More than 300 firefighter bagpipers, drummers and honor guard members from across the country are expected to participate in the annual KTA Jam Session scheduled for May 9, on the steps of Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street.

The event, which has become a free community favorite drawing more than 1,000 spectators, will include a series of performances and presentations by participants and instructors at the Keeping Tradition Alive symposium being held that week at the Lewisville Convention Center.

Also performing that evening will be The Killdares, a Celtic-themed rock band that has quickly become a Lewisville favorite at the KTA Jam Session and the free Sounds of Lewisville summer concert series.

Keeping Tradition Alive is one of the premier training events for firefighter bagpipe and drum corps members across the country, and also includes classes for public safety honor guards conducted by the National Honor Academy. It was started by Lewisville Fire Department in 2008 and is held each May at the Lewisville Convention Center. The public Jam Session held in conjunction with the symposium has become a popular regional activity for participants and spectators.

The two-day symposium will feature highly regarded teachers, headed by lead pipe instructor Don Shannon and lead drum instructor Andrew Hoinacki. Shannon is a native of Northern Ireland and has been playing the bagpipes for more than 40 years, including performances for the British Royal Family. Hoinacki started drumming at age 6 and has a distinguished performance and competition history.

Also attending the symposium is special guest Jim Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick has won the World Drum Corps Championships a total of 19 times, 15 of those as a leading drummer, including an 11-year streak from 1988 to 1998. As a solo drummer, has won the RSPBA World Solo Drumming Championships a record 16 times and is the current holder of the Champion of Champions title, which he has won three times.

Friday’s event in historic Old Town Lewisville will start at 6 p.m., with performances starting at 7 p.m. The Killdares will take the stage at 7:45 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for their comfort. Food and beverage vendors will be on site. Sponsors are Miller of Denton, Sonny Bryan’s and Pierce Fire Trucks. 

Information provided by City of Lewisville.