Join the Pipers of the Fighting Irish

Playing in a pipe band can easily become a life-long passion - creating strong friendships and lasting memories. The Notre Dame Bagpipe Band is a student club that has a rich history of piping and drumming performances on and around Notre Dame's campus. We also have a tradition of teaching new pipers and drummers. Approximately half our members have learned to play their instruments as members of the band.

How do I join the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band?

Early in the fall, the student activities office hosts an activities night for student clubs. Meet us at the NDPB table on activities night and sign up if you are interested in joining and learning how to play.

The best way to join, however, is to get in touch and show up to practices!

Already play the pipes or drums?

We have members of many ages and playing abilities, so jumping in is easy! You can download our music to get you started. We can also work with your instructor to make sure the transition is as easy as possible. If you are interested in playing or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us! The Notre Dame Bagpipe Band welcomes all members of the Notre Dame family, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, prospective students, and members of the surrounding community.


We hold separate (but connected) practices for those who are still learning to play the pipes/drums, and those who have experience playing.

Our "Chanter Practices" are fine-tuned for learners to get proficient on practice chanters/drum pads until they are comfortable to move on to the full bagpipes and drums - these practices are relaxed and the perfect environment for those new to the instruments. They’re held every Wednesday (5:30pm-6:30pm) and every Sunday (2:00pm-3:00pm) in Washington Hall Room 110 (this is the practice room in the back of Washington Hall).

Band practices for experienced pipers and drummers focus on performance sets and marches for upcoming events. These are held every Wednesday (6:30pm-7:30pm) and every Sunday (3:00pm-4:00pm) in Washington Hall Room 110. On nice days we often play outside between LaFortune and Crowley halls


What will I need?

Beginning pipers will need a practice chanter and beginning snare drummers will need a pair of drum sticks and a practice pad. Beginning tenor and bass drummers will need sticks and a sense of rhythm. If you are interested in playing, we will give you information on what to buy and good places to buy it.

How much does it cost?

  • Practice Chanter - $70
  • Drum Sticks - $20
  • Practice Pad - $25
  • Uniform - Once you are playing with the band, there will be a few uniform items to purchase (shirts and shoes). The band supplies a kilt, doublet, vest, tie, waist belt, cross belt, plaid, sporran, hose, and flashes.
  • Monthly Dues - $0 (lessons are free)

If I'm a piper, do I need to purchase a set of bagpipes right away?

Not necessarily. Most pipers spend approximately 6 to 12 months learning the basics, so you will have plenty of time to plan ahead. Only when a student has learned a few tunes and feels confident with the music will it be time to invest in a set of bagpipes.

The band has a five sets of pipes available to help new students getting started.

If I'm a drummer, do I have to buy a drum?

No, the band supplies all drums. You will need to purchase a set of drum sticks and a practice pad. If you have questions on where to obtain these items, please let us know.

Starting Out

Pipers and Drummers normally spend approximately 6 to 12 months learning the basics on a practice chanter (for pipers) or drum sticks and a practice pad (for drummers). New members learn to play as a group right from the start.

Our teaching program is designed to get new members involved in the band from day one. Students get help with sight-reading skills, rhythm, rudiments and playing as a group. Beginners also get a bit of history behind their instruments, the music and the culture from which it comes.