We are thrilled that you are interested in joining the band or becoming a student of the band with hopes of becoming a playing member!
The band has an impressive resume and we hope that you find a way to participate, whether it is in the role of a bagpiper, or as a bass, tenor or snare drummer, and whether it is in the competition circle or on the street playing parades … this organization welcomes you wholeheartedly!
In order to keep our ranks full of musicians for the band’s many performances each year, Colum Cille is very much a “teaching” band. Most of our weekly rehearsals start with an hour of instruction time geared toward the abilities of those in attendance. Once students are ready and able, they are welcome to join the band for parades and performances.
The leadership of the band is as follows:
Pipe Major: Beth Butts
Pipe Sergeant Chris McConaughey
Drum Sergeant: Katie Zanello
President: Chris McConaughey (Piper)
Vice President: Sarah Howell (Bass)
Secretary: Mike Morris (Piper)
Treasurer: Beth Butts (Piper)
Quartermaster: Len Pinaud (Piper)
The band practices every Wednesday night at the West Barnstable Community Center, 2377 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable, MA 02668 The band “officially” practices from 7-9pm, but there are piping and drumming students at the school from 6-7pm.
Most of the piping instruction is handled by six-time World Champion Pipe Major Davy Methven of the Grade 2 Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band. Davy is from Stirling, Scotland and has competed in the World Pipe Band Championships from Grade 4 to Grade 1 prior to moving to America. Davy also instructs a number of law enforcement pipe bands in the area and offers private lessons to piping students at his studio.
In addition to Davy, every piper in Colum Cille is always willing to offer assistance to newer students and each other. There are 150 years of combined pipe band experience among our members. We do our best to ensure every student has all their questions answered, and know that there is always someone to reach out to if they have questions about learning new music or maintaining their instruments. We also communicate via the “BAND” app to disseminate teaching materials and instructional videos/information to students.
Katie Zanello teaches the drum corps and volunteers her services as the drumming instructor on Wednesday nights (and whenever students’ schedule permits). Katie is a founding member of Colum Cille, has competed up to the Grade 2 level, and has been teaching bagpipe bands throughout New England for over 20 years.
You are invited to attend band practice every week; the more consistent you are regarding attendance, and how much time you put into practicing will directly affect your ability to become a playing member. Once you are a playing member, we ask that out of respect, you give back a commitment of one year to the band. It is considered discourteous to leave a bagpipe band halfway through the year.
There really is no “season” as we perform year-round. The parade season is from March-October (with 2-3 events in Dec) and the competition season runs from April to September.
Initially, piping students purchase a practice chanter and instructional book (about $100.00) and drummers purchase a practice pad and drumsticks (about $50.00). When ready, pipers are responsible for purchasing their own set of bagpipes. Because drummers use their instrument only for band events, the band provides a drum and carrier. The band provides the kilt and miscellaneous uniform parts and asks that when you are ready to perform with the band, you purchase the remaining uniform parts required (shirt, tie, hat, etc.). Between the initial investment of a chanter or a practice pad and sticks to the uniform, the amount a drummer in the band would expect to spend would be about $250.00 (Pipers = about $1,000.00).
We will do everything to make sure you are a success and that this pipe band experience is fun! This is a hobby at which we work very diligently to become the best bagpipe band around, but we also enjoy each other’s company and are a close band-family. Colum Cille is known for playing very well and having a lot of fun together – camaraderie is key!
We ask that students do not hesitate and ask questions. When we succeed, we do it together, and to that end we all have a vested interest in seeing our students thrive and become contributing members of the band.
If there are any additional questions you may have or would like to view a practice please do not hesitate to contact us via email: email@example.com or call: (828) 320-2049 (Sarah) We look forward to meeting you!