The thirty-member band brought 13 performers to Sitka this weekend and stopped by the Cable House to perform yesterday (01-16-15). (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

If the Alaska Day celebrations had a soundtrack, it would undoubtedly involve the pound of drums and resonant burst of bagpipes. The Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums group has been traveling to Sitka for the past 10 years to take part in the celebrations.

Yesterday (10-16-15), thirteen members from the band touched down and treated spectators at the Cable House to a show, kilts and all. KCAW’s Emily Kwong got a chance to speak with their drum major, Smokey Simpson.

Downloadable audio.


This is the 10th year the Seattle Firefighters Pipe and Drum band has made a cameo on Alaska Day weekend. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

This Sunday (10-18-15), the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums band will perform at the Sitka Fire Hall at 11:30 in the morning, as well as the Alaska Day Parade at 1:30 in the afternoon, ending with a performance at the Pioneer Home.

Listen to some of their tunes:

The Minstrel Boy, an Irish patriotic song written by Thomas Moore (1179-1852)

Downloadable audio.

Amazing Grace, a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807)

Downloadable audio.


While the group performs at celebratory occasions, they more often than not perform at memorial services for fallen service members. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)