Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Chicago's Shannon Rovers to play at the White House on St. Patrick's Day.

| 1 Comment

WASHINGTON--President Obama will celebrate St. Patrick's Day entertaining Irish officials at the White House and heading to Capitol Hill for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's St. Patrick's Day lunch.

Chicago's famed Shannon Rovers Irish Bagpipe Band have been asked to play at the White House for the first time. Six pipers and three drummers will be traveling to Washington for the event. This is the first time the Rovers are playing in the White House.

The Chicago connections in the White House may have helped. Bill McTighe the Rovers band manager, told me Thursday that he was contacted for the gig by Joe Reinstein, the Deputy White House Social Secretary from Highland Park. The White House is paying for six pipers and three drummers to fly to Washington for the event.

Release below from the Rovers...

Bill McTighe, band manager
Dave Kennedy, pipe sergeant

President Barack Obama will enjoy some sounds from home this St.
Patrick's Day. The Shannon Rovers Irish Bagpipe Band, long a cultural
fixture in the Chicago area and the official band of the Chicago St.
Patrick's Day Parade, has been invited to play for President Barack Obama at
the White House.
"This is a very special honor and privilege for the Shannon Rovers,"
said Dave Kennedy, pipe sergeant. "We are all excited to be playing for the
president. It is the trip of a lifetime."
Six pipers and three drummers will be traveling to Washington D.C.
for the event. This is the first time the Rovers have been invited to the
White House, although the band has performed for many presidents dating back
to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The band played at John F. Kennedy's funeral and
wears the Kennedy tartan in his honor.
In addition to playing at the White House, the Rovers will lead the
Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 14th (a tradition dating back to
the parade's inception in 1956) and marching in the South Side St. Patrick's
Day Parade on March 15th. Some members also will be traveling to Savannah,
Georgia to march in that city's parade on March 17. This is the first time
the Rovers will perform during St. Patrick's Day festivities in three major
Besides performing in the parades, band members also will play at a
number of restaurants, church parties and gatherings throughout Chicago and
the suburbs. For a

complete list, visit The band's happenings also can
be followed on Twitter.
Between February and March, the band plays at more than 125
events each year. The Shannon Rovers band was formed in 1926 as a fife and
drum corps, switching to bagpipes in 1932. The band plays traditional Irish
music almost exclusively. There are 65 active members along with many
students and emeritus members.


1 Comment

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for inviting Chicago's Shannon Rovers to the White House in St. Partick's Day. What a honor for them. And so rightly deserved. The best pipe band in the land!!

Joyce Van Poucke
Chicago, Illinois

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 13, 2009 1:11 PM.

Larry Summers on the essense of the Obama recovery plan in one speech was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama 2009 NCAA March Madness countdown. President's brackets out next week. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.