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So You Want to Learn the Pipes or Drums?

Why choose Caledonian?

The Caledonian Society has continually sponsored an instruction program for Scottish bagpipes and drums since 1977 and has maintained a viable pipe band for over thirty years. This is possible thanks to the kind contributions of funds, equipment, time, and energy over a long period of time. We are the oldest and longest-lived pipe band in the area. We are dedicated to quality of character, service, and sound.

Our instructors have decades of piping and drumming experience and volunteer their time to perpetuate an art that they love. They also compete in solo competitions in their respective fields and grades, striving to improve themselves as examples to their students. Many of our instructors and students have gone to compete and rank in solo competitions around the Southeast US.

In addition to solo competitions for students and instructors, the Baton Rouge Caledonian Pipes and Drums is the only band in the Baton Rouge area that competes in national and international pipe band competitions held in the Southeastern United States.

Beginning a new instrument can be daunting, but the band's instructors are dedicated to helping make the experience enjoyable. It should be noted that while solo competitions are encouraged to broaden each studentís experience on their instrument, it is not required. You do not need to be Scottish to enjoy the sound of the pipes, so you do not need to be Scottish to learn with us. The Bandís program is open to any who wish to learn!

When and where do you meet?

The teaching program meets every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 763 North Blvd. (Downtown Baton Rouge). The Band rehearses on Thursdays at the same time and place.

What equipment do I need?

For your first visit, nothing. Just come by and talk with the instructors and see if our program is right for you.

For piping: you will need your own practice chanter and a copy of the "College of Piping" book. These can be purchased from the band inventory.

For drumming: you must provide your own sticks and drum pads. The drum instructors will give you recommendations on which drum pads and sticks are ideal for the Scottish style.

When will I get to play with the band?

It all depends on your proficiency with your instrument. Pipe students will usually learn at least three tunes proficiently on their chanters before starting up on full pipes. Drummers will work with their instructors, the Drum Sergeant and the Pipe Major in choosing which drum (snare, tenor, or bass) the band needs at present for performances.

However, all students are invited and encouraged to participate with the band at performances from day one. There are many ways students help out, from carrying flags and banners, to acting as honor guard, driving support vehicles, or just coming out and supporting the band!

Do I need to own a kilt?

You donít need to have a kilt to start learning the pipes. The band has kilts in its inventory acquired and purchased through many generous donations. Many of our students use these kilts to perform and march with us.

To inquire further about classes, please contact Pipe Major Stan Masinter at (225) 927-0252 or email him at livewell@bellsouth.net.



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The Caledonian Society of Baton Rouge is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization
dedicated to promoting and preserving Scottish culture in and around the Gulf South.