QUESTION:
Do I have to be a member of the Emerald Society to be in the band.

ANSWER:
Yes. Membership in the Emerald Society is a reasonable $40.00/year and dues can be taken via payroll deduction from both active and retired members. If you don’t want to join the Society, you can participate in our practices for $20.00/month.

QUESTION:
Do I need to be Irish to be a member of the Emerald Society.

ANSWER:
No. Our bylaws only require that you possess the vague and undefined “Irish Spirit”, and I’m pretty sure playing a bagpipe qualifies!

QUESTION:
Do I have to have experience with reading music or playing an instrument to be part of the band?

ANSWER:
NO! There is NO requirement (or expectation) that you will have any idea what you’re doing when you start. We have experienced instructors and can separate basic students from advanced to make the experience more valuable for all.

QUESTION:
When and where does the band practice?

ANSWER:
We are currently practice at 6:00pm every Thursday at the SDPOA (8388 Vickers Street, San Diego). The San Diego Firefighters Emerald Society practices every Wednesday at 7:00pm in El Cajon. It is preferred that you practice with us on Thursdays, but if you are unable to, practicing with the Firefighters is better than nothing.

QUESTION:
What’s it going to cost me?

ANSWER:
The goal is to solicit donations from law enforcement associations throughout San Diego County to offset expenses for starting the band, to include instruments and uniforms. That is the plan and I think we will have some success, but that’s not in stone yet. At present, if you are interested in playing the pipes, all you’ll need is a practice chanter ($15.00 for SDLEES members). You’ll be on the chanter for several months minimum before moving to a real bagpipe. For drummers, you’ll need sticks and a practice pad initially.

QUESTION:
Do I have to wear my kilt in traditional style or can I wear underwear?

ANSWER:
I’ll leave this to your own discretion. There will not be inspections.

At the very least, please sign up for the Emerald Society mailing list (www.sdlees.com) to keep informed. If you decide not to start now, you may want to in the future.