RECRUITING


Welcome to the Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold and thank you for taking the time to navigate through our website. The following information is provided for the benefit of those who are interested in becoming a member of the Blue and Gold. After reading the material below, if you still have questions or would like to get more information, please contact one of the band members.

As stated on the home page, the Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the art and culture of bagpipe bands and to promoting the image of the New Jersey State Police. We are made up of active duty and retired members of the New Jersey State Police.  The only pre-requisite for becoming a member is being a NJ State Trooper. The Band is a separate entity from the State Police, however we are authorized to perform on behalf of the Division from time to time. Membership in the Band is voluntary.

Our core mission is to honor the memory of our fallen at line of duty death funerals. The Band participates all across the State of NJ as well as across the United States at many different functions. The Band performs in parades, funerals, golf outings, graduations, memorial services, conferences, weddings, charitable events, and many other events throughout the year. The majority of the jobs we perform at are on our own time, voluntarily, a founding character of the Band’s members since its inception in 1986.

Becoming a member of the Band starts in the fall each year. We solicit perspective members throughout the division and orientation nights are established. Perspective members can choose to learn the Great Highland Bagpipe, or the Drums. The Band provides instruction FREE of charge to members for both instruments. Practices are held every Tuesday in Woodbridge, NJ. The hours are between 1830 and 2100. Perspective members receive their lessons in the beginning of the night and are then free to stay and watch the rest of practice or head home.

Students of the Great Highland Bagpipe must purchase a practice chanter (approx. $50) and a Highland Bagpipe Tutor Book/CD (approx. $52). Drum students must purchase a set of sticks (approx. $20)  and practice pad (approx. $25).  No other equipment is needed to start. The Band expects you make as many of the practices as you can. Because the majority of the members who join come from road stations, lessons are repeated  on a two week basis. Week 1 and 2 will be lesson 1, week 3 and 4 will be lesson 2, and so on. We realize that our members are State troopers and that we can not always be at practice based on schedules. Do your best to make it when your available, and the more time you spend at home practicing will accelerate your ability to learn the instruments.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I have to be Irish or Scottish to join the Band

NO! The Band is made up of very diverse members. All you have to be is a graduate of the State Police Academy.

Do I have to have musical experience or have played an instrument

NO! Our instructors have been teaching members with 0 experience since the Band was formed. Almost every member started from scratch, so there is no excuse why anyone can not learn.

Can practice be moved closer to my station area

Unfortunately, Woodbridge is our best case scenario. It takes some members from Troop B as well as A almost 2 hours to get to on some nights. There are members throughout the Division who are willing to help you if you need more practice and can not always attend in Woodbridge.

Do I have to come to every practice

You are expected to come to practice when you are available. If you choose not to come and then show up several weeks later, you will be expected to continue with the lessons from where the class is. It is not fair to the members who come regularly to have to revert back.

How long does it take to learn the instrument

The amount of time you put into learning either instrument will drastically reduce the time it takes to become proficient. With steady practice and a desire to learn, a student of the pipes can be up and running in about eight months to a year. The drums take slightly less time, however we have three types to choose from.

Do I have to attend every job the Band performs at

No. Participation is voluntary. There are jobs that you will be expected to perform at, i.e. LODD, NJSP Graduation, however the majority of our jobs are being completed by only 3 - 5 members.

Am I too junior a trooper to join the Band

The only prerequisite is that you are off coach. Membership is also open to retired members of the State Police. There is no State Police rank in the band, only the command structure of the Band itself. 

Are practice and jobs done on work time

Practice and the majority of the jobs we perform at are done on your own time. There are occasions where we are given credit for a work day at certain details.

Does the Band provide my equipment

The Band will provide you with everything but your State Police shirt and/or blouse and Chukka Boots.

Does the Band provide my instrument

The Band does provide drums for members who choose to play them. Members who decide to play the Great Highland Bagpipe will have to purchase their own instrument. The Band has many contacts to help you find the right set of pipes and will assist you when the time comes.