February 21, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Pizen Switch Pipes & Drums: An Opportunity to Learn to Play the Bagpipes, No Experience Needed to Apply

Pipe Major Aaron Pellegrini and Pipers Debbie Pellegrini, Susie Beame-Mena and Michael Drennan invite YOU to become a member or patron of the Pizen Switch Pipes & Drums! Band members can be of all ages and genders, from across Lyon, County NV and beyond, with the commitment to attend/travel to weekly band practices and to practice daily on an individual basis. No experience necessary to begin.

Here are some photos from a Pizen Switch Pipes & Drums band practice on January 13, 2023: (Click on photo for slide show)


Rousing, solemn, and sometimes haunting, the resonating compositions of the traditionally Celtic Bagpipes have been present over centuries at parades, funerals, weddings, and ceremonies.

Pipe Major Pellegrini wrote: The Pizen Switch Pipes and Drums was founded in January 2021, and in 2022 the band was registered as a non-profit 501c3 organization. Four Mason Valley residents serve on it’s board: Becky Smith, Treasurer; Debbie Pellegrini, Secretary; Mary Page; and Karen Kostenbader.

The band has performed at funerals across Northern Nevada. In December, the Nevada State Police contacted the band and requested a piper for State Trooper Damon Earl who unexpectantly passed away in Reno, Nevada.

The band currently has seven members and is seeking new students. Pipe Major Aaron Pellegrini is starting a new class for beginning pipers on Friday, February 10, 2023. There is no experience needed to learn the bagpipes. Students who have never played an instrument before have successfully learned to play the pipes. The band meets every Friday night, weather permitting, for band practice. The requirements to be in the band is a small investment in the beginning to purchase a practice chanter (roughly $70.00). All learning materials are provided as your lessons progress.

The Pizen Switch Pipes and Drums plans on providing services throughout northern Nevada for events, and looks forward to growing. It is of the band’s belief that all first responders, active military and law enforcement funeral services are to be done free of charge in honor of their service and sacrifices.

The band is also seeking donations. Uniforms for the band cost $1,355.00, and bagpipes run around $1,200.00. So far, band members have all purchased their own equipment, however, the band plans on purchasing uniforms for all band members to lower the cost of members who wish to play.

For inquiries, please contact Pipe Major Aaron Pellegrini at (775) 781-5789, or email at: majorpell@yahoo.com. You can also find the band on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pizenswitchpd/

If you would like to become a patron / supporter of the Pizen Switch Pipes and Drums, here is the link for your charitable donation: paypal.me/pizenswitchpd