HELENA — The Pipes and Drums of the Black Devils (PDBD) performed all around the Helena area this St. Patrick’s Day.
“Part of the reason the band exists is to help promote Scottish Highlands music throughout the greater Helena community,” says PDBD member, Mark Cadwallader.
This time of the year is the band’s busiest. They play Scottish and Irish music. The Pipes and Drums of the Black Devils began their St. Patrick's Day at 8 AM at the capitol with the raising of the Irish flag. They’ve spent the day playing at various establishments including for hundreds of East Helena students at Radley Elementary School.
And their night won’t end until 10:15 PM when they perform at the Rialto downtown.
“The effect that it has on people, I think that’s my favorite part of the day. And in that respect, the favorite part just goes on all day long,” says PDBD member, Eric Fendler.
The band was formed in 1998 and was originally called the Shining Thistle Pipe Band. Since 2006, they’ve been the official pipe band of the First Special Service Force.
Fendler says that this music is a way for some folks to connect with their heritage.
“I mean when you think of Butte and Helena and all the people that came from Ireland, and Scotland, England, and even from Scandinavia, you know, it’s a real part of our culture and heritage,” says Fendler.