For the past six years, most of my Tuesday evenings and a few weekends here and there have been spent with the 42nd Highlanders Regimental Pipes and Drums band. I remember doing an internet search for pipe bands because I was looking for a place to get back into drumming (some of the best times I had in high school were spent with the Spirit of Bloomington Marching Band- I know, GEEK!). My search pointed me toward several competition bands in the area that all sounded way too hard core for me. I was just about to give up when something on a website caught my eye...
The 42nd Highlanders Regimental Pipes & Drums is a not-for-profit charitable organization, 501(c)(3). The band meets at the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
Hmmm, the Queen Mary, that sounded interesting. I read on..
The Mission of the 42nd Highlanders Regimental Pipes & Drums is to promote fellowship, the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe, Highland dance and the Celtic arts, and to pay honors to the pipers and military veterans of all nations.
I really liked the sound of that but was still a little intimidated. I wondered what kind of experience I needed in order to join the band and then I read this on their FAQ page...
Does the 42nd Highlanders Regimental Pipes & Drums welcome new members? Absolutely! We are a friendly, fun-loving, family-oriented band. Experienced pipers and drummers are welcome to become full-fledged members of the band.
What if I have no experience but want to learn the pipes or drums? Beginning pipers and drummers are welcome to begin their piping experience by association with the piping school operated by our Pipe Major: the Saint Andrews School of Piping.
I showed up at the Queen Mary that next Tuesday and have been drumming with the band ever since.
Tune in tomorrow for an exciting crash course in Scottish attire!