Keeping the Tradition Alive
Ed Maloney, Pipes and Drums of the New York City Police Department Emerald Society, NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band
Ed Maloney

Our band is named in honor of Edward Patrick Maloney, a founder and charter member of the New York City Police Department Emerald Society Pipe and Drum band, considered in pipe circles to be the Notre Dame of bagpipe bands. The NYPD band was formed in 1960 and made its debut in the 1961 St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City. Mr. Maloney, a son of Irish immigrants, served in the Navy during the Korean War and later logged 21 years on the NYPD. He was an active bandsman at the time of his death in May 2000.

Less than 20 police officer's marched up Fifth Ave. in the band's first St. Patrick's Day appearance. Maloney never dreamed that the band's ranks would eventually reach 100, or, that it's reputation would earn inviations to play for mayors, governors, all major New York sports teams, popes and presidents, as well as appearances in television shows and motion pictures. And, several times it was the featured halftime attration at the All-Ireland Hurling Finals in Dublin.

Maloney’s musical talent and stature in the band earned him placement in the center of the front row for parades. He was a self-taught musician who also played the accordion and piano. People who were entertained by his impromptu performances were always surprised to learn that he could not read music.

He was an influential person in the police department’s Emerald Society and served on the committee for the band’s annual Piper’s Ball for more than 30 years. The ball is one of the largest Irish-American cultural events in New York City.

Maloney took special pride when his son, Richard, became a Binghamton fireman and later learned how to play the pipes; he eventually joined a pipe band in central New York.

In early 2005, Rich was approached by a fellow bandsman, Harry Nichols, with the idea of starting a new band -- and naming it after Rich’s dad. Nichols had met several members of the NYPD band over the years and was aware of the elder Maloney’s influence and reputation.

The Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band made its official debut in November 2005, with a contingent of the NYPD band on hand to take part in the festivities. Two years later, the band boasts more than 50 members -- making it among the largest bagpipe bands in America -- and has already marched up Fifth Ave. twice on St. Patrick’s Day. Nichols serves as the band’s pipe major and Maloney is one of the pipe corporals. Rich’s eldest daughter, Erin, is a drummer.

And, with several promising students progressing in their pipe and drums classes, we expect our ranks, and, our reputation to continue to grow.