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John WalshGreg SchniderTark HamiltonTomas StandevenWally CharmBCUPSKier McMillanGreg Schnider and Eric ReiswigBill PoppyRob Moore

bc_ups@hotmail.com 

Membership

Anyone anywhere with an interest in the uilleann pipes or traditional Irish music is invited to join. The society sponsors concerts and workshops and is hoping to raise money to purchase additional practice sets for loan and provide additional activities and workshops.

A short newsletter is published on an occasional basis to inform the members of upcoming events.

Dues for the club are $10 per year.

To join the club, send a request to bc_ups@hotmail.com, or call Greg Schnider at 604-514-0883 or Tom Kinahan at 250-764-5407.

There are currently 50 members of the society ranging from Part Alberni in the East to Fort St John in the north. The current executive of the club is:
Greg Schnider - Chairman
Langley
Tom Kinahan - Secretary/Treasurer
Kelowna
Bill Poppy - Vancouver Island Rep.
Nanaimo

If you are interested in finding out if there is a member near you, contact us.

There are a great number of different makers represented within the pipes owned by the club members. These include: Casey Burns, Bruce Childress, Eamonn Curran, Alain Froment, Brian Hughes, Eugene Lambe, Rob Moore, Neil O'Grady, Dennis O'Regan, David Quinn/Benedict Koehler, Andreas Rogge, Leo Rowsome, Ray Sloan,  William Taylor, and the obligatory Anonymous. If you are interested in finding out more about about any of these makers, and contacting pipers who play their pipes let us know.

Information

One of the aims of the Uilleann Piper's Society is to help beginning or isolated pipers. Since the inception of the club, we have received a number of phone calls from people interested in the pipes looking for information. Some of the more common questions we have received are:

Where can I get a set of uilleann pipes?
The uilleann pipes are an uncommon instrument, however with a bit of looking, a set can be found. Some suggestions for starting out are Patrick D'Arcy's excellent Uilleann Obsession pages which contains the names and addresses for a number of pipemakers - many of whom have a web pages. Na Píobairí Uilleann also publishes a a pamphlet listing many pipe makers. 

Which maker should I buy from? 
This is a matter of preference and comfort level for you. Every maker has their own strengths and weaknesses. The best way of deciding on which maker to choose is to talk to their customers - the pipers. Criteria you may be interested in are cost, waiting time, materials used, after sales support and probably most important, customer comments. 

I am really excited about the uilleann pipes and want a set, but don't want to wait for a set to be made for me.
 There are a few options you have if you want to get a set quickly. You can buy a used set. There are usually used sets advertised in the newsletter published by Na Píobairí Uilleann and one occasionally finds a set advertised on an Internet bidding service like eBay. A few makers also have practice sets continually in stock, or have a shorter waiting period. A word of warning thought. If you are looking at purchasing a used set of pipes (or a set of pipes from an unknown maker), you might want to get them checked out by an experience piper before any deal is made.

There are also plans available to make your own set of pipes. See David Daye's web page for information. Alan Ginsberg has also produced sets of plans for D and C sets of uilleann pipes and Wilbert Garvin has written a book on building a set of uilleann pipers.

I have ordered a set, but I have to wait  (many) years before they will be ready. What can I do in the meantime?
There are a few things you should probably do while you are waiting for your set of pipes. The first is to listen to as much piping as you can and as many different pipers as you can.

Second, go to a music shop, buy a tin whistle and learn to play it. Although the fingering between the whistle and pipes is different, many of the movements are the same and can be transferred to the pipes. This will also get you used to playing music if you do not play any other instruments.

You can also sign up to be placed on the waiting list for the pipes for loan scheme. 

Should I get a practice, half or full set of pipes? 
This is a matter of preference and finances. Getting a practice set when starting out are that it allows you to evaluate a maker without laying out several thousand dollars. If are pleased with the maker, and want to go on to add drones and regulators, then your set can be built up when you are ready.

When you are starting out, you will have enough difficulties with just the chanter itself. Trying to use the drones or regulators before you have a good handle on the use of the bag, bellows and change would just make it more difficult. 

Where can I get lessons in BC? Does anyone teach the pipes? 
There are a few members who are willing to take on students. Contact us for information. Also, during each meeting of the Uilleann Pipers' Society, a portion of the meeting is spent teaching piping. A list of the tunes which have been taught at the meetings is available on the Music page. 

A new on-line interactive traditional music school has been set up. Click here for more information. 

Where can I get more information on the pipes? 
The best resource for information is other pipers. It is recognized that there are very few uilleann pipers and they are generally very willing to help out those who are interested in the pipes.

Aside from the resources listed above you should also subscribe to The Pipers' Review. This newsletter is an excellent source of information on the uilleann pipes.

Na Píobairí Uilleann also publishes an informative newsletter and offers discounts on piping recordings and books.

If you have Internet access (and you probably do if you are reading this), subscribe to the Uilleann Pipes Mailing list. See David Daye's web page for information. (Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.) There is also another uilleann pipering related forum available at the Chiff and Fipple forums.

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