Piedmont was founded in the East Bay Hills in 1907 by several Scottish
families including the Blairs, Craigs, McKinnons and Wallaces. Today, the small, beautiful, peaceful town is completely
surrounded by the much larger city of Oakland, yet is autonomous, self-goverened and provides its own fire and police services.
Piedmont's Scottish roots are evident in the naming of streets, their celebrations and festivals. The Piedmont High
School mascot is the Highlander (and represented by a marching bagpiper) and Piedmont Middle School students call themselves
the Scots. Bagpiping has always been an important part of Piedmont culture and bagpipe bands have existed since the
In 1994, Fred Rutledge started a bagpipe band class at the Piedmont Adult School. By the Spring of
1996 the band, under the direction of Pipe Major Ellison Dunlap, Jr., was ready to perform. Since that time the Highlanders
have earned recognition for their great sound, striking traditional Scottish military style uniforms, focus on skills advancement
and warm welcoming atmosphere. Today the award winning Piedmont Highlanders Drums and Pipes are proud to be a respected
institution in the community.
Membership is open to all piping and drumming enthusiasts from advanced to beginner
and to all ages. Band practice is held every Monday evening from 7pm to 9pm at the Piedmont Middle School.
Free bagpipe lessons and drumming instruction is provided to band members.