The original R.P. Blandford & Son Pipe Band was formed in 1986 by founding pipe major Kevin Ray Blandford. The band was named after its sponsor, a British import store in Redlands, California. The store was the Blandford family’s business and opened in 1983. Kevin taught bagpipe lessons at the store and averaged 20 students per month. In 1991, Kevin started instructing the Upland High School Pipe Band. In 1994, the R.P. Blandford & Son Pipe Band officially became a member of the Western United States Pipe Band Association and entered its first competition at the Highland Games in Costa Mesa, California.

Kevin’s musical talent, teaching and leadership skills, and his ability to work with a diverse group of people contributed to the making of one of the most successful pipe band organizations in the United States. Kevin led the band to several West Coast championship titles and a 2nd place award at the 2000 World Championship in Scotland.

After Kevin’s passing in November 2003, the band changed its name to the Kevin R. Blandford Memorial Pipe Band. Kevin’s dear friend and successor, Matt Nonnemacher led the band to many more prestigious titles, including a 3rd and 5th place finish at the World Championships in 2004 and 2007, respectively.

The Blandford organization now has over forty pipers and drummers and continues to grow. The band draws its members from throughout the “Inland Empire” region of Southern California and from as far away as San Diego, Pacific Palisades, Nashville and Salt Lake City. The band boasts of a membership representative of California’s diversity.

In addition to competing across the Western United States, Canada and Scotland, the band also performs more locally at church services, graduations, parties and parades throughout Southern California.

The band is outfitted in modern highland dress and wears the red-muted Roxburgh tartan, a favorite of Kevin Blandford. The band is sponsored by the R.P. Blandford & Son British Import Store located in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

For a more detailed history of the late Kevin Blandford and the R.P. Blandford Store, please read an article written by Paul Blandford, Kevin’s father, for the Scottish Society of the Inland Empire newsletter.

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