KPB logo

After noting a distinct lack of bagpipes in Kutztown, Dr. Laura Sherrod of the Physical Sciences Department at Kutztown University started the Kutztown Pipe Band in Fall 2017. 

If you play bagpipes, have an interest in learning to play bagpipes, or have experience playing Scottish drums, contact Laura Sherrod at sherrod@kutztown.edu

All are welcome to join the group.  Musical background is helpful but not required.  Current membership includes faculty and staff from KU, community members, and local middle/high school students. 

KPB member counts by semester and stage:

Summer 2019 - 2 beginners, 8 advanced chanter / 7 pipers, 1 snare, 1 tenor, 1 bass
Spring 2019 - 2 beginners, 8 advanced chanter / 6 pipers, 1 snare, 1 tenor, 1 bass
Fall 2018 - 3 beginners, 6 advanced chanter / 3 pipers, 1 snare
Summer 2018 - 2 beginners, 5 advanced chanter / 2 pipers
Spring 2018 - 2 beginners, 5 advanced chanter / 1 piper
Fall 2017 - 6 new students joined the group!

Great Highland Bagpipes

   

Pathway of the Kutztown Pipe Band

Piping Basics

Starting in Fall 2017 with a group of 5 very dedicated and enthusiastic intro to piping students, the Kutztown Pipe Band has grown to include 12 members, and has transitioned into a performance group, with the debut performance at the Kutztown Memorial Day Parade in 2019.   

If you'd like to participate in the Kutztown Pipe Band but don't have any experience in piping, we want to help!  Although we accept anyone into our group who has experience in Scottish piping and drumming, we grow the band primarily by offering free intro to piping lessons to anyone who is interested in learning to play the bagpipes. 

During the Summer 2019, Laura will offer group lessons for intro chanter students Tuesdays 6-6:30pm. Novice pipers will meet at 6:30-7pm.  Advanced chanter and bagpipe students will meet Tuesdays evenings 7-8:30pm.  All classes will be held at Kutztown University.  Contact Laura for location information if you are interested in participating, and let her know if you cannot make those days/times. 

Dr. Laura Sherrod - sherrod@kutztown.edu

If learning to play the bagpipes is something you'd like to explore, you should expect the following:

The first several months will be spent on a practice chanter.  Lessons through the Kutztown Pipe Band will be free, but you will be expected to purchase your own practice chanter (generally around $100).  Contact Laura for suggestions on a good quality choice.

You should practice daily on your practice chanter - twice daily for 10-15 minutes is preferable in the initial stages of learning.  It typically takes 6 months to a year to be ready for the transition to the bagpipes. 

To transition from the practice chanter to bagpipes, you should have a base of five substantial tunes memorized and played accurately on your practice chanter.  You can expect to spend around $1500 on a good set of bagpipes. 

The next phase of the journey is often the most challenging - building up the endurance to play the tunes that you know on the practice chanter on the Great Highland Bagpipes.  It typically takes a year or more to become comfortable playing the tunes you learned on the bagpipes. 
   
Bagpipe Links
Steve MacLeod's Bagpipe Questions and Answers - Steve MacLeod was the pipe major of the Kalamazoo Pipe Band when Laura learned to play the pipes.  His website has everything you could ever want to know about piping.  Kalamazoo Pipe Band - This is a well developed website with a lot of great information.  Some of it is old (there is a picture of Laura learning to play the chanter from the 1990s), but the basic information remains valid and useful.

Sherrod Home Page