Celebration of the Bagpipes
February 15, 2023
Bel Air Classic Highlanders helping Bring Back Bagpipers
Bel Air High School graduates from the Classes of ‘71 and ‘72 recently hosted the “Reunion of all Reunions”, for all Classic Highlanders (60s and 70s grads and all who identify as “Classic”) September 15 – 17, 2022.
The festivities included Bel Air’s Homecoming Parade, Pep Rally, a Meet and Greet of all Highlanders both “Current and Classic” along with Friday night pregame Homecoming Party as well as the Homecoming Football Game. The reunion was highlighted with a tour of Bel Air’s newest facilities and Saturday night’s festivities. Saturday evening celebrations were kicked off with a memorable “Parade of Bagpipers” led by Mr. John Estes who served Bel Air for more than thirty years as their Pipe Band Director.
What made the “Reunion of All Reunions” extra special was a fund-raising effort by alumni, sponsors, and attendees to help return the Bel Air Bagpipers to their glory days. The Pipe Band was “shuttered” by the Covid pandemic. The reunion planning committee, after learning of its hardship and disbandment for a period, decided to help bring them back Bigger and Better.
Thanks to the fundraising campaign the Reunion Committee will be presenting a check to Bel Air’s Pipe Band for $3,000.00 to help them retool, repurpose, and recruit Highlanders to restore the Pipe Band to their glory days, and beyond! Those who have RSVP’d and have had placed their names on the guest list are invited to attend the Celebration of Bagpipes - Transfer Ceremony February 15th, at Bel Air High School. It will begin at 3:30 PM at the school’s new campus facilities.
The fund-raising challenge actually had an even bigger impact on one of the grads and inspired him to really help the cause. Richard Daly, Class of 1971, was so touched by the desire to return one of the school’s longest running traditions, he singularly gifted $17,088.00 that will fully support the pipe band’s restoration needs for the near future! In total, checks will be presented to Bel Air’s Bagpipe Band for more than $20,000.
Additionally, Starr (Martin) ‘73 and Mike Freeman who won an original Alfredo De La Cruz (‘71) commissioned painting of the “Original Bel Air Administration Building”, will donate it to back to Bel Air. This presentation will also be made at the same ceremony.
In addition to general donations from our loyal Highlanders at the reunion, we are more than pleased with the success of the fundraising campaign. Thanks to the Freemans, Bel Air’s new facilities can have a constant reminder of the roots of Bel Air with the donation of Alfredo De La Cruz’s Classic Bel Air painting.
Thank you to all the reunion sponsors, purchasers of raffle tickets, individual donations that can be seen on the Classic Highlander Clan Website or make additional donations at: https://myevent.com/belairclassichighlander
Our biggest heartfelt thanks go out to Richard Daly for his most generous gift to help “Bring Back the Bagpipes – Bigger and Better to Bel Air”!
Plans are also being made to include a tour of the fully completed Bel Air campus followed by a reception to close out the celebration!
We hope we can see many of you at the “Celebration of Bagpipes” in February with the checks and more being revealed. Until then, stay well and stay tuned!
If you plan to attend, text or email your RSVP:
John Watson ‘71 – (801) 664 1649