Our beginnings

The Stow Caledonian Pipe Band was formed in 2011 and grew from humble beginnings. As a new band just starting out, funds and practices spaces were sparse, and rehearsals often took place under the M11 motorway. But the enthusiasm and dedication of our members was not dampened, and the band held various fundraisers in order to support itself. The band now rehearses twice weekly in Chingford, northeast London, and proudly wears the Freedom tartan.


Over the years, the band has grown and has been fortunate enough to perform at various events, both locally and across London, including the annual Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day parades at Walthamstow Town Hall, the St. George’s Day parade in Chingford, the House of Commons London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Lady Godiva Awakes Project.

The band is proud to be a part of London history, and we continue to perform in order to share our passion for our music with the community.

If you’re interested in joining or booking the band, please get in touch.

Highland dress

tartanThe band formally adopted the Freedom tartan when it was established in 2011. This was (and still is) a significant representation of the band’s expression and interpretation of pipe music – a modern take on traditional tunes.

The tartan features blues, greens and purples, and it is often said that these colours are reminiscent of the heather that adorns the mountains, hills and glens of Scotland.

To complete the Highland dress, the band wear Argyll jackets and waistcoats, along with the glengarry bonnet, blue band tie, Lovett Green socks and Ghillie Brogues, to compliment the kilt tartan.



The Great Highland Bagpipes consists of three drones, a blow stick, a bag and a pipe chanter. Before learning to play the bagpipes, we learn on an instrument called a practice chanter – which consists of only a mouthpiece and a chanter. This is a separate instrument to the bagpipes but is essential in learning how to play them.

The instructors in the band will teach you to a high level on both practice chanter and bagpipes, leading to your development and understanding, and, most importantly, enjoyment of this challenging instrument.


Snare drum

SnareThe pipe band snare drum accompanies the bagpipes and acts as a countermelody to the tune. Little is known about the pipe band snare drum outside of the pipe band world; however, it is a technical instrument in its own right and requires proper teaching for the best technique.

A beginner will learn basic rudiments which will enhance and enable the drummer to play basic drum scores. The development of these rudiments in various combinations are the key to playing more advanced drumming scores.

Bass drum

Bass drum1The bass drum is probably the most important component of a pipe band as it is the heart beat that keeps the music alive. It maintains the tempo and unites the pipe and drum corps together. It is considered the easiest instrument in the band, however it requires a degree of skill to produce the correct tone.

Only one bass drummer plays at a given time but more than one is preferred. As a bass drummer in the Stow Caledonian Pipe Band, you will learn elements of the tenor drum, which will help develop your bass drum skills.

Tenor drum

Tenor drumThe tenor drum is part of the bass section and is the showpiece of the band. The flourishing of the sticks is quite spectacular to see, especially when performed in a sequence. The most significant role the tenor drum plays is to accentuate different parts of the music which will enhance the tune. In a modern pipe band, different sized tenor drums are used so different pitches are created.

Learning the tenor drum in the band involves learning to play different rhythms and to flourish. These basic skills highlight areas of the snare beatings.