Kutztown Pipe Band


After noting a distinct lack of bagpipes in Kutztown, Dr. Laura Sherrod of the Physical Sciences Department at Kutztown University is starting 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. 

KPB member counts by semester and stage:

Fall 2018 - 3 beginners, 6 advanced chanter / 3 pipers, one 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


Vision for the Kutztown Pipe Band

Piping Basics

Laura learned to play the bagpipes through the Kalamazoo Pipe Band in 1996.  This group had a teaching program as well as a performance group.  The goal for the Kutztown Pipe Band is to emmulate the Kalamazoo Pipe Band's structure, with a strong teaching/learning component that will eventually be combined with a performance aspect. 

Laura was involved in teaching for the Kalamazoo Pipe Band for several years.  Unless there are experienced pipers who join her, this is where the Kutztown Pipe Band will begin - with a few dedicated students who want to invest their time in learning to play the bagpipes through daily practice and weekly group lessons. 

When that group of students transitions to playing the bagpipes at performance level, the Kutztown Pipe Band will investigate the potential of becoming a performance group.  It is expected that this will take a couple years.  The immediate addition of experienced pipers wanting to play in a group in Kutztown could shift this time frame.

One of the most essential parts of a pipe band is a solid drum corp.  Laura lacks the experience required to teach Scottish drumming, and is hopeful that someone with experience in Scottish drumming will help build the band as it moves forward. 

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 group 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 - twice daily for 10-15 minutes is preferable in the initial stages of learning.

During the Spring 2019 Semester, Laura will be offering group lessons for chanter students Mondays at 6:30pm. Advanced chanter and bagpipe students will meet Monday evenings 7-8:30pm at the Kutztown Area Middle School band room.  Contact Laura for location information if you are interested in participating, and let her know if you cannot make those days/times. 

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. 

Dr. Laura Sherrod - sherrod@kutztown.edu
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