The Hamilton Police Grade Five Pipe Band
The band was started as a developmental band for musicians graduating from drum pads and chanters into a full band setting, as well as an outlet for experienced musicians who wanted to stay involved in the pipes and drums without the practice time demands required for higher levels of competitive playing.
The band started competing in 2003, picking up a medal at its second competition, and it intends to compete in a full list of games in the 2004 PPBSO season. The Grade 5 Pipe band is led by Michael O’Shea. Michael (pictured to the right) is a former member of Scotland’s famed Ballingry High School and Dysart & Dundonald Pipe Bands, during their successful reign of major championships in the 1970s.
Band members range in age from early teens to people in their ’50s and ’60s. The band offers a teaching program for those wanting to learn to play the Great Highland Bagpipe or learn Pipe Band Drumming. This program is not limited to beginners or kids, also offering tutoring programs for adults — whether they already play or wish to learn. The program is intended to provide all interested and committed with the opportunity to better themselves as pipers and drummers, for such opportunities as solo competition and band competition, or for any level of playing they may wish.
Many members of the band take part in this program to help develop their solo playing and to help them with techniques in band playing. A program like this, in place for all musicians, helps to maintain the Hamilton Police Pipe Bands’ musicianship, playing ability and to create top quality performances.
This band has evolved from Hamilton’s old street, or parade, band. This band, comprised of musicians capable of playing at varying Grade levels, performs not only in community and ceremonial parades, but also in full military-style traditional uniforms for military tattoos and special ceremonies.