The band also travels to about 10 highland games across the eastern US, entering ensembles at both the Grade III and Grade IV levels for competition. Solo pipers are available for weddings and funerals. Classes for beginners are held each semester. The North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums is part of the Music Department of NC State University. The band consists of three distinct performing units with membership based on experience and ability. In addition, classes are offered each semester for beginning pipers who wish to join the band. The band was begun in 1968 by two NCSU graduate students. Initially it consisted of NCSU students and was active only during the fall and spring semesters. As the band progressed and the need for experienced players grew, alumni and community members were admitted, giving the band much more stability and allowing it to perform throughout the year. In 2005, the NCSU Pipes and Drums and the City of Oaks Pipe Band merged, making one strong pipe band for the Triangle area. Today the band has about 60 members within three performing groups. The Grade IV and Grade III bands compete at Highland Games throughout the southeastern US. These groups are outfitted in the Carolina tartan, the District Tartan for the state of NC. The Beginner Band performs at various local events, wearing the McLeod tartan from the City of Oaks Pipe Band.
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