Although tuition is free, taking part in the pipe band programme does incur some costs. However, we make every effort to ensure that no pupil is discouraged from taking part because of lack of finances.
- All lessons are free.
- Pipes can be borrowed from the band for three years, during which time pupils can busk, fundraise and save up to buy their own set.
- Pipe band drums are provided by the band.
- Uniform is loaned free of charge, although families are asked to provide shoes, a plain white shirt and a rain cape.
- Travel to performances is also free.
- A practice chanter or drum pads and sticks cost up to £30.
- Band subs are £10 per month.
- There is usually a charge for accommodation and meals when the band travels further afield. However, when possible, the cost of accommodation and travel further afield is heavily subsidised from band funds, thanks to support from sponsors, band performances and fundraising.
- No pupil should be discouraged from taking part because of lack of finances. If a family has any difficulty in affording any costs they should approach the Pipe Major, Drum Major or Band Secretary in complete confidence.
All new piping pupils need to purchase a practice chanter before they begin lessons. These should be purchased through the band, at a discounted rate of £25-£30. There are a lot of practice chanters on the market that are of sub-standard quality which will only hinder the pupil’s progress and enjoyment so please do purchase via the band to ensure the correct chanter is bought.
When pupils are ready to move on to bagpipes, the band has a stock of bagpipes available for loan to pupils subject to availability. This should give learners plenty of time to decide whether it is the instrument for them and to establish themselves in the band.
Bagpipes can also be purchased through the band at a discounted rate as the band covers the cost of items such as the bag, chanter and reeds. We would encourage parents to always take advice from the piping instructor before buying elsewhere as there are a lot of instruments on the market that are not fit for purpose.
Any family that may find it difficult to afford an instrument can apply in confidence to the band to purchase a practice instrument or to extend the term of their bagpipe loan.
For further information, please contact Pipe Major Lee Moore.
All new drumming pupils will need to purchase a pair of pipe band drumsticks and a practice drumming pad before they begin lessons. These are purchased from the Preston Lodge Pipe Band through Simon Grant at cost price. The set of drumsticks and pad together cost no more than £30.
Pupils are not required to buy a drum and harness as they are provided for all members of each pipe band at Preston Lodge. We ask that all band members are extremely careful with these instruments as a new drum can cost up to £1,000 and a new harness can cost up to £300. The drums and harnesses are stored at Preston Lodge High School.
For further information, please contact Drum Major Simon Grant.
Each band member is provided with a pipe band uniform which remains the property of the pipe band and must be well looked after and returned to the band if the pupil leaves the band. The approximate total cost of the uniform is £500. Any items lost or damaged will be charged to the parents at cost price.
Parents are asked to provide a long sleeved white shirt, a raincape (£45 if ordered through the band) and black leather shoes. Pipe band ghillie brogues can be ordered through the band at an approximate cost of £50 and sometimes there is the opportunity to purchase second hand brogues from other band members.
The band organises coach travel to competitions and is free of charge for band members. To help cover costs, adults may travel with the band for a cost of £10 per adult.
When travelling further afield for competitions such as to Belfast and Forres, the band covers the cost of the coach and parents will be asked to cover any accommodation and meals required.