Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pipe Band Forum 9/12/07

Getting into a Band

I have been involved with youth for many years. I've been a Scout Master three times (a total of about 10 years) and with my own five kids I've coached everything from baseball to hockey. Most of my kids are adults now, but I have a 12 year old son (the drummer) and he loves hockey, so I've been coaching his teams for the past four years. With three grandkids getting older I'd like to continue to be involved in their activities.

My experience with Scouting was the most difficult as far as having to be careful what was said and done. Because of the exposure I have turned down the latest request to be Scout Master again. I told them I will continue to be involved as a parent, but beyond that I'll not take on the responsibility.

It's too bad, but I've seen too many good men lose their sterling reputations because of unfounded accusastions by some brat who has no concept of the consequenses of making them.

Back to the topic, I've not been involved long enough to judge between band discipline now and what it was a few decades ago, but I'm happy to be piping and have a band that I can be involved in.

A couple things were mentioned that I thought I'd add about our band(s) (We have a grade IV and a grade III band).

The band has a quasi affiliation (not a sponsorship) with a business called the Celtic Center. It is a store (pipe and drum equipment and instruments and related items) and a music school (bagpipes and other pipes, tin whistle, fiddle, and various drums). The relationship is so close that I'm not aware of any band members who at one time or another haven't taken lessons there.

Pipes are not provided by the band, but can be rented or purchased through the Celtic Center. Our former PM (retired to the bass drum) is the owner of the Celtic Center and a pipe maker; a very good one - I have a set of his pipes and love 'em - BUT ... they are quite expensive and beware of buying some other make of pipe because you'll hear about it - Scarhand can vouch for this.

Lessons are not free and are getting quite expensive. I had to quit lessons this year because it cost too much with my son and wife both involved now.

Anyway, there are issues now and again as I'm sure there are with most bands, but I have found the responses very interesting so far. I hope more will tell us about their bands.

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