Where do you practice and is it open to the public?

We love to have visitors and prospective students stop by! Our practices are held every Thursday night at the Grace Presbyterian Church located at 1515 W Charleston Blvd – just west of interstate 15 on Charleston. Don’t let the construction deter you – follow the orange signs and come say hi! It’s always a good idea to give us a heads up if you plan to visit and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

What ages or experience levels do you accept for students or future band members?

We welcome students and band members of all ages and experience levels! We particularly love to teach and encourage kids to develop an interest in music. The minimum age of a student depends on the individual but typically around 7 or 8 years old is a good rule of thumb given hand size for the instrument, focus, communication levels and attention spans. There is no maximum age – all that is required is a good attitude, determination, and a willingness to learn!

Is it expensive to learn?

Piping and drumming students start on practice instruments. For pipers, students start on a practice chanter for about a year – this is an instrument in its own right, similar to a recorder with a reed, and helps students learn proper fingering techniques, scale navigation, and rhythmic accuracy. A practice chanter can be purchased through the band for about $100. Snare drummers start with a practice pad and sticks and tenor and bass drummers start with mallets. These supplies are fairly inexpensive. After competency is achieved on the practice chanter, the band can help students find an affordable set of pipes. Drums are provided by the band.

Are pipes difficult to learn?

Bagpipes are a challenging instrument even for life-long musicians due to the mix of technique required and physical strength and stamina. However, bagpipes stir the souls and illicit a reaction from those that hear them that is unparalleled with any other instrument. They allow players to be a part of an emotional response, they make strangers all over the world into friends, and they are incredibly rewarding for anyone determined to learn and committed to putting the work in.

How long does it take to learn?

Typically, students play practice chanter for about a year before transitioning to pipes. After that, students can expect to play pipes for another good year before auditioning for the band. Times can vary greatly but these are good timeframes to benchmark against. Drummers can get up to speed within a few months.

How do I join the band?

The band audition consists of demonstrating competency with playing 4 sets of parade tunes with another piper and a portion of the drum corps in front of the full band along with Amazing Grace played solo. Anyone interested in joining the band should work with the pipe major ahead of time to check-in on skill level and establish an appropriate time frame.

What performance and competition opportunities does the band provide?

The LVPB currently competes at the Grade 4 level at WUSPBA sanctioned Highland Games across the southwest. Competition has a lot of positive benefits for individual musicians and the band as a whole – it allows the band to test its skill and composure under pressure against other musicians at our level and to get feedback from expert adjudicators. Competition is an important component of pipe band life and one LVPB takes seriously.

LVPB performs at parades, conventions, with the Honor Flight, and at special events all over Southern Nevada throughout the year. We lead the St. Patrick’s Day parade at the NYNY every year as well as hold our own Celtic Thanksgiving Concert each November. Check our calendar for other events as they come up!

Why should I join a pipe band?

Pipe bands are family – there is a strong sense of camaraderie and fun that comes from banding together to achieve musical excellence and always driving towards individual and band improvement, a commitment to musical development, and raising awareness about the breadth and depth of the local Celtic performing arts community. For more information on the ethos of pipe band, check out the Pipe Band Creed here.         

Why should I hire a pipe band?

Pipe bands add a sense of excitement and ceremony to any event – from the sound of the drums rumbling in with a battle march to a lone piper playing a heartbreaking solo or a toe-tapping jig; a pipe band elevates any party, wedding, convention, community event, parade, funeral, or get together to something extra special. Contact us to hire a solo piper, a set of pipers, a piper and snare drummer, or the full band!

Is your question not answered here? Feel free to shoot us an email at info@lasvegaspipeband.org!