Joining the Band

We’re always on the lookout for new members, from experienced players through to complete beginners. No matter your age or experience we can accommodate you, all we ask is that you can work with us as we continue to move the band forwards… with a healthy mix of hard work and frivolity along the way!

If you’re available Tuesdays between 8-10 pm and can get to Chelmsford, there’s nothing stopping you!

If you’re interested in learning the pipes or drums, you can find out more here

Our Philosophy

As the longest-running competition band in our area, we take pride in our performances. Whether it’s out in the competition circle or leading a local carnival, we want our playing to be enjoyable and fulfilling. We love to get out in public, and we work hard at our practices and behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. Being in a pipe band is like all hobbies – the more you put into it, the more you get from it.

Space for everyone

Since our earliest days, Essex Caledonian has been an inclusive band, and we’ll welcome anyone who is willing to put in the work to get out with us. If you’re an experienced player then you can help us improve, or if you’re inexperienced and looking to develop your own playing, we can help you achieve that. We don’t shut out players who haven’t quite learned all the sets, and there’s always room in the circle for those wishing to join.

If you’re interested in joining the band, we’d love to see you at a practice night.
Email and we can take it from there.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I come for a visit to see if you’re the right band for me?

Absolutely. Pipe bands are all about mixing different personalities, and it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable before committing

I’d love to join, but I don’t play pipes or drums, is that ok?

We have experienced tutors able to teach all aspects of pipe band playing. You can read more about it here.

I used to play years ago and I’m a bit rusty. Will I be good enough?

Just like riding a bike, you never really lose piping or drumming skills, especially if you learned when you were young. We can help identify any strengths or weaknesses and suggest tunes and exercises to get you playing at full strength in no time.

I currently play in a non-competition band, can I join you too?

Yes you can! You can only compete with one RSPBA registered band, but there is nothing to stop you continuing to play in a non-competing band. We’ve had plenty of players who continue to turn out with their first band whilst coming to us to improve and work towards competition playing

I’ve played in marching bands, but never a pipe band. Are they similar?

Many of our members came to pipe bands after being in other bands. Boys Brigade, Corps of Drums, Concert Bands and even Rock bands… there are many transferrable elements. Whether it is marching, learning music, or playing as a group, there’s always plenty to build on.

Does it cost anything?

We ask all adult members and learners to make a small weekly contribution (payable monthly or annually) to go towards venue hire etc. It’s probably less than the price of a cup of tea or coffee each week!

Do you provide instruments and uniforms?

Drums are provided by the band, put pipers play their own pipes and practice chanters. We provide band chanters (for a unified sound) as well as pipe bags, cords etc. Uniforms are a mix of issued and purchased items.