About the band

Performances and training


The Fort Vancouver Pipe Band is based in Vancouver, Washington state, outside Portland, Oregon.  (That’s Vancouver, not B.C., Washington state, not D.C.)  Founded in 2000, the band has endeavored to bring bagpipe music to Southwest Washington and throughout the Portland area.

 It is the stated mission of the bagpipers and drummers of the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band in Vancouver to promote Scottish pipe band music and Celtic culture through public and private performances.  Band members are also committed to providing the opportunity for others to study the playing of the Great Highland Bagpipes and Scottish pipe band drumming.

The Fort Vancouver Pipe Band has played in parades, at Highland games, at concerts, and for many types of special events. Individual pipers or the full band have been hired for funerals and weddings by arrangement.  If you would like to book the band or a piper for your event, contact our event coordinator. You can do that through the contact page, or by emailing direct to ampmcomm@msn.com, and let us know if you’d like a return phone call or email.

If you want to find out more about our music, and listen to some past video clips, go to the Music page on this site.

 

Astoria Regatta Parade

Instruction

Learning to play the pipes or drums

We invite everyone who loves the bagpipes to come learn to play the bagpipes or drums and join the band.  We have learned our instruments, so you can, too. Initial lessons both on pipes and drums are provided by experienced band members, and are offered for free during our regular band rehearsals. You can hear some of our tunes on the Music page. Our hope is that as you progress in your instruction, you will want to join the band and continue to grow musically. Contact us through the Contact Us page to get started.

  • Bagpipes-The bagpipe is not an easy instrument to play.  But all those who love the sound of the pipes and have always wanted to learn are usually able to become quite accomplished, and can learn more tunes as time goes on.  There are some basic scores that everyone learns early to be able to play with the massed bands of the Highland games or in parades.
  • Side drums- The side drum, also called the snare, is played with the hard wood drumsticks. The drums belong to the band, so the instruments are provided to drummers.
  • Tenor drums- The tenor drums, played with a soft mallet, are the middle range of the band.  Tenor drumming includes learning “flourishing,” or the rotation of the sticks in the air at appropriate times in the musical score. These drums also usually belong to the band.
  • Bass drum– There is usually only one bass player who provides what is known as the heartbeat of each tune.

 

Support for the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band

Helping the band reach greater goals


The band is a 501(c)(3) certified organization.  Donations are tax deductible.

Your support for our music and performances will be greatly appreciated.  From time to time we seek sponsors to help support the band for some appearances in the community. If you are willing to help support the band financially, go to the Contact Us page and get in touch.  Here are some facts to keep in mind:

  • Band members are volunteers and give of their time for practice and performances.
  • Band members are ambassadors for our community and for bagpipe music.
  • Contributions help to pay for the cost of bagpipe reeds and other instrument needs, uniform items, travel expenses to some performances, and advanced musical training for the group.