We were originally known as the “Sphinx Temple Bagpipe Band”, the Highlanders have been a popular musical marching unit of Sphinx Temple. Over the years, we’ve performed at countless Shrine Ceremonials, Potentate’s Receptions, Shrine Parades and Blue Lodge Installations.
Other events outside the Masonic Fraternity we’ve participated in: non-Shrine parades; public Pipe Band performances; the Annual Tartan Day in Abington, CT; Military Tattoos at West Point Academy; The Annual Scottish Highland Games in Goshen and Scotland, CT; Foxwoods Resort & Casino; Annual Review of the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard. An interesting note, the Foot Guard Review was the only performance by the Highlanders, not open to the public, which had a history of drawing one of the largest audiences under one roof.
In 1995 the Sphinx Highlanders embarked on what would be our greatest year in recent time. It was the year the Highlanders captured the Northeast Shrine Highlander Championship, outperforming every Shrine Pipe Band from New England and Eastern Canada.
The Highlanders once had three variations of uniform when performing. When events required formal dress, we were attired in our bright red military doublets (tunics) and feather bonnets. The full dress uniform was fashioned in the style of the former Queens Own Seaforth Highlanders. A black waist belt, black cross belt, plaid, military horsehair sporran and white spats completed this formal attire. Our kilt tartan was, and still remains, the Ancient MacKenzie. In warmer months, we switched to our white short-sleeved shirts and Glengarry caps. Cooler weather afforded us to wear our black military style sweaters, over the white shirts. Today, with the astronomical cost of replacing our formal military style uniforms, we presently appear in black vests, white shirts, red ties, Glengarry caps and non-horse hair sporrans. This alternative has proven to be a more financially acceptable alternative, while affording us the opportunity to retain our Scottish theme.
Unfortunately our roster has reached the point where we are unable to “put a band on the street”. We have been actively recruiting new members in an attempt to re-build. We currently have three student pipers and need more to fill our ranks, along with snare and tenor drummers. Incidentally, we will also teach you how to play.
Do you have a sincere desire, and the determination to become a member of the Sphinx Highlanders? If so, and you’re willing to make the commitment, stop by and visit with us on one of our practice nights. We practice on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. at our Shrine Temple. The first Wednesday of each month is reserved for our business meeting. There is no practice on the third Wednesday as this is the Shrine’s monthly meeting night.
Gary Jensen (Gail)
Albert J. Reid (Corrinne)
Leonard H. Bucher (Barbara)