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Pipe Band College NI News

Posted by Ian Burrows on 17 January 2021 12:06 AM

Registrations for online lessons are now open for the Spring Term. Please click the College button to register.

Posted by Danielle McCartney on 14 April 2020 11:14 AM

Pipe Band College

Coming Home / In This Together

Composition Competition: - 6/8 March of 4 parts

We are all disappointed that the 2020 Competition Season has ended before it began due to the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), and our need to follow the government health advice.

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association celebrates its 90th Anniversary in 2020. To mark this occasion The Pipe Band College have set out the framework for a Composition Competition focusing on a 6/8 March of 4 parts.

The focus is to provide a challenge to our Juvenile Pipers and Drummers to develop an individual Composition as a Melody or Score as they are unable to engage in their normal practice regime whilst maintaining the need to remain at home and self-isolate. Entry is open to those who through their Band have registered with The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association for the 2019/20 season.

The competition also encompasses a Band Combined entry as many bands will be continuing to work together using Social Media and any one of several collaboration applications. The entry should comprise of the Melody and Scores for the Pipes, Side Drums, one Bass drum and up to two Tenor drums. An entry can be submitted by any Band that has registered with The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association for the 2019/20 season.

Valid entries must be submitted by Email to pbc.competition@rspba.org between the 20th April 2020 and the 13th June 2020. Entries will not be accepted after this date.

Please choose your entry Category, Title your entry, and include the Band Name and in addition for individual entries the Composer's name: -

  • Piper Juvenile Age Group individual entry
  • Side Drummer Juvenile Age Group individual entry
  • Band Combined entry

To enter a Juvenile category, you must have been under 18 years of age on the 1st day of November 2019.

Please submit your Composition or Band Arrangements in Portable Document Format (.pdf). This can be a scanned copy of a manual manuscript or one saved in .pdf format from an application you have used to develop your manuscript. Entries in Audio or Video Formats unfortunately will not be Accepted.

The Pipe Band College will provide designated individuals to preside and collaborate on the assessment of the competition entries.

The first Review will be to identify a specific number of Entries to go through to the final deliberations in each of the categories.

These Identified Entries will be included in a formatted publication that will be available to be downloaded.

The Presiding panels will then decide the top three entries in each category. The top three entries will receive a commemorative printed copy of the Identified entries.

The aim is to complete the assessment process as quickly as possible following the closing date of the competition. The time needed will be dependent on the number of entries received, so the assessment timeline will be communicated separately.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 7 January 2020 4:57 PM

The RSPBANI Branch School are changing their name to 'Pipe Band College NI'. This is to align with the new RSPBA HQ Pipe Band College whose objects and purposes are:

  • Raise standards in piping, drumming and pipe band music at all levels within the


  • Raise standards in the design, development and delivery of musical education

programmes for pipers and drummers.

  • Establish an Examinations Board on behalf of the Board of Directors which shall exist

to quality assure all educational and training activities and award RSPBA certificates to

students who have been successfully achieved in RSPBA Education and Training


  • On behalf of the Board of Directors, provide support and guidance to the RSPBA’s

representatives on the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB), ensure

adherence to PDQB operating procedures and organise student assessments for RSPBA

and PDQB programmes.

  • Plan, organise and manage the assessment of students and maintain accurate records

of student assessments and record student attainments

  • Raise standards in the recruitment, selection and training RSPBA/PDQB Assessors and

Instructors and maintain accurate records of RSPBA approved Instructors and Assessors

  • Design, develop and make available to RSPBA members, high-quality piping and

drumming tuition resources

  • Provide advice to the Association on educational matters
  • Engage with the Adjudicators Panel Management Board on matters of joint interest

particularly in relation to Education and Training.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 23 September 2019 4:24 PM

We are taking applications for the RSPBA course for the Certificate of Pipe Band Musicianship Part 1, which is to be held in Northern Ireland.

This replaces the RSPBA Advanced Certificate. The criterion is that prospective students should already have achieved SCQF level 6.

If you are interested in applying please email mark.faloon@rspbani.org or info@rspbani.org

Posted by Ian Burrows on 14 January 2019 7:54 PM

The RSPBANI Branch School will be running Piobaireachd Tuition Sessions in Cookstown Primary School from 10.00 a.m. on the following dates:

  • 2nd February
  • 9th March
  • 23rd March

There will be a group session in the morning to 1 p.m. then group/individual sessions from 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The tutor for the group session and individual lessons will be Glenn Brown.

Fees are £10 for Branch School members per session and £15 for non-school members per session.

For further details and to register for Branch School members please contact your Centre Coordinator. For non-school members please email info@rspbani.org

Posted by Ian Burrows on 24 October 2018 12:35 PM

Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch School Appoints New Principal

The RSPBANI Branch School has recently appointed Mark Faloon as their new School Principal.

Mark is a renowned Piper, Tutor, Pipe Major and a former member of Field Marshal Montgomery having won every major title with the band. Mark is also a Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Adjudicator holding all the RSPBA qualifications having recently achieved his Pipe Band Musicianship qualifications.

School Conveyor Adam Fawcett said, “we are delighted that Mark has accepted the role of Branch School Principal, he is highly qualified and respected in Pipe Band circles and will bring his expertise and knowledge to take the Branch School to the next level.”

Mark said, “I am looking forward to the challenge of the role of School Principal and providing the opportunity for School members to excel in their chosen art and assisting them to achieve their accredited qualifications to progress their knowledge and skills."

The Branch School runs five centres on Saturday mornings at Banbridge, Cookstown, Broughshane, Enniskillen and Derry/Londonderry.  The School offers expert tuition in Piping, Drumming and Drum Majoring practical and theory with students being taught Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework levels.

For further details on the Branch School please email info@rspbani.org.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 13 September 2018 10:38 AM

It's Back to School time again at the NI Branch School. Our Saturday Centres will be back up and running again on Saturday 22nd September at 9.30am.

Term fees are £30 and also a reminder that our Household and Young Student Discounts will run again this year. Details below:

Household Discounted Fees
Multiple Students attending the School from the same household will be subject to the following Fees:
2 Students - £25 each
3 or more students - £20 each

Young Student Discounted Fees
The fees for students attending the School who are in Primary 6 or 7 or lower will be £25.
The fees for students attending the School who are in Primary 5 or lower will be £20.

We welcome students of all ages and abilities so why not give it a go.

Register Online
To register with the Branch School please Register/Sign in to the Branch website (www.rspbani.org), Go to the School Page (Green Button) then click on the Yellow Register with Branch School Link at the top. You can also register directly in the Centres on the first day of term.

If you already have an account on the system (Have competed as a Drum Major/Soloist or have attended the School previously) but can't access it please contact us at admin@rspbani.org please do not register another account.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 1 March 2018 4:00 PM

Please note that due to the adverse weather conditions the training planned for this weekend has been cancelled.