Despite the potential of a full tuition scholarship worth upwards of $30,000 annually in tuition fees, Monmouth College reports that inquiries from pipers and drummers have been few and far between at the 1,300-student liberal arts institution in Illinois.
Monmouth College has operated a pipe band since 1967, and since then the Grade 3 band is part of the college’s tradition. With incumbent Pipe-Major Stuart Aumonier set to graduate this year, Monmouth College is likely to be extra diligent in recruiting new members to bolster the future of the band. According to Aumonier, there is not a limit to the number of scholarships available to qualified pipers and drummers.
He said that the band currently comprises players from all over the United States and Canada, and Aumonier himself comes from Oakville, Ontario, where he is also a member of the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders.
“It’s not often a university or college offers scholarships for pipers and drummers,” Aumonier added. “Monmouth College has offered a unique opportunity that brings talented pipers and drummer from across the world together while providing a top-class education.”
He cited a general lack of knowledge with pipers and drummers that the Monmouth scholarships exist as the primary reason for the scarcity of applications.
Several other highly regarded colleges and universities in the United States and Canada also have piping and drumming programs, including Alma College in Michigan, the College of Wooster in Ohio, Lyon College in Arkansas, Macalester College in Minnesota, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in North Carolina and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. As with several of the others, Monmouth offers music credits in piping.