Published: April 30, 2006

Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band announces new teaching program

The Grade 2 Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band of St. Catharines, Ontario, frustrated with pipers and drummers going to other bands and missing the Niagara exits off of the main highway between Buffalo and Toronto, has announced that it will open the Niagara Centre for Scottish Music & Dance in September 2006. The project will involve the creation of a new Youth Pipe Band.

Classes for pipers and drummers will be held on weeknights and Saturdays, according to the band, and open to boys and girls older than seven. Practice “kits” will be available to learners, and designated instructors are Pipe-Major Dave Goodall, Band Manager Peter MacKenzie, Leading-Drummer Graham Kirkwood and drummer Scott Roxton, and Janet Swim teaching tenor drumming.

“We are currently looking at a few sites from which to operate,” said MacKenzie. “Obviously, a major concern is space to run two or three classes at a time and a large enough room to have an effective indoor band practice. The Niagara Regional Police band will be the backbone of this facility and we plan on classes most evenings thru the week and eventually Saturday for the Youth Band.”

According to the band the teaching initiative is part of the band’s community service mandate, but is not at the request of the police force itself.

“We are not under any obligation by the Niagara Regional Police Service,” MacKenzie continued. “We had just become frustrated over the past years with the increased traffic going to other bands. Many of us who have remained with the band have long held the notion that building a teaching program of our own was the best way to achieve long-term success and stability.”

The band added that “today we must all share in the work against the influences that are driving our young citizens into areas of danger and hardship. We are the all-natural and unplugged option to the electronic playground.”

Details on the new Centre are available from the band’s Web site or by calling 905-353-8771.

The Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band has had several leadership changes over the past three years, most recently Pipe-Major Paul DeBoth leaving the band after a year in the role.

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