Ask about joining a Student Class.
The Northport Pipe Band is always looking for pipers and drummers to bolster its ranks. Practice is held at 7:30 PM every Monday evening in the American Legion Hall, 7 Woodside Avenue in Northport. We welcome both experienced players and teens and adults interested in learning how to play the bagpipes or drums. Our goal is to maintain a band environment in which each individual can reach his or her full playing potential while enjoying the support and camaraderie that the band is been noted for.
The band's marching unit is open to players with a demonstrated ability to play the designated band sets of marches on the bagpipes or drums. Each set consists of 2 to 4 tunes in 4/4, ¾, 2/4 or 6/8 time. The emphasis in the marching unit is on solid unison playing and deportment as required on the parade ground.
Players with more advanced capabilities may also be encouraged to join the competition band. Our competition band activities have varied over the years depending on membership and group interest.
The band's philosophy has always included high quality instruction. Lessons are provided for a small fee, and members are encouraged to participate in piping workshops and seminars.
A musical background is helpful for beginners, but is definitely not a prerequisite. Far more valuable to any beginner is the desire to achieve their musical goals, perseverance and belief that those goals are worth the time and effort.
The piping student must purchase a practice pipe chanter (the band keeps a supply in stock), and the drum student must purchase drumsticks and a (nice quiet, wood and rubber) practice pad. Students are assigned a specific time period for instruction and placed in a group with similarly skilled students. Students are expected to practice at home (just like any other music students) and should demonstrate real interest by progressing within several months from scales and basic exercises to simple tunes played on the practice chanter or accompanied on the drum pad.
When the piping student is considered ready to advance to the pipes, if asked, the band will recommend a number of reputable bagpipe suppliers from whom the student may purchase a set of bagpipes. The student is instructed in proper tuning and maintenance of the instrument and continues to learn tunes on the bagpipe while developing the ability to play as part of the band. (Part of our rehearsal evening is reserved to integrate students into the band setting).
When the student piper's proficiency has advanced to a level that the pipe major deems appropriate for admission into the band marching unit, the band will issue a full uniform to the student and their status becomes a novice piper. There is no cost to the student (or full band member) for the uniform as long as he/she continues to participate in band appearances. The novice piper is expected to continue to progress over time to become a full band member capable of handling a wide range of music. A similar process holds for student advancement in the drum rank.
We hope you'll consider joining our band. We're only as great as our members.
Pipe Band is a not-for-profit, community-oriented band