"It gives them perspective on music," he said. "It's a different experience for them."
The performance, arranged through the Music Center of Los Angeles County, featured the foursome in all of their Scottish glory, complete with kilts, quilted socks, strap-up sandals and sporrans — a leather pouch that hangs from the belt.
The sight and sound of the band was almost too much to keep some of the kids seated as they clapped and yelled along with the traditional folk music.
It was also the first time many of them had seen or heard traditional Irish and Scottish music, nevermind the kilts, which is why the band interlaced the performance with history lessons and instrument demonstrations, said Aaron Shaw, who plays the bagpipe.
"If we just came out and did what we did, they'd all say, 'What was that?'" Shaw said.
So the students get a geographic and historical lesson on the two countries, an explanation of the bagpipe, bass and snare drums and the Bronze Age horn.
They also received a lesson in how to make and wear a kilt.
David Casaburi, 9, was the lucky student chosen to go up on stage as band members folded and wrapped a kilt around him, much to the delight of his classmates.
"It felt funny because it wasn't as comfortable as my shorts," he said. "I've only seen them in cartoons, so it was cool to see them in real life."
The performance was in stark contrast to the measured, polished concert given by a brass quartet from the Glendale Symphony Orchestra last week, but the difference in and of itself is part of the point, said Liz Jasper, a third-grade teacher at the school.
"The kids just really benefit so much from the cultural diversity of the performances," she said.
The Glendale-based band gives about 40 performances throughout the county every year, and keeps busy with a gig schedule that takes them across the country, bass drum player Warren Casey said.
Giving kids a taste of something out of the norm — and having to explain the kilts over and over again — is just part of what comes with playing folk music so often relegated to St. Patrick's Day.
"I have to laugh sometimes when I think about what sort of impression these kids are getting because I remember the first time I first saw a bagpipe play when I was young, and it definitely left an impression," Shaw said.
JASON WELLS covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3239 or by e-mail at jason.wellslatimes.com.