The Rampant Lion Pipe Band was formed on December 14, 2007 by David Gerald Palladino-Sinclair. The vision was to create a pipe band of the highest musical caliber which would also adhere to the highest expectations of Highland military-styled dress, drill and deportment.
The name "Rampant Lion" was chosen for the band to represent the traditional symbol of the great northern kingdom of Scotland, free, independent, and strong.
A solid year was given in attention to planning and developing the band's uniforms, equipment and organizational structure. A colour party was created for non-musician enthusiasts to bring a sense of dignity and ceremony to the bands image.
The band has been built from the ground up since its formation. More importantly, strict attention is always paid to recruiting individuals whose character will fit the band. This good character is the primary building block for the camaraderie and high "esprit de corps" that characterizes our band.
David and his long-time high school friend Greg Wishart performed the band's first "unofficial" gig on March 17, 2008 when they piped the 88th Brigade of the New York Guard in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC.
The first "official" gig of the band was performed approximately three months later at the opening of the Arnold Palmer museum in Far Hills, NJ on June 3, 2008.
The majority of the initial membership was comprised of David's students recruited from the Governor Livingston Highlander band where he had been working as bagpipe instructor and assistant band director for many years.
In late 2008, Rampant Lion Pipe Band recruited its first snare drummer, Mitch Germansky who came to take the reins as the band's lead snare and Drum Sergeant in 2011.
The members of the band first wore their new uniforms in March of 2009 at their initial rehearsal hall at the VA Lyons campus in Basking Ridge, NJ. The band went on that day to perform a recital for the veterans living at the VA.
A mere week later, RLPB posed for its first official photo at the First Annual Spring Fundraiser on March 28, 2009 at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge.
RLPB after marching up 6th Avenue in New York City in the Tartan Day Parade in April 2009.
RLPB performed for the second year in a row at Scottish Heritage Week on Ellis Island, NY just a day after the 2009 Tartan Day Parade. The band is picture posing with the Lord and Lady Provost of Glasgow, Scotland. The event is organized by the Clan Currie Society, and RLPB has been incredibly honored be a part of this event every year since 2008. Also pictured below are the band from 2008 to 2012 at Ellis Island.
2010 marked the inauguration of the band's colour party. Members of the colour party marched with the colours of the band in the Tartan Day Parade that year.
After 2 years of solid recruitment and growth, the band reached a huge milestone in competing in Grade V for the first time in its 3 year history at the Bonnie Brae Scottish Games on June 5, 2010.
On June 23, 2011 three pipers from RLPB performed at the The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award and Young Americans' Challenge Gala. They are shown below talking with HRH Prince Edward, who was the sponsor of the event.
The band reached another watershed moment as it was fortunate enough to add Gordon Bell, a world-class snare drummer and piper, as drumming instructor in November of 2011. He is shown below teaching a new drumming student.
The RLPB family continued growing and developing after the 2011 competition season. After marching in the 2012 Hackettstown St. Patrick's Day parade, the band was lined up for an official photograph.
The 2012 Bonnie Brae Scottish Games marked RLPB's first competition win. The band placed first out of 13 competing Grade V bands and went undefeated for the rest of the competition season at the NJ Irish Festival, Round Hill Scottish Games, Toms River Celtic Festival, and Rockland County Irish Feis.
After 5 years of continual building, RLPB has earned a respectable position in the pipe band community for its strength in its music, dress, drill and deportment. The band is set to be upgraded to Grade IV for the 2013 EUSPBA competition season. However, more hard work will be needed in the coming years to move toward achieving the band's broader vision. Members of the band are shown taking a breather after the results of the 2012 Rockland County Feis, the band's last competition of the season.
It has been the vision of P/M David Palladino and Rampant Lion Pipe Band from its very start to build an organization that is defined by camaraderie between its members and a strong drive to better itself on an individual basis and as a whole. The character of the members of the band defines its adherence to quality dress, drill, and deportment, and the members' desire to improve pushes the band to greater musical heights.
To that end, Rampant Lion Pipe Band needs to be able to provide a progression framework for musicians who have character and desire to improve on their instrument. This is why it is a vision of RLPB to have competition bands in many grade levels. This allows musicians to start from the very beginning of their training and continue with the larger organization as they improve as individual players. The progression of musicians through our organization has lent and will lend itself to the great camaraderie between our members.
Recruitment has always been done from the ground up; only a few members of the band have had prior experience with Highland Bagpipes and Scottish drums. As a band and a tight-knit community, it only seems natural that recruitment take place in the larger local community. It is a vision of RLPB to develop strong relationships with towns to provide musical education in bagpipes and drums.
As an educator of adults of all ages, including young adults, it is absolutely imperative that the band keeps its committment to demonstrating high character which translates to deportment both in and out of competition settings. This is why it is a vision of RLPB to develop young adults with good character to be examples for others in their respective communities. Because of the collaborative nature of music, character is a requirement for good musicianship at any age.
We hope that these principles will serve to take the band to its absolute limits and lend to its posterity. As for what these limits are, we will have to wait and see.