In early 2000, Pipers Dave LeConey and Winston Boyd, were both members of a Pipe and Drum band in Jacksonville, Florida, started talking about forming a new band, one closer to home. Being residents of St. Augustine, Florida, which was about an hour south of Jacksonville, both decided it was getting a little too much after a long day of work. It wasn't an easy decision, having been members of the Jacksonville band for many years.
During that first year Dave and Winston practiced at each other's homes. They started laying out the plans for their new band; setting up a repertoire, developing a recruitment plan, etc.
It was during this first year that Dave's wife Betty met Ralph Shear (Piper with a band in Daytona) in the Wal-Mart Shopping Center, St Augustine, after noticing his Scottish bumper stickers. Ralph was living in Palm Coast and knew of another piper, Jack Kelly (a retired NYC Police Department Piper ) in Palm Coast. The band now had 4 pipers. After picking up several more pipers and plenty of practice, we stepped off in our first parade on December 02, 2000, in The Colonial Watch, Grand Illumination Parade, in St. Augustine, Florida.
Since that first parade, the Band continued to grow, one member at a time. The Band grew and continued to play local gigs. In 2001 the band, constituted and later incorporated as the "Ancient City Pipes and Drums". Like any organization there were some growing pains, but through strong leadership and dedication they pushed on. During the years that followed the Band began to receive recognition as the premiere Pipe & Drum Band in the area. As the band began to spread its influence in the area and playing more events outside of St. Augustine, the band gained many members from the City of Palm Coast, Florida and areas to the south. The Ancient City Pipes & Drums relocated its base operations to the City of Palm Coast in September 2011. During this time, the band began to receive many requests from area Law Enforcement and Fire Departments to perform at funeral and memorial services. It is a long tradition in America to have Pipers play at Police & Firefighters services and funerals and we were proud to be able to serve. We have the distinct honor of being the duty band for the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, the Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Fire Rescue, St. Augustine Beach Police Department, Welaka Police Department, Putnam County Sherriff's Office. as well as numerous Veteran's and civic organizations. On the most difficult days, Ancient City Pipes & Drums gave a Heroes farewell to our fallen first responders and Military Veterans.
During the 2015 band season, members of the band began to discuss the possibility of changing the band's name. As the areas and communities in which the band was requested to play continued to grow; it was proposed, to choose a name that was not restricted to just one city. Further the band had now grown in size to 33 members. Of the 33 members 21 were active or retired First Responders and 8 Military Veterans covering all branches of the Armed Forces. There was much heartfelt discussion on the topic. In March of 2016 during a band business meeting it was voted to change the band's performing name to "Coastal Florida - Police & Fire Pipes & Drums". Along with the name change came some uniform changes, mainly cap badges and navy blue uniform shirts. The scheduled roll out date was set for September 11, 2016, the 15th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
On January 20, 2017, the band was invited to perform for the 58th Inaugural Parade for the President & Vice President of the United States of America. Only two bands per state are awarded this honor every 4 years. The Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums, proudly represented the State of Florida on the national stage. We dedicated our performance in memory of those Police Officers and Firefighters killed in the line of duty in 2016.
Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums , is an American Band with our roots in Celtic Traditions. Our mission is to support the community, by performing at Memorial Services and Ceremonies, Parades, Veterans Events and other events as requested. While performing at these services we will attempt to spread our love of Celtic Customs and Traditions through our music and regimental attire.
We are a 501c3 not for profit organization. All monies raised go back into the band directly to supply uniforms and equipment to continue our mission to the Community. In addition, we provide free training to those interested in joining the Band and to some local children who show an interest in Pipes and Drums, and demonstrate the dedication needed. All donations are tax deductible. Incorporated as Ancient City Pipes and Drums and D/B/A Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums.