Piping to Highland Games

Reporter: Riley Berlinghoff

Every Sunday, rain or shine, the members of the Durham Regional Police Pipe band gather at Durham College to practice their pipes and drums getting ready for this year’s events.
Durham Regional police officer and Pipe Major, Mike Lasseter, meets with the band in the Justice Wing to instruct the band on how to reach its full potential in the upcoming Scottish Highland Games.
Between the Scottish heavy athletics, dancing, piping and drumming, the Highland Games are a sight to see. Since 1996, the pipe band has been playing in the Games, competing at a Grade 4 level out of five grades.
After the Durham Regional Police Pipe band dominated the competition in 2011 they won the Grade 4 Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario Championship Supreme award. This accomplishment moved them up to a grade, which according to Lasseter, is not an easy grade.
Even though the other bands in the grade had impressive skills, the Durham Regional Police Pipe band managed to get third prize in Cambridge, and second in Almonte.
With the Highland Games season going from early spring to the fall their usual once-a-week meetings turn into two. They will add an additional practice on Wednesday evenings in April.
Although the main focus of their practices goes into preparation for the Highland Games, there are plenty of other events they have to be ready for. This year, their first competition will be in May at the Kingston Highland Games.