The Band

Photo by Rachel Wallace
Photo by George Costigan
Randy Wothke – Founder of The Rogues

Randy’s course in life was set when at age 6 he began violin lessons. Having mastered that attempt by performing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in front of the entire Cub Scout pack, he soon got bored and moved on to the piano. That lasted several years, but finally the instrument that won out was the drums. Begging his parents for one more chance at age 10, he began percussion in the public schools in Houston, TX and never looked back. Competing successfully in high school and graduating with a degree in music education/percussion from the University of Houston in 1985, he then taught band in the public schools in Texas for two years and almost completed a masters in conducting.

Beginning in college Randy picked up Scottish drumming as a hobby, joined a pipe band and eventually joined the Hamilton Pipe Band founded by Lars Sloan. In 1993 they competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland and won best overseas band in the grade II competition, a first for an US band, and then won first place in the grade III competition in 1998, also a first for the United States.

 In 1994 Randy founded "The Scottish Rogues", later to become "The Rogues", and is the only person to be a part of every Rogues line-up since the beginning. He has guided the band through 9 CDs and 2 DVDs, received two Asca-Plus awards from ASCAP for music written for the band and enjoys freelance symphonic-style performance when The Rogues schedule allows.
 



Jimmy Mitchell - My piping journey began in 1981 when I enrolled in 4th Grade at St. Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston, Texas.  About the third week of school one of the seniors walked into my classroom and asked who was interested in joining the band and learning the bagpipe.  While the senior was putting my name on the band list I remember asking him, “By the way, what is a bagpipe?”

When I started 5th Grade in 1982 Campbell Naismith left St. Thomas to move to California and Albert McMullin took over as band director. It was during this year that I made the transition from practice chanter to bagpipe and started marching with the band. At the start of 6th Grade Mr. McMullin left St. Thomas, leaving the band without a director during that year.  However, Doug Frobese, who was a senior that year, ran the band until Mike Cusack graduated from college.  Mr. Cusack took over at the beginning of 7th Grade.  His leadership soon built the band into the premiere juvenile pipe band in the world.

After graduating from St. Thomas in 1989 I started college at the University of Houston and joined the Hamilton Pipe Band led by Lars Sloan.  In 1989 Donald MacPhee took over as pipe major and almost overnight turned us from a street band to Grade III champions at the 1990 Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta, Georgia. I was also fortunate to win the Grade I trophy and Amateur Piper of the Day. Things were really falling into place for the band and we would go on to win the Grade III and Grade II United States Championships in Alma, Michigan, and I won some solo awards there as well.  In 1993, the Hamilton Pipe Band went to Scotland to compete and won best overseas band in Grade II. The band would also finish first in the Celtic Classic competition in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and first at the Santa Rosa Highland Games in California.

For the next four years I would divide my time competing with the Hamilton Pipe Band and playing with The Rogues. In the fall of 1995 The Rogues recorded their first album and performed at the Texas Renaissance Festival. During my time with The Rogues we made five albums, toured throughout the United States, and performed in Canada and Scotland.  At this time I also started teaching the bagpipes and several of my students have won trophies and awards in competition. This is also when I started composing tunes, several of which are on The Rogues’ albums.  My first composition, “The Rock,” was even played by a pipe band at the World Pipe Band Championships.  I currently enjoy a solo piping career and performing with The Rogues.

You can find out more about Jimmy on his personal site.



Bryan Blaylock - Bryan started playing the Bodhran in 1993, subbing in occasionally with Clandestine at the Texas Renaissance Festival. In 1995 he was asked to join the band The Scottish Rogues. He developed a quick wit and funny stage presence for those moments when the bagpipes have to tune. Unfortunately he hasn't shut up.....

He brings an energetic sound that gives the band a raw edge and is generously willing to share the credit with Randy for keeping the band from careening out of control.

Bryan is proud of the critical acclaim the band received in his previous time with The Rogues, including several nominations in the Grammy book, but not quite making it to the final 5.

He is co-owner of a Friesian Horse Ranch with his lovely soon to be bride Heather, dad to an amazing set of twin boys and responsible for the feeding and maintenance of 66 critters from a 2000 lbs horse to a 2 ounce chick.

Heather and he are proud that the Wind Dancer Ranch is a Horses4Heros facility, providing equine healing to our active duty military, veterans and their families.

"I am excited to be playing with the classic line-up and looking forward to testing Randy's patience and skills"


Ewan Brown - Playing the great highland bagpipes in Celtic Rock bands, Ewan has performed on stages around the world with top Celtic bands including Seven Nations, Rathkeltair, and the Glengarry Bhoys.  He has also played with Nazareth, Loverboy  and Blue Rodeo. Not all at once mind you, but that would be cool..frost in the morning is also cool, ok more cold than cool, you might need a hat. A hat in Canada is a toque.

Professional musician for the past 12 years,   Squirrel !!!  my dog chases squirrels. they can climb trees. not my dog.

Besides playing the pipes Ewan enjoys playing a multitude of other instruments and continues to teach himself new instruments to enhance his stage presence. I like presence,  birthday presence, Christmas presence….now learning Celtic Tuba...

Ewan has been in many bands and choirs for his vocal talents, harmonies and extensive vocal range. Gun range, archery range, I like archery, like Robin Hood.

Ewan has performed everything from classical and Broadway to country, folk, and now Celtic. Not “Seltic” that’s a basketball team.  There’s no I in team.
Ewan is also a master leather crafter, making fantastic leather products. His goods can be found at:
customcelticleather.com
thehighlandscott.com

Ewan is sponsored by Lindsey Bagpipe Co. from Corry Pa.  Making Ewan’s new trade mark blue pipes with the Castle tops.

Kyle Grasty -  Started his bagpipe lessons at the age of 12 with the Ceol Neamh Piping and Drumming School (Lancaster pa) Kyle did his first competition at the young age of 14 and took 4th place out of 23 pipers. Since then he has taken 14, 1st place in EUSPBA Sanctioned Highland Games

He also performs with the Washington Memorial Pipe Band of Wayne Pa. and has competed with the Cameron Washington united competition band.

Kyle enjoys composing piano and bagpipe music in his spare time. He is attending West Chester University in hopes to become a State Trooper while at the same time teaching bagpipes to students of all ages.




Mark Sullivan - Has been playing percussion for a long time.  Starting as a straight ahead rock drummer in his youth, he now plays hand percussion in his older youth.
He first played with the Rogues in 1996 and has played with them many other times.  A founding member of Sloanwolfe, he has also played with Charlie Zahm, Enter The Haggis, Seven Nations, Wyndfall and many others.  He has played percussion on over 15 recordings with various artists.  He looks forward to a long relationship with the Rogues!

Mark is also the Artistic Director for Magic Lantern Shows at Plain & Fancy Theater





*Photos by Pamela Hoskins

Guest Performers


Doug Frobese - Began playing bagpipes at age 9 at St. Thomas Episcopal School and was first taught by Donald Shaw Ramsay.  Doug later attended the Balmoral Schools in North Carolina, studying piobaireachd under James McIntosh and light music under Murray Henderson.  In 1991, Doug joined the Hamilton (now St. Thomas Alumni) Pipe Band, served as pipe major from 1997 to 2000 when the band won grade 3A and took third prize in grade 2 at the World Pipe Band Championships, and he has remained a piper in the band ever since.   Besides Hamilton/St. Thomas Alumni, Doug has also played with the Kansas City St. Andrews Pipes & Drums and the Lothian & Borders Pipe Band.

Doug contributed to our Hellbound Sleigh album.