The Fort Vancouver Pipe Band is open to everyone, not just citizens of Vancouver and it is certainly not limited to people of Scottish descent. The main thing we are looking for is people with a desire to play and perform either the bagpipes or drums.
Musical Instruction from the Band
If you would like to get musical instruction offered by the band, contact the band's performance coordinator, Penny McLaren, or come by one of our practices and introduce yourself. From there we can confirm with you the availability of a teacher and answer any general questions.
While the instruction is free, there are some materials that you will need to purchase. It is important to talk to your instructor first since some of these materials are hard to find, or worse, without help you might buy the wrong thing.
Whether you aspire to be a drummer or piper expect about $100 of initial expenses. A piper will need to buy a practice chanter. When the time comes to buy bagpipes, expect to shell out ~$1500. Drummers will need to buy sticks and a practice pad. The good news for drummers is that if you join the band your drums will be furnished.
You do not need to 'join' the band to receive the musical tutoring.
Joining the Band
The band is an organization that has by-laws, elected leaders, and lots of assets like drums, kilts, banners, and of course, our reputation. If you want to be a part of the band and play in performances you will need to be voted in by the current membership, in accordance with the by-laws.
Some of this organizational structure is necessary to maintain our 501(c)(3) charitable status, but we also maintain this formal process to make sure new members know that joining the band is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Talk with your teacher or a member of the board of directors to learn about the details of joining the band.
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