Willetton Senior High School Pipes and Drums band is offered to any interested student in Years 7 to 12. Students have the opportunity to learn the bagpipes, snare drum, tenor drum and bass drum. Practice is held on Friday after school between 3.00pm and 4.30pm in the school theatre and quadrangle.
It takes around six to 12 months to learn the basics of piping on a practice chanter before progressing to the bagpipes. It generally takes another 12 to 18 months to master the bagpipes to the point where tunes can be played fluently. The bagpipes are a very challenging instrument both musically and physically and a commitment to regular practice is required to ensure progress.
The fee for being in the school band is $60 which covers upkeep of uniforms and equipment. Willetton SHS owns six sets of bagpipes and a number of drums which are loaned to students while they are part of the band. Students are expected to buy their own practice chanter ($70) after the trial period of six weeks, or snare and tenor sticks (around $30). Once students start playing in the band they are loaned a kilt and other band uniform items apart from a school shirt and black shoes. We also have end of term parties to celebrate our progress.
Willetton SHS Pipe Band performs at a number of school events during the year including graduation, multicultural week and special ceremonies. Students are encouraged to stay with the pipe band post school and come back in a volunteer capacity to help teach students. They have life-time prospects to play in Pipe Bands during parades and championships or as soloists all over the world should they continue on with their chosen instruments. There are many bands in Perth and around the world that will accommodate keen pipers and drummers.