The Fresno Stag and Thistle Pipes & Drums was formed as a main offshoot of the founding of the Piping Society of Central California in 1990 as a non-profit organization with the following purpose: "To preserve and promote the great highland bagpipe, excellence in piping and drumming, and the love of Scottish music." Now in its 25th year, the band has already accomplished many of its goals. The band teaches piping and drumming for free to anyone who has a genuine interest and willingness to work hard to learn. The band has also sent numerous pipers, drummers and dancers to summer schools and camps when possible. Over the years, the band has played at innumerable parades, dinners, parties, funerals, weddings, ceilidhs [parties], holiday events, highland games and festivals from San Luis Obispo to Mammoth Lakes and San Diego to Sacramento.
The Ripon Police & Fire Irish Pipe Band was founded by Pipe Majors Gary Speed, Abe Cisneros, and President Phil McGill. Phil was also co-founder of the Irish Cultural Society of Stanislaus County. The band and society support each other.
The Ripon Police & Fire Irish Pipe Band consists of thirty members, more than half of which are under the age of sixteen. All being volunteers, teach piping and drumming to anyone who would like to learn free of charge. There are no special requirements. We play mostly Irish tunes and are available for special events or service. We practice at the P.A.L. building at 233 Main Street, Ripon, California 95321 on Tuesday's at 6:00p.m.
The Ripon Police & Fire Irish Pipe Band is sponsored by Dunbar Bagpipes of Canada. Some members also play with the Jack Dunbar Memorial Pipe Band founded by Abe Cisneros.
The Callanish Pipe Band was formed in the summer of 2003 under the leadership of Pipe Major John Mitchell who was a former member of the World Class Toronto Police Pipe Band. Callanish is made up of pipers and drummers throughout the Central Valley who have an interest in performing and competing with musical excellence. Members travel from as far as Chowchilla, Sacramento, Hughson, Turlock and Galt to practice in the bandís home in Modesto and are available for hire both as individuals and as a band. Bagpipe lessons are available from members of the band. The band competes at various Highland Games in California and performs at a number of local venues throughout the year.