Published: July 31, 2009

Duty piper for novice drummers proving popular

As part of its effort to increase participation in solo snare drumming competitions, the “duty piper” that the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario offers to Grade 5 competitors has so far been a success since the beginning of the 2009 outdoor season.
 
The duty piper has been available at contests, ready to perform from the PPBSO’s list of recommended tunes and scores available at the organization’s website. The addition of a duty piper is part of the organization’s Music Board’s efforts to increase solo snare drumming involvement, starting with the lowest grade.
 
After a survey of members, the Music Board determined that a primary challenge keeping some young drummers from competing was the difficulty finding a piper to accompany potential competitors.
 
“The solution was to offer a piper at competitions, ready to help Grade 5 drummers,” said Andrew Berthoff, PPBSO Music Board Chair. “Not only will it potentially attract more players, but it puts a bit of money in the pocket of one or two young pipers. At the end of the year we’ll consider the success of the program and adjust as necessary.”
 
Marcus Tonogai of the Grade 4 Paris/Port Dover Pipe Band has been the duty piper so far this year. If the program proves successful in Grade 5, a piper may be provided in more solo snare drumming grades in the future.
 
The program is part of an initiative led by PPBSO Music Board member Graham Brown, which is attempting to increase numbers of solo snare competitors, with the ultimate aim of improving snare drumming standards and depth through all grades.

7 COMMENTS

  1. From JIM KILPATRICK Absolutely brilliant idea from Graham Brown! I’m sure this will encourage young drummers to get out there and take part in many of the solo drumming competitions in Ontario. Well done to Graham and to the PPBSO for the great vision.

  2. Outstanding – finding an available piper can he a big obstacle in some areas – nice initiative!

  3. Marcus is an excellent young piper too – and still manages to balance his own solo and band performances. Young pipers can learn an awful lot about drumming styles and ensemble from doing this sort of thing, which will really help their development into an experienced contributor in a band setting. James MacHattie

  4. I think there are quite a few associations who would/should be interested in this. As others have already commented, this is wonderful idea!

  5. Excellent, excellent , excellent idea! One we should should borrow for the ACPBA.

  6. Good idea! Thinking back on my own experiences growing up with my best friend at the time being snare drummer, it makes good snesne to have an independent piper available. It solves two issues: ther first one has alraday been stated. The second one from the solo piper’s point of view is trying to fit in their own competitions and also be available to play for a drummer or two (not easy and somewhat distracting). It could also solve a third problem. Sometimes the score that the drummer wants to play is for tune that is at the present beyond the playing capabilities of the pipers in their own band. Having a top notch player available would help solve this issue as well.

  7. From JIM KILPATRICK Absolutely brilliant idea from Graham Brown! I’m sure this will encourage young drummers to get out there and take part in many of the solo drumming competitions in Ontario. Well done to Graham and to the PPBSO for the great vision.

  8. Outstanding – finding an available piper can he a big obstacle in some areas – nice initiative!

  9. Marcus is an excellent young piper too – and still manages to balance his own solo and band performances. Young pipers can learn an awful lot about drumming styles and ensemble from doing this sort of thing, which will really help their development into an experienced contributor in a band setting. James MacHattie

  10. I think there are quite a few associations who would/should be interested in this. As others have already commented, this is wonderful idea!

  11. Excellent, excellent , excellent idea! One we should should borrow for the ACPBA.

  12. Good idea! Thinking back on my own experiences growing up with my best friend at the time being snare drummer, it makes good snesne to have an independent piper available. It solves two issues: ther first one has alraday been stated. The second one from the solo piper’s point of view is trying to fit in their own competitions and also be available to play for a drummer or two (not easy and somewhat distracting). It could also solve a third problem. Sometimes the score that the drummer wants to play is for tune that is at the present beyond the playing capabilities of the pipers in their own band. Having a top notch player available would help solve this issue as well.

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