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.
To join the club, send a request to
There are currently 50 members of the society ranging from Port Alberni in the East to Fort St John in the north.
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:
Eamonn Curran, Alain Froment,
Brian Hughes, Eugene Lambe,
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.
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
There are also plans available to make your own set of
pipes. See David Daye's
page for information. Alan Ginsberg has also produced sets of
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
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
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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