New members (and their parents) often have lots of questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.
Uniform and equipment
What is the uniform?
For formal occasions, regular band members should wear black pants, white dress shirt, black dress shoes, black vest, tie and a glengarry (hat). The tie and glengarry are lent out to your child by the band.
Once your child has graduated to playing / competition band the uniform becomes more traditional. Band members will then wear a kilt with hose and sporran. The kilt and sporran are lent out to your child by the band.
For regular Tuesday evening practices, uniforms do not need to be worn.
When will my child progress to the pipes / drums?
Your childʼs instructor will advise you when your child is ready for a set of pipes or drum. This usually takes one to two years. Bagpipes are purchased by each family. Drums are lent to the child by the OLPB.
What maintenance is required for the instruments?
Chanters need new reeds when worn or broken and hemp when the two pieces are loose.
Drum sticks would need to be replaced if cracked.
When your child moves onto pipes or drums, their instructors will help with maintenance checks and teach your child how to preform their own maintenance.
How much practice is required?
Beginners should practices 15 to 30 minutes each day.
Is private instruction available?
You can check with your childʼs instructor; they usually know an instructor and whether your child would be a good match. Another option is to look on the Alberta Society of Pipers & Drummers website, for private lesson postings.
What are solo competitions?
Solo competitions are a great way to build conﬁdence in the beginner piper / drummer. Solo competitions are also a way to see where strengths lie and where growth is needed. Adjudication sheets should be shared with instructors; this way instructors can aid students in their weakness.
What commitments are there for parents?
There are a few mandatory commitments with the OLPB:
- Poppy sales (a two hour shift)
- Remembrance Day (approximately two hours) *
- Mother’s Day Fundraiser *
- Casino (8-10 hour shift every other year, positions vary)
- OLPB Annual Indoor Competition (volunteer shifts to help run the competition)
- Ceilidh or other one time events (volunteer shifts)
* Required for competition band members. Non-competition members are encouraged and welcome to participate.
Commitment checks will collected from each family during registration. These cheques will be returned to you if you participate in these events. Cheques will be cashed if you do not.
Optional committee work and volunteering within the OLPB
There is a lot of work done to run the OLPB and the executive is always looking for new volunteers!
Volunteer opportunities range from running competitions, organizing special functions, fundraising to website maintenance. If you would like to help with anything please contact any of the executive. Your help is always welcome!
Events and Associations
Alberta Society of Pipers and Drumming (ASPD)
The Alberta Society of Pipers and Drumming regulates all piping and drumming in Alberta. It is the responsibility of each individual player to register yearly with the ASPD in order to be able to compete at sanctioned competitions or highland games, and also the individual’s responsibility for registering for all solo events.
The Highland Games are where you want to be to compete!
It is always very exciting, whether itʼs your ﬁrst time or your twentieth. There are piping and drumming events, dancing and heavy games and even some sheep herding. You must register and pay an entry fee for all solo events (usually about a $10 fee). Once in the competition band, the band entry fee is paid by the band.
OLPB major travel
Every few years (depending on the competition and whether the players are ready) the band travels to Scotland to compete. Most recently, the band traveled to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
In 2013, they travelled to Maxville, Ontario to compete at the Glengarry Highland Games,
where they won the Grade 4 North American Pipe Band Championships.
The band has also spoken about participating in the Las Vegas Highland Games.
The band fundraises for such travels.