Performance Band Workshop

A workshop for Performances Bands on North Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast was held at the Quality Inn in Parksville on Saturday, March 2nd.

This workshop was part of an Outreach Initiative by the BC Pipers’ Association to support and assist Performance Bands throughout our Province.

The workshop was led by senior piping and drumming instructors and leaders Shaunna and David Hilder, Gregor Merry and Terrance Cadiente.

In attendance were the Arrowsmith , Pacific Gael, Port Alberni, Qualicum, Powell River, Campbell River,  and Comox Valley Pipe Bands.

Because of the tremendous response ,  morning and afternoon sessions were provided. The sessions consisted of a Question and Answer Session which focused on goal setting and making the most effective use of band practices.  This was followed by sessions on pipe and drum maintenance.  Bands were then assigned individual rooms and the instructors circulated and provided feedback and recommendations to each pipe band.

Thanks go out to Bruce Topp for facilitating this workshop.  We would also like to say a big Thank You to Susan Wismer who helped out locally with arranging the venue.

Photos from the event can be found in the photo gallery located at:


Instructors were very helpful and provided great constructive criticism. This was a very worthwhile experience for our band. All those band members who participated left for home feeling very pumped.”– Powell River Pipe Band

“We were delighted with the workshop. The venue was great.  The instructors were both professional, knowledgeable, & helpful as well as being very friendly!

 All in all very worthwhile and the members of our band would all be in favour of participating again.” – Comox Valley Pipe Band

“The band workshop was a huge success!  What great information and assistance!  On behalf of our band, I would like to thank the  BCPA, and the wonderful instructors for an excellent workshop!” – Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band

“Hi David and Shaunna,

Just wanted you two to know how much I appreciated what you guys put out at the workshop last weekend in Parksville.  I learned a lot from it and came away with a renewed enthusiasm for our band and the piping world in general.  Dave, I particularly appreciated the advice you gave me on band tuning and I’ve already begun to use those methods.  Personally I thought the whole workshop was a great success!  Thankyou!”  – Campbell River Pipe Band.

“Good morning Dave and Shaunna,

I’m just sending you guys a quick note to thank you both for yesterday’s seminar. I thought that you did an exceptional job of putting people at ease and communicating “what it takes” to improve, specifically the requirement of showing up at band practice with a tuned and maintained pipe.

For feedback to the BCPA, I think there’s value in a future seminar to show all of us how to maintain a pipe with respect to such things as moisture control systems, seasoning, dealing with cracked stocks, proper hemping, adjusting drone slides for quality tone, etc. Also, more info basic individual tuning technique for both drones and chanter would have value for all, and perhaps for the “select few” (pipe majors, pipe sargeants, and whomever else is involved in band tuning), It would be useful to go over how to set up a band for quality sound.

In that regard, yesterday, we probably sounded as good as we ever have in my short tenure (of three years) with the band. That effort was really appreciated.” – Dave S.