Hiram Alum '07, Joe Gaither was chosen to lead over 500 pipers and drummers as Head Drum Major (as seen here in the photo) at the Ohio Scottish Games on Saturday, June 28 2008. This is the largest gathering of pipers and drummers in the state. This year, twenty two bands from across North America, including, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and Canada were in attendance. Joe also a judged the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) competition in Dress and Deportment. Bands were judged on how well they properly wore their uniforms and how they marched.
When asked, "how did you first get involved with drum majoring", Joe answered, "I wanted to tryout for drum major in my 8th grade band and received lessons from Robert Kennedy, a professional drum major. I then started competing in amateur drum major competitions across Florida. Before long, I was placing 1st in my division at each Highland Games I entered and was forced to move up to the professional division. Within the first year, I was winning 1st place. I then started traveling across the US and then went International. It was a real honor to compete in Scotland where this art first began. After placing in the top ten in Scotland and Ireland, when I returned to the states I applied to be a judge. After completing a rigorous committee review and demonstrative exam, I was awarded into the judge circuit for the Southern United States Pipe Band Association (SUSPBA).
Joe not only led the over five hundred musicians on the field that day, but he organized the whole opening and closing ceremonies. "One of my favorite things is planning and organizing" Joe says, which he had done numerous times while at Hiram in his student organizations such as the Kennedy Center Programming Board (KCPB) and Student Senate.
Ohio Scottish Games