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.