RSPBA Seeks Principals of Piping and Drumming for New Pipe Band College

The RSPBA have launched the next stage in their Pipe Band College programme by advertising for a Principal of Piping and a Principal of Drumming.

This major development by the Association was approved at the 2018 Annual General Meeting which endorsed the formation of the RSPBA Pipe Band College.

The main purpose of the College will be to improve standards in education and training for pipers and drummers leading to improved performance in the competition arena.

The new College will be based at the RSPBA’s Headquarters in Washington Street, Glasgow. These premises are currently being refurbished and when this is complete next year will have its own teaching, lecture and practice rooms.

The first floor of the refurbished building showing the teaching, practice and lecture areas

With its thousands of member and affiliated pipers and drummers worldwide this is sure to become an important seat of learning within the piping and pipe band worlds.

The Association already has all of its teaching manuals in place – the Structured Learning Books – and a complete exam programme under the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board.



Six years ago the Association approved the appointment of an Education Officer to oversee this branch of its activities. Mr Pat Whelan has been a driving force in expanding the Association’s summer schools (pictured top), examination and teaching programmes.

The announcement by RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton reads: ‘The Board of Directors is seeking expressions of interest from Pipers and Drummers who are existing members of the RSPBA for these two new roles within the College. Individuals should be qualified to at least SCQF 6 in piping or snare drumming and hold an RSPBA Instructors Certificate.

RSPBA Chief Executive, Ian Embelton

‘However, individuals with higher qualifications including the RSPBA Advanced Certificate and/or the Certificate in Pipe Band Musicianship 1 & 2 will be given preference.

‘Furthermore, post holders should be pipers and drummers with outstanding achievements and ability within a pipe band and solo setting and have wide experience of developing and delivering training within a branch/band for the RSPBA.

‘These two posts will be responsible for developing strategies, in conjunction with other members of the Pipe Band College, for raising standards in piping and drumming. A key function will be supporting geographical representatives to develop local strategies for supporting local individuals and bands to achieve greater success within their area.

‘The posts are of a voluntary nature but appropriate expenses will be provided for travel to meetings and participation in training activities. The RSPBA will expect post holders to be members of the PVG Scheme. This will be done by the RSPBA with no cost to individuals.’

If you are interested in either of these two posts, contact Ian Embelton, Chief Executive, ian.embelton@rspba.org to formally register an interest. Closing date is the end of December. Individuals who are interested may also contact the Education Officer, Pat Whelan pat.whelan@rspba.org.

This is a major new development within the RSPBA and is intended to raise standards in education, training, and performance for individuals and bands throughout the RSPBA membership.

• Band and affiliate subscriptions for the Association are now due. Click here for more information.


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