By Annina Chrystal
The Hills District Pipe Band has been performing at local community events for 51 years and is well-known for their excellent uniform; proudly wearing the McDonald of Clan Ranald tartan (bagpipers) and the Argyll of Sutherland tartan (drummers).
While 2020 had its challenges for the live music industry, the Hills District Pipe Band is looking forward to reconnecting with the Hills community throughout 2021. As a social band the engagements connected to the community hold great value.
In a traditional pipe band there are four different instruments – the bagpipes, bass drum, tenor drum and snare drum. Multiple bagpipers play tunes together, and with harmonies, under direction from the Pipe Major.
The bass drum is the largest drum in the drum corps, which is held vertically with a harness, hit on either side, and provides the band with a low-tone beat. The tenor drum is held horizontally on a harness and hit with two tenor beaters, to produce a mid-high tone beat to compliment the bass drum.
The tenor beaters also flourish in the air in-between beats for dramatic presentation. The snare drum is popular for its military “rat-a-tat-tat” sound; played with drumsticks to produce accents and rhythmic patterns to accompany the bagpipe tunes.
With a sense for music and rhythm, any of these instruments can be learnt. Members of the Hills District Pipe Band are experienced tutors and welcome any new or experienced players to the band.
The Hills District Pipe Band practices in the Stamford Hall at Balcombe Heights Estate, Baulkham Hills every Wednesday night from 7pm-9pm. The band warmly welcomes you to come along to practice if you’re interested in learning a new instrument and skill. Bring a friend.
The Hills District Pipe Band plays at community events, fairs and markets, weddings, funerals, community services, birthdays, and any other social events that would like a touch of Scottish Flair. Bookings can range from a full military band, a mini band, or just a lone piper for a modest donation to the band.