May 24, 2024

Hamilton Police Rise Again to the concert stage on May 25th

Usually, a Grade 1 band headlines a concert, and a lower-grade group might be a supporting act, but on Saturday, May 25th, the Grade 4 and Grade 5 Hamilton Police Pipe Bands of Hamilton, Ontario, have top billing and the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders will be in support.

“Rise Again—the Hamilton Police Pipe Band & Friends” celebrates the Hamilton Police Pipe Band organization’s history, present, and future. The organization’s reinvigorated teaching program has been introducing piping and drumming to elementary and middle schools throughout the region, already attracting dozens of eager young future participants in the art.

“Like many groups coming out of the pandemic, we needed to rebuild,” said Peter Aumonier, one the primary leaders of the new teaching program. “In order to do this, we made a commitment to create a teaching program for pipers and drummers with a view to developing future leaders and sustainability. The concert is meant to raise funds, specifically to help grow and develop a robust teaching program.”

“It’s about being visible in the community,” with a mission of “Teaching Life Skills Through Music.”

The program’s goal isn’t only to develop new competing pipers and drummers; “It’s about being visible in the community,” with a mission of “Teaching Life Skills Through Music.”

That mission tagline has helped convince local school boards to open their doors to presentations by band members. Band members lead the teaching of beginners, but not Aumonier, who said he teaches the overall group, assists with the program, presents to schools, and delivers other tasks.

Novice pipe band drummers receive instruction through the Hamilton Police Pipe Band’s efforts.

In addition to the 78th Frasers, the concert will feature the Hamilton Police Service Choir, Aspects of Dance Highland Dancers, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations Drum Band, and singers Elizabeth Love and Glenna Mackay-Johnstone. Well-known piper and contributor Jim Scott will serve as emcee.

The Hamilton Police Pipe Band is thought to be the third-oldest police pipe band in Canada. It was started in 1961 in partnership with the Hamilton Catholic School Board for recruitment and teaching.

Aumonier was pipe-major the top competition Hamilton Police Pipe Band for many years, taking the group to the brink of moving to Grade 1 in the 2000s after highly successful years in Grade 2, including a celebrated concert in Northern Ireland and participation in several World Pipe Band Championships.

The once robust Ontario piping and drumming scene has steadily declined the number of pipers, drummers, pipe bands and sanctioned competitions over the last three decades. The province’s association recently started an effort to correct the situation.

“Rise Again” starts at 6:30 pm at the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada, Queen Street South, Hamilton, Ontario. Tickets are available and priced at $65, with all proceeds going to the teaching program.






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