The Detroit Shrine Highlanders Unit is a Scottish Pipes & Drums Band. The Unit was chartered in 1959 as a “Scottish Type Band” of pipes and drums for promoting Moslem Temple through performances at any or all Moslem Temple activities, in addition to accepting invitations from Masonic Bodies, or other organizations.
The band was organized by Scotty Wood and initially met and practiced at his restaurant, Scotty’s Fish & Chips on Livernois. Scotty was able to bring a group together who could provide the necessary instruction to get a band on the street in a remarkably short period of time. Instruction for the pipe section was provided by Bob Thompson, Sandy McPhee, and Hector McInnes (who was also Pipe Major of the Ford Pipe Band). Snare Drum instruction was provided by Jim Napier from Mocha Temple in London, while Art Robillard gave Tenor and Bass Drum instruction. The tartan chosen was the Ancient MacMillan because of the similarity of the colors adopted by the Shrine. Currently there are three uniforms- Summer Parade, Day Wear, and Full Dress. Besides the Pipe Major and Drum Major, the pipe and drum sections each have Sergeants who are responsible for conducting qualification tests when it is determined that a member is ready for advancement. This Unit is extremely active and houses a robust group of talented and motivated individuals!
Membership in the Highlanders Unit is available to any member of Moslem Temple that is in good standing. It is not necessary that you have previous musical experience, nor any Celtic ancestry. We will teach you the instrument of your choice of Pipes or Drums providing you are willing to invest the time necessary. Depending on your level and ascension of talent, our probationary period can vary, and be a little more extensive than some other Units; nevertheless, you will enjoy the camaraderie! Probationary members continuing their advancement in proficiency are put in the Flag Corp to get time in on the street prior to taking qualification tests.
There is $25.00 initiation fee to join our Unit. There are no annual dues. Uniform cost will vary as there are many items available for sale that have been used. Our Quartermaster can put together a complete kit new or used at the best price once you are ready.
There is a 30 day or more probationary period. Once advancement requirements have been met, you can become an Associate Member, which lasts one year from that point. After the Associate time has been met, you can be elected to a Full Member. All levels of membership are eligible and invited to be on parade!
Our Unit meets every Tuesday at 7:30 PM for rehearsals, instruction, and fellowship in our Unit Room at the Shrine Auditorium and Conference Center. Business meetings are reserved for the second Tuesday of the month, excluding July and August.
During the spring, summer, and fall months, we participate in parades at various Michigan cities. We have competed in National and Great Lakes Convention Parades and Concerts and have won numerous awards. You will appreciate the applause from the sidewalk spectators as you parade down the street. Our Unit has great camaraderie in the rank that socializes regularly after parades and in and outside of the Shrine Center.
How to Join
Come down any Tuesday of the month or contact Unit Director Scott Clark by telephone at 248-318-1266.