Family dedicated to passing on Scottish bagpipe music

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Richard Christiansen joined Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums 10 years ago.

Courtesy of Richard Christiansen

Today, his wife and three sons are helping him lead the band.

Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums was established in 2005 in the Matanuska Valley and Eagle River area.

The members of the band range from student pipers and drummer to veteran musicians.

“Seeing people in the band, playing different roles and instruments, it’s a lot of fun,” said Richard Christiansen, the Pipe Major for the band.

Christiansen wanted his entire family to get involved, so his sons, Friedrich, Carsten and Jürgen Christiansen all joined the band.

“You sort of get addicted to it,” said Friedrich Christiansen. “I don‘t want to say you catch piping fever, but you sort of do. And once you start, you really can’t stop.”

Christine Christiansen said she joined the band after her husband.

“They needed a drummer so, I started drumming,” said Christine Christiansen, who is now the drum sergeant for the band.

The entire family now gives lessons to beggining and advanced piping students.

"It's fun seeing people, particularly young people, take an interest in this,” said Jürgen Christiansen.

“They pass it down,” Christine Christiansen said. “Because they just automatically think of the next generation of pipers. We don't even hesitate to pass it down.”

Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums has lessons available in Chugiak and the Matanuska Valley.

Besides concerts, you may also see them performing at community events. Their next public performance will be on Dec. 8 at the Christmas Concert benefiting the Friends of the Palmer Library.

For more information on the band, lessons and performances, visit their website.

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