St. Columcille is always open to inviting new students and players of all ages. We offer expert (and free!) teaching by players who have performed at the top level of worldwide competition and who have also been involved at the highest levels of administration of the regional association overseeing domestic bagpipe competition.
Many say the Highland bagpipes are a challenge (or hard) to play. Within the ranks of St. Columcille we embrace that challenge and get children and adults learning music and playing instruments on the parade route and winning prizes on the competition field; all while having the most fun possible!
The band offers free tuition to develop bagpipers and drummers from "page 1" beginners to prize-winning musicians in the competition circle—no Scottish or Irish heritage necessary! Anyone with the passion and enthusiasm for the instruments and the music is welcome.
For the Adult Learner
For the adult learner, the band offers new and unique challenges as well as the opportunity to become part of a wider community of musicians, form lasting friendships, travel, and perform across the continent. While the band is focused on realizing its potential on the competition field, we also offer opportunities for players who are simply excited to play music on the parade route as well as perform at individual performances. Learning in St. Columcille brings rewards that come from being part of a creative team, making music, and forming lifelong friendships with people of all backgrounds.
For the Young Learner
St. Columcille has always had a focus on teaching children the art of Highland bagpipes and drums. From its earliest days teaching children in the Kearny school district, the band has recognized the value of instilling a lifelong love and passion for playing bagpipes and drums in young practitioners. That effort continues to this day as the "Columcille School of Piping and Drumming" furthers the art with a healthy number of school-aged students.
Young students in the band have the opportunity to develop discipline and confidence from playing traditional music on a tricky instrument like the Highland bagpipes or snare drum. Travel and competition offer an exciting outlet as the band is very active in performance. Children will be part of a creative team comprised of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Bagpipes and drums provide exciting challenges for the young student that transfer well into the classroom and other areas of life. Students will develop discipline and resolve, as well as personal pride and confidence. As children grow older, their pursuit of bagpipes and drums can align with ambitions for higher learning as many US colleges and universities have performing pipe bands and offer scholarships in bagpiping and drumming. Iona College, Macalaster College, College of Wooster, Carnegie Melon, and Alma College are just a few of the quality schools that offer scholarships in bagpiping and drumming to incoming students. Service academies such as West Point and the Citadel also have active pipe bands and look to expand their ranks when considering admissions. By itself, actively playing in a bagpipe band will be regarded as a unique activity for any college applicant.
Come for a Visit
The best way to see what our program is all about is to see it for yourself! We invite anyone with an interest to come by our rehearsal locations and introduce themselves. Columcille School of Piping & Drumming meets on Monday evenings at the First Baptist Church in Kearny, NJ. Check our Contact page for details. We look forward to meeting you.