Due to the Covid 19 situation, Thursday night practices may be moved to a virtual meeting. Please contact the band manager if you are interested in attending a practice.
HLSPB welcomes new pipers and drummers over 10 years old, from any experience level. The band has an excellent student program, offering bagpipe and drum lessons from 6-7 pm every Thursday. If you already know how to play the pipes or drums, we'd welcome you to come to a practice and get to know the band members, and see if you'd like to join. Visitors are always welcome at our rehearsals, which generally take place on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9:00 pm at the Church of the Nazarene in Wareham, Ma.
Our band philosophy revolves around teaching. Members of all experience levels are challenged to better themselves as players, using internal and external instruction. If you're interested in learning the bagpipes, or drums, we encourage you to come to a practice. Anyone over the age of 10 is welcome to take lessons. While some of our band members learned at a young age, many did not take their first lessons until much later in life. Some of our Bagpipers did not start lessons until well into their forties!
The band offers bagpipe and drum lessons at the beginning of each Thursday night practice. You'll often find the members there during this time, getting some fundamental work in as well. While the band doesn't charge for the lesson, we do expect that your goal is to join the band.
To get started as a new student, you'll be working with practice instruments. For pipers, you'll start playing on a practice chanter, and drummers will start on a practice pad. You'll be expected to purchase your own practice chanter as well as the Sandy Jones Pipe Tutor instruction book. We're more than happy to help point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the practice chanter. Drummers will follow along with learning materials the band will provide. The band has loaner bagpipes for students when they are deemed ready to start on the full pipes, and at that point we'l help you with choosing your own instrument when you're ready. Drummers will be provided a drum when you're ready to move off the practive pad.
The band has 3 levels of membership. Everyone starts off as a student, even if you already know how to play your instrument. You're goal as a student is to learn how to play your instrument with the band. For pipers, you'll be expected to learn the tunes as we play them, with the correct execution of embellishments. For students to move up, there is a sub-set of tunes that you'll be expected to memorize. The length of time you are a student is entirely up to the leadership of the band. For pipers, you'll report to the pipe major, and drummers report to the drum sergeant. Once the pipe major has deemed you ready, you'll be promoted from student to provisional member.
As a provisional member the pipe major will invite you to perform with the band at certain performances. The goal is to get you comfortable, in an environment that sets you up for success. That means you will likely be invited to parades first, where the crowd isn't staring directly at you (because we all know that's what happens when you're new). As you progress, you'll be invited to play in more performance venues. Performances bring a new challenge, including learning the parts of the various uniforms, how to march, as well as beginning to learn the more advanced tunes. The pipe major will help you understand what's expected of you for any given performance.
Once you've memorized all the music, and have shown that you understand the dress and deportment of the band, you'll be eligible for full membership. One of the responsibilities of being a full member, is representing the business of the band. In that vein, you'll need to be voted into membership, by the membership. The pipe major will present a motion to the band to move you to full membership, and the band will vote on whether they think you're ready. Once you've been voted in, you'll be expected to make as many performances as possible. In return, full members are afforded some funds for private instruction, instrument maintenance materials, and you'll be able to vote on band business.
if you're looking for bagpipe lessons, but aren't interested in joining the band, we can help with that too! Private instruction can be arranged through the members of the band that offer lessons. Please contact the pipe major with any questions or if you wish to attend lessons or a rehearsal.
Our Instruction and Rehearsal Schedule provides complete details of dates and locations. View the Schedule and Directions
If you are interested in taking lessons or joining the band, contact Pipe Major Sheldon Hamblin at email@example.com