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Key Outcomes From The PPBSO’s First Drumming Summit

Dedicated and Collaborative Action Required to Ensure the Future of Drumming.

The Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) hosted its inaugural 2024 Drumming Summit on March 30th at the PPBSO Toronto Branch’s “Indoor Games” held at the Moss Park Armoury in Toronto, Ontario.

The Summit emerged as a pivotal platform for exchanging ideas and facilitating dialogue relevant to recruiting new drummers. The event showcased an expert panel including Jamie Alfred, Drew Duthart, and Dave Fenton who guided discussions about the critical challenges faced today, emerging trends, and opportunities.

Prompts, questions, and comments were selected from the responses to our survey sent out before the event. In attendance were twenty-five drummers from varying backgrounds representing a balanced cross-section of teachers, and leaders from both competition and non-competition bands.  

Several important signs of progress emerged during the Summit. The mood was positive and congenial with high engagement and participation. The attendees showed up well prepared and the panellists did a notable job facilitating the conversation.  

Among the wide range of topics discussed, some themes emerged related to our current landscape including:

  • Implementing recruitment strategies at a (local) band level 

  • Looking outside of the pipe band world for potential partnerships (i.e. school boards, boys and girls clubs, etc.)

  • Teacher training/certification for instructors and band leadership

  • More skills and resources for teachers and lower-grade band leadership

  • Common Curriculum/teaching materials for instructors

  • Shared "Best Practice" strategies for band development

  • Soliciting Grants and public funding for drumming

  • Performance opportunities for increased community engagement.

Ross Davison, Chair of the PPBSO’s Education Committee explains,“The Summit was a significant event that made progress on several key issues, including building consensus on our priorities. However, there are still significant challenges to overcome. While the Summit provided a platform for Drummers to come together, it will take a sustained effort to achieve our collective goals.”

The second 2024 Drumming Summit will be held this upcoming fall (2024) to extend the discussion further. The PPBSO looks forward to initiating future events that endorse further collaboration and learning.

To this end, the Education Committee will be taking our notes from the PPBSO’s first Drumming Summit, prioritising the next steps, and preparing an implementation strategy accordingly. We intend to carry this momentum forward. As always, we welcome all ideas and insights you may have. Please email them to 

On behalf of the entire PPBSO’s Education Committee, I would like to again thank all participants for your commitment to helping to develop, preserve, and promote drumming culture in Ontario.


Ross Davison

Chair, Education Committee