The sounds of Scotland in the Borderland. The Bel Air High School Pipe Band is proud of their unique sound. Back in 1956 Superintendent of Ysleta Schools J.M.
Hanks decided that the districts’ newest school would reflect his time in the military. The newest school being Bel Air High School. Their mascot got its name from the land where Bel Air was built. At the time that land was above the flood plan so that’s where “Highlanders” comes from.
The Bel Air High School Pipe Band is the only one of its kind in our region with sounds originating from thousands of miles away. Finding a decades-long home in the Bel Air community.
“It’s a unique sound something that they’ve probably never heard before and now they are hearing it and it’s enjoyable,” said Aaron Bailey, a junior at Bel Air High School.
Bailey followed in his older brother’s footsteps who also played in the Pipe Band.
The tradition of having a Pipe Band at Bel Air began back in the early 60’s and the school has maintained the tradition ever since. This thanks to consultants that they hire to help instruct the students.
“What we do is hire a consultant her name is Marla Manning she’s an alum, she is also the former Pipe Major for the Bel Air High School Pipe Band…and now she comes back and helps the Pipe Band so the tradition keeps going,” said Manny Talamantes, the Band Director for Bel Air.
For many at Bel Air they say this is a tradition that for many families is a special bond that connects them to one another.
“My brothers were in pipe band and i really enjoyed watching them perform, but they played drums and i wanted to play pipes and it’s cool cause its a tradition because the only school that does it is Bel Air,” said Bailey.