2006-2007 Riverview High School Kiltie Band operates under the tutelage of
Director of Bands Mark Spreen
and Associate Director of Bands Norm Vagn. The band consists of
over 250 musicians,
bagpipers, dancers and color guard. The "Kiltie Band", as it
is locally known, is a great example of the
blending of music, eurhythmic education, school spirit and civic pride,
in combination with a highly dedicated group of teachers, students
parents and supporters.
The selection of the Kiltie Band uniform links the organization to
the history of Sarasota. Local citizens suggested that the uniform
should reflect Sarasota’s Scottish heritage. A look at our area’s
history reveals that the founding of Sarasota was conceived in Scotland
by officials of the Florida Mortgage and Investment Co., Ltd. This was
the British group that purchased about 50,000 acres in this region.
town plat was drawn in Edinburgh, Scotland and the first plots of land
were sold in Scotland and England in the summer of 1885. A colony of 68
men, women and children, mostly from Scotland, sailed into Sarasota Bay
on December 28, 1885 and helped establish what is now the
Sarasota. The McDonald dress, adopted from the clan background of some
of the first settlers, is bright maroon and white with blue and other
colors. This tartan was selected for the Riverview Band, as was the
traditional Scottish Kilt. British bright royal scarlet was selected for
the traditional battle jacket. This is the same uniform worn by current
and traditional Scottish regiments.
Initial membership in the Kiltie band totaled only 58 members. One of
their first major accomplishments was to attend the Orange Bowl Parade
on December 31, 1961. Later,
the Orange Bowl Committee sent a letter to the band director indicating
that the Kilties were one of the most popular bands in the parade. They
participated again in that parade in December 1970 and 1978.
the band has had opportunities to experience many varied and interesting
performances, including: The Apple Blossom Festival in Virginia;
Carnival in Memphis, TN; Naval School of Music in Bethesda, MD;
Southeastern Band Festival in Troy, AL; Midwest Band and Orchestra
Clinic in Chicago, IL; American Bandmasters Association Festival;
Flags over Georgia in Atlanta; A.B.A. Convention in Sarasota;
Convention in Knoxville, TN; Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX; DeSoto Pageant
in Bradenton; Edison Parade of Light in Ft. Myers; Sarasota Pageant
Parade in Sarasota; Swamp Buggy Days in Naples, FL; St. Petersburg
Festival of States.
The Kilties performed in New York City's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
Parade in 1960, 1980, 1996, and 2004. The Kilties also performed in the 1985
Presidential Inaugural Parade; Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in
1969, 1980 and 1987; the Phoenix Fiesta Bowl Parades in 1990 and 1994,
the 1999 Florida Governors Inaugurational Parade and the Hollywood
Christmas Parade in 2000.
The Kilties also appeared in the French film,
Seven Sundays in 1994. The Kilties have earned 47 consecutive
“Superior” ratings in the Florida Bandmasters Association District
Marching Festival, an unprecedented accomplishment.
In addition to these domestic performances, the Kilties have traveled
and performed in Scotland, England, France, and Germany. They also
participated in the 1989 St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Dublin and Bray,
Ireland. During that trip, they marched in an international parade
competition in Limerick, Ireland, for which they won top honors. The
band has received many requests to perform in China, Paris, London, and
Another great accomplishment occurred when the Kiltie Pipe and Drum Grade
5 Band was awarded "Championship Supreme Standing" in the State of Florida
in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Some of the band's more recent accomplishments include successful repeat
appearances by the band's Wind Ensemble at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, TN, in the
Spring of 1998, 2000, 2002 and most recently in 2004, where they placed
first. The Wind Ensemble also attended the Florida Bandmasters Association State
Festival in 2002. To their credit, they have received
"Superior" ratings at the
Florida Bandmasters Association State Music Performance Assessment for
the past six years.
High School band program has been awarded the prestigious Otto
J. Kraushaar Award for four years, for receiving straight
ratings all year in all Florida Bandmaster Festivals.
the 2002-2003 season, the Kilties earned “Superior” ratings in the Florida
Bandmasters Association District Marching Festival for the 43rd
consecutive year, an unprecedented
accomplishment. The Music Department also encourages individual participation
at District, State and National music festivals.
The Kilties continue their “Tradition
of Excellence” by committing
to the customary Florida Bandmasters activities in the
Sarasota Community. During any given season, the band may play more than
Downtown Association Christmas Parade; Sousa
Concert; Winter Concert;
Spring Concert at the Van
Wezel, and Jazz in the Park at Phillipi Estate. The
Jazz Band performed at the Jazz Club of Sarasota Swing Dance and
countless Bagpipe and Highland Dance performances.
Over the years, these varied events have made the ”World Famous
Kiltie Band” sought after as a popular performing group both in the
United States and abroad.
Riverview High School Band program includes the Kiltie Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band,
Varsity Band, Concert Band, Full Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble,
Eurhythmies/Color Guard, Indoor Guard, Bagpipes/Instrumental Techniques,
Highland/Jazz Dance, Regimental Band/Ceremonial Band, “Jam Squad”,
Percussion Class, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Choirs and Woodwind Choir.
RHS Band program is an enriching educational experience for
each student. The high academic achievement of band members is
proof that music education is integral to a complete academic
year’s group of band members strives to continue the tradition of
Riverview's long standing history of excellence.
A few times each year, the
Kiltie band performs their halftime show
after the football game. Whenever this occurs, nearly every spectator
can be found staying in their seat for
the show, regardless of the outcome of the game.
you like the sound of a finely tuned marching pipe and drum band, then you
owe it to
yourself to attend one of the Riverview High School football
games, or any other scheduled Kiltie performance, and hear
those Kilties play. It's
definitely worth the trip!¯