October 31, 2007

Updated: Merger in the Midwest as St. Louis bands combine

The 35-year-old St. Louis-based Grade 4 Invera’an Pipe Band and cross-town Grade 4 rivals St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band have formally decided to combine personnel with the aim of creating a single top-notch Grade 4 band with the expanded roster.

With the merger, Matt Panteleoni, the well known solo piper who had been Pipe-Major of the Invera’an band, has decided to move on to concentrate on his solo work, and a new endeavour with the piper and reedmaker Chris Apps of Union, Missouri.

The Pipe-Major of the merged band is John Haack, who had been the Invera’an Pipe-Sergeant. The Leading-Drummer is Charles Cablish, who had left Invera’an with a number of drummers to join St. Louis Caledonian.

Haack stressed that the bands were still going through the merger process, with engagements by each band still needing to be fulfilled. The name of the new band has also not been determined.

Haack also said that the new band has “a pool of 13 sides . . . and a half-dozen in the mid-section.” He said that the combined pipers from both bands should result in a total of around 25.

“The merger was attractive in many ways because there were two bands with similar goals – two bands with some fairly competent musicians and lots of desire to make great music together,” Haack added.

Panteleoni said that he resigned – along with Jonathan Taylor, Invera’an’s Leading-Drummer, Secretary, and Treasurer – on October 6th, following the St. Louis Highland Games. He said that he and Apps are “laying the groundwork for a new youth-oriented Scottish arts program that will feature a pipe band and Highland dance group.”

Invera’an is one of the Midwest United States’ more established bands, started in 1972 at the Meeting of the Waters Pipe Band. It changed its name in the early 1980s.


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