Maine's oldest community Scottish pipe band celebrating its 25th anniversary

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine's oldest community Scottish pipe band is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The Dunlap Highland Band was started in 1994, and they're still going strong.

"There's nothing else that sounds like a good pipe band," said pipe instructor Steve Lemieux.

"You don't hear it every day," said drum major Daniel Bernardini. "It's not like you can turn on the radio and hear the bagpipes, so it's something that's unique."

They perform at events around the state from Lobster Festival in Rockland to the Highland Games in Topsham.

"The band was founded in '94 down in Southern Maine," said Lemieux. "It started off with a small group of pipers and drummers. The band still has the same leader, George Pulkkinen. Over the years, it's grown and expanded. It's up to two locations now, down in Old Orchard (Beach), and here in Oakland."

"Bands don't last that long, so to have a band hit 25 is quite a milestone," said piper/secretary Vera Mahau. "We're really looking forward to the next 25."

"It's just amazing to watch the people's faces on the street and to see that they're enjoying something that you're doing that you enjoy," said Bernardini.

If you think you might be interested in joining, they offer free lessons.

"For our 25 years, we're really looking to hit the streets hard and get some more membership, people interested," said Bernardini.

"Don't think you need to have Scottish ancestry to join a pipe band, because you don't," said Mahau. "You just need to have that desire to learn and be a part of something. A lot of people think bagpipers, they think men -- not the case. There's a lot of women pipers out there, a lot of women drummers, so don't let that hold you back ladies."

For more information about the band, visit their Facebook page.