P/M William T. Robertson III

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Location: Kemah, TX, USA

P/M William T. Robertson III

Post by brianberlin » Wed May 09, 2007 3:18 pm

Here is a commemorative march I wrote in honor of my good friend P/M William T. "Robbie" Robertson III who passed away early yesterday morning. I've kept embellishments to a minimum. As with every tune I write, I encourage the player add or remove embellishments as he/she sees fit... to make the tune their own.

Below is a musical biography of P/M Robinson.

Pipe Major William T. Robertson III was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, and started his piping career in 1954 under the tutelage of his father. His first band experience was a D.A.V. sponsored Boy Scout band in Indianapolis. He played in this band until the Spring of 1957, when he "put away" the pipes for six years.

In the Spring of 1963, he once again took up the pipes, under the tutelage of Don Maitland and started playing with the Gordon Pipers of Indianapolis, and later was one of the founding members of the Indiana Scottish Pipe band of Indianapolis, playing with both bands until his entry into the U.S. Air Force in 1966.

While stationed at Chanute AFB, Illinois, he played with the Peoria Pipe Band of Peoria, Illinois, under Pipe Major Phil Eskew.

His Air Force assignment took him to Vietnam in October of 1966 where he was attached to the 1st Air Cavalry Division at An Khe. The pipes soon followed and, by Christmas of 1966, "Robbie" was keeping alive the tradition of pipers in Combat.

Upon his return stateside, he was assigned to Kelley AFB, in San Antonio, Texas, and was asked by locals to help in the formation of a pipe band there. The result became the Alamo City Highlanders, and its 3 "children" -- the San Antonio Pipes & Drums, the Black Bexar Pipe Band, and the Alzafar Shrine Highlanders.

Upon his discharge from the Air Force and subsequent marriage, he moved to Tampa, Florida, and played with the Bay Area Pipes and Drums and the Egypt Temple Shrine Highlanders.

Returning to Texas in 1971, he played with the Houston Highlanders for a year before returning to San Antonio and the Alamo City Highlanders.

In 1979 due to job changes, he returned to Houston and the Highlanders. In 1983 he was asked to assist in forming a pipe band for the Arabia Shrine Temple and continued as Pipe Major until the dissolution of that band in 1995.

He is currently serving as Pipe Sergeant of the Houston Highlanders, as the official piper for The University of Houston Downtown Criminal Justice Training Center, instructor for the Houston Fire Department Pipes and Drums, and instructor for The Galveston County Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums.

Over the years, he has served as Pipe Major of the Alamo City Highlanders, The San Antonio Scottish Pipe Band, the Arabia Temple Pipes and Drums, and Pipe Sergeant of the Indiana Scottish Pipe Band.

He is currently retired from twenty-seven years of teaching in the Houston Independent School District.

Update: On May 8, 2007, Robbie passed away. We are blessed and honored to have known him. - Galveston County Firefighters Pipes & Drums
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david n. siegel
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Location: Israel (The Galilee)

Post by david n. siegel » Fri May 18, 2007 5:51 am


You composed a very nice melody, and a great tribute for your friend. It is one thing to say goodbye, but a far greater thing to be able to keep the good memories alive with a lovely tune. Who would grieve a life lived fully?


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