Battleford Legion looking for pipe and drum band members

By Angela Brown
January 10, 2019 - 4:59pm

A Battlefords resident and music teacher is encouraging people who want to be part of a local pipe and drum band forming to sign up.

Lynda Lyon-Walls who plays and teaches the bagpipes said people of any age are welcome to join even if they have no experience.

Local practices will be held Monday evenings at the Royal Canadian Legion branch on 22nd Street in Battleford.

Lyon-Walls said the Battleford Branch No. 9 Pipe Band was recently re-established.

"We're just trying to get that off the ground again," she said, adding the Legion had asked to have the band start up again. "We are very much wanting to have people from the age of 10 to 80 to come and learn." 

She added there will be a one-time fee of $100 for the year for each member.

Currently, there are six bagpipers and one drummer performing in the Battleford Legion band, as well as five pipers and two drummers taking lessons. Lyon-Walls hopes to have about 20-some playing in the band eventually so they can participate in parades.

Individuals who want to learn to play the bagpipes will start on a practice chanter reed, which resembles a flute.



The bagpipes while difficult to play are quite stirring to hear. Lyon-Walls said it takes about seven years for someone to master the bagpipes, depending on the individual. 

"There is a lot involved," she said. "You have to take it slowly. There is a lot of blowing pressure on the pipes."

Originally from Musselburgh, Scotland, Lyon-Walls has been playing the bagpipes for the past 55 years and first learned after her family immigrated to Canada.

"I've always liked the sound of them. Being from Scotland we were always listening to Scottish music," she said.

Lyon-Walls herself takes pride in being a skilled piper, and thanks her neighbour for being so understanding when she wants to practise in her backyard. 

"I feel comfortable in my soul if my pipes are sounding good," she added.

She plays with two pipe bands and also performs at various events throughout the province, including Robbie Burns Day celebrations taking place this month. Last year she participated in the opening festivities for the Saskatchewan Winter Games in North Battleford.


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