The Capitol City Highlanders Pipe Band, formed in 1980, is Austin’s oldest active Scottish bagpipe and drumming corps. Dedicated to preserving the art of bagpiping and Scottish style drumming, the band brings further diversity to the music of the Greater Austin area. The band was founded by Pipe Major Nick Classen, who led the band for almost 30 years.  The band's other members are as diverse as the people who enjoy listening to them and consist of men and women from ages 8 to over 60.    

The band has performed at hundreds of functions through the years, and has played for dignitaries such as Texas Governor Mark White, publisher Malcom Forbes, and Prince Charles on his visit to Texas in 1986.

Available for any occasion including weddings, funerals, parties, birthdays, festivals, and parades, the Capitol City Highlanders Pipe Band is also open to beginning and experienced pipers and drummers and offers Scottish piping and drumming instruction.


Pipe Major   Shawn Levsen
Pipe Sgt.  Lynn Crislip
Drum Sgt.    Cameron Shepherd    
Drum Corporal   Carol Maxwell    

Uniform and Tartan

The Royal Stewart Tartan

The Royal Stewart tartan is the best known tartan of the royal House of Stewart, and is also the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth II. It is appropriate for all subjects of Elizabeth II to wear the Royal Stewart tartan, in much the same way that clansmen may wear the tartan of their clan chief.

The Capitol City Highlanders have worn the Royal Stewart Tartan colors since they were founded in 1980 

Uniform Shirts

For parades, private events, military events, etc

Our band uniform is a button up collared shirt with our band patch and the American Flag patch.  It's perfect for our public performances and private events.

Formal Vest

For weddings, funerals and other formal events

Especially for weddings and funerals, we also have formal wear that includes a tailored vest, tie and white shirt.  Jackets can also be worn. 

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The Capitol City Highlanders dress to impress at every event.  Our uniforms are consistent and may change based on the type of event we are attending.  Our kilts are the Royal Stewart tartan.  In addition to our kilt and uniform shirt, we also wear ghillie brogues (Scottish shoes), glengarry (hat), hackles (feather), hose and flashes (socks), and a sporran (pouch).