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Ceud Mìle Fàilte!

The Hawk Mountain Highlanders are a Celtic bagpipe band based in Deer Lake, PA. Founded in 1986, the band can be seen marching in parades and performing at special events throughout Schuylkill County, PA and the surrounding region.


We play a wide range of primarily Scottish tunes, meeting weekly for group practice. New members of all ages are always welcome, and we're happy to provide free instruction for beginners on both the pipes and drums. 

We are an independent organization and not affiliated with the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary or its association, or the Boy Scout council of that name.


Ancient Hunting Stewart is the band tartan.

The band provides members with kilts, sporrans, shirts, sweaters, hats, spats, flashes, and instruments when needed. For information on how to join, click HERE

Band History

Summit Hill.jpeg
Six former members of a pipe band in Reading, PA organized the Hawk Mountain Highlanders in the fall of 1986. After meeting in the Reading area for a number of years, the band moved to the Schuylkill Campus of Penn State before arriving at the current location in Deer Lake in 2010. We are now the oldest pipe band in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Members have ranged in age from six to over seventy. We come from as far away as Lebanon and Summit Hill, and have given performances all over Eastern Pennsylvania and as far away as West Point.

Meet the Band

Wes Loder, our Pipe Major

Retired librarian, writer, historian, photographer and piper

Wes got his first chanter in 1964 while a freshman in college where he studied with the Schenectady Pipe Band. In 1977, while in graduate school, he began lessons with Hector Smith, the long-time Pipe Major of the Eugene Highlanders. He bought his first pipes in 1978. He has since studied under Dave Olsen, the late Chip Reardon and Scot Walker. He has attended both the Balmoral School and North American Academy of Piping. From 1979 through1994, he engaged in solo competition before focusing on band piping. He joined the Cairngorm Pipe Band in 1983 and played with them as Pipe Sergeant until leaving in 1986 to help form the Hawk Mountain Highlanders and to become the Pipe Major.

Linda Loder, our Drum Major

Retired bookkeeper and never-retired housewife

Linda started as a tenor drummer in 1984 before quickly moving over to the side drum. She served as lead drummer for the Highlanders before moving to the bagpipe in 1989-1990. In 2007 she returned to the band as Drum Major, a role she has held ever since. 

Band Roster


Wes Loder (Pipe Major)

Kyle Roeder, Jr. (Pipe Sgt.)

Laura Eastman

Kristen Egan

Todd Jones

Hutten Moyer

Bill Pompella

Marina Refi

Eric Stump

David Weisman

James Whitcomb

Ainsley Whitcomb

Piping Students

Gerard Egan

Ronald Seaman


Linda Loder (Drum Major)

Charles Lombardi (Drum Sgt.)

Marc Gardiner

Todd Bernard, Jr.

Bill Jones bass drummer

Chrissy Jones tenor drummer

Michelle Elchisak tenor drummer/

                             piping student

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