deportment is the synthesis of these attributes into intra-personal and inter-personal components. The bandsperson must be aware of these components and how they affect the perceptions of a given audience be it spectators, judges, band members, or persons in authority. Each member is expected to be an exemplar of this invisible standard.

DEPORTMENT: The Key to Professionalism; By Drum Major Michael W. Stewart