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Learn to play bagpipes and drums 

Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band Inc., established in 1909, fosters and encourages the art of playing bagpipes , side drums, tenor drums and bass drums. Tuition is provided for people of all ages interested in joining the band by either learning to play bagpipes or drums, and ensures the future continuance of the Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band.

Learning the bagpipes or drums is inexpensive, you will only need to buy a practice chanter or drum sticks, and can cost less than $100 to get started.  We can help advise you what to buy and may be able to supply it for you.  Visit our contact page to email the secretary for further information.


Lorient France
Pictured above: Interceltique Festival de Lorient, France

Learning does require commitment and time.  Learner's practice is available once per week, generally on Wednesday nights at the band hall, with tutors that hold Blue Cards.  You should also practice at home to improve your skills in playing and reading music.  There is no up front costs to learning to play bagpipes or drums at Ipswich Thistle, however you will be expected to join the band once you are comfortable that you have made the right choice in learning.

Once you are ready to play with the band, you will be supplied with an instrument and uniform.  You will then be ready to play in front of the public at street marches, concerts, tattoos, corporate events, weddings, funerals etc. 

In recent years the band has made trips to New Zealand to compete, performed at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, and performed at the Kremlin Zoria Tattoo in Moscow, Russia.  The band is also planning to attend the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow Scotland in 2009, and the British Championships in Banbridge Northern Ireland in 2009.  Visit our gallery page to view pictures from the tours.

The band proudly supports the Community by taking part in various events throughout Ipswich City and also proudly advertises our Heritage City by taking part in various events nationally and internationally. The band charges a fee for the majority of engagements with this money going towards band equipment, instruments, uniforms and also associated costs in the running of the Band Hall in Limestone Park.


Kremlin Zoria - Moscow Tattoo
Pictured above: Massed bands preparing to play at the Kremlin Zoria - Moscow Tattoo 2007