Friday, January 28, 2011

Save the Dates!

Yikes!  It is the end of January already!  Time has just been whizzing by!  The June recital will be here before you know it and we have lots of exciting things planned before that happens.  It is time to start marking the calendar and reserving dates as the year begins to heat up!

Dancers, start stretching!  Highland Storm rehearsals are taking place February 5, 2011.  Stephanie Cadman will be here to conduct the auditions!  Highland dance auditions will start at 10am and Step dance auditions will take place in the afternoon at 1pm.  Once you arrive, you will sign in for your audition slot and fill out an audition registration form.  Please note that casting priority will be given to students registered at the College.  Get your autograph perfected because Highland Storm will be running four nights a week (Monday through Thursday)!  It will open July 5, 2011 and run until September 1, 2011.  There will be 33 shows in total.  Start looking for your big paparazzi hiding sunglasses now!

The Halifax Citadel mini gatherings start tomorrow, January 29th.  The next contest dates are March 12 and April 2.  The College has is being represented in full force by its pipers so watch this space for results!  Special good luck vibes to Calum Brydon (chanter) and Alyson MacLean (Grade 5) as they compete in their very first competition!   

March 18, 2011.  Save this date!  The College is pleased to announce that it will be holding the Medicine Shoppe Winter Ceilidh!  The Medicine Shoppe has generously decided to sponsor the event.  There will be piping, drumming and dancing!  Keep your eyes posted to this space for details as they become available.

A reminder that the Grade 4 band meeting that was supposed to take place this past week has been postponed until February 3.  Hopefully mother nature will be a bit more cooperative!

Hopefully everyone has dug out by now and you are looking at the months ahead.  Here is hoping for more exciting and warmer things to come.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All Classes and Band Practiced Cancelled

Well Mother Nature is hitting us hard today.  All classes and band practice for Thursday, January 27th are cancelled.  The Grade 4 Band Parents meeting scheduled for this evening has been re-scheduled for Thursday, February 3, 2010.

Stay SAFE, Stay WARM and please Stay HOME!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Last week was an exciting one here at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts!  So many fantastic happenings!  For some, exciting lucky moments and others, hardwork and perserverence paying off.  Many congratulations were handed out! 

Mother Nature was in a disagreeable mood on Friday night but that did not stop the car draw from happening!  A crowd of about seventy people braved the elements to come to the College to watch some live music and dance (courtesy of the College's own talented students!), eat haggis and witness the prizes being drawn.  The grand prize winner of the 2011 Ford Mustang was Peggy Miles from Summerside!  A big congratulations to Peggy on her sporty new set of wheels!  On behalf of the College, a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported the College by buying a ticket.  We had ticket purchasers (and some winners!)  from as far away as Washington State, British Columbia, Calgary and Saskatoon! 

Last Monday was an exciting (and maybe a wee bit nerve wracking) for AJ Baldwin and Calum Brydon.  Both AJ and Calum earned their bagpipes last Monday night in Charlottetown.  AJ is a second year student and Calum just picked up the chanter in September!  The requirements for earning bagpipes are memorizing four tunes and keeping time with your foot.  A big congratulations to both of them for all their hard work and practice.  An fantastic new chapter now begins in their piping careers!

The College of Piping was featured on the website pipes|drums last week!  This is the most widely read online piping and drumming publication in the world.  For those of you who missed it, follow this link to read more:  For those of you who are interested in piping, drumming and pipe bands, poke around this site for useful  information for what is going on in the piping, drumming and pipe band community.

A reminder to members and parents of the Grade Four and Five competition bands.  There are information meetings this week to discuss the extra time commitment and what is expected of each individual in the band to make this trip successful, worthwile and most importantly, fun.  Attendance is mandatory for all members of the bands.  Parents are encouraged (and expected) to attend this meeting as well.  The times for the meetings are:  Grade Five meeting is on January 25, 2011 at 7pm and the Grade Four meeting is on January 27, 2011 at 7pm.  Both meetings will take place at the College in Summerside (main hall).

A new week has started at the College and it looks to be just as exciting as the last.  Watch this space for upcoming competition results, more announcements regarding the Highland Gathering and the hard work of our students!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Highland Dance Classes Cancelled

Karen MacLeod Wilkie's Highland Dance Classes are cancelled for today.  All other classes are proceeding as scheduled.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Phew!  We are only half way through the first month of the year and already the College has been super busy!  Even with a snow day last week, we are not slowing down or losing steam!  It may be cold and snowy outside but inside things are heating up.

Have you bought your car raffle ticket yet?!  Less than one week until the draw!  The grand prize is a 2011 Ford Mustang Convertible.  Never fear, there are also 28 other prizes to be won!  The draws will take place in the main hall at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing arts on January 21, 2011 at 7pm.  It is not only a car draw but also a celebration of the Scottish poet, Robbie Burns.  If you have purchased a ticket you are invited to come to the College and enjoy haggis, drinks and entertainment!

The CBC were spotted at the College last week!  Our esteemed Executive Director, Karen Hatcher, appeared on CBC news to discuss the return of the Highland Gathering in 2011.  For those of you who missed it, check out this link:  Continue to watch this space for exciting announcements regarding the Highland Gathering!

Start your stretching and warming up!  February 5th is fast approaching!!!  This is the date that should be marked on your calendar if you plan on auditioning for Highland Storm.  Stephanie Cadman will be in Summerside to conduct the auditions.  Highland auditions will take place in the morning and the step auditions will take place in the afternoon. 

A reminder for Highland Dancers who wish to compete this year, you need to fill out the 2011 Dancer Registration Forms.  You will need Karen MacLeod-Wilkie's signature on the photos and forms.  She has returned from her travels, so she is ready to do this!  The registration forms can be downloaded from the scotdancepei site.  Once the form has been signed, it is the responsibility of each dancer to send it in.

The appointment of our Educational Director, James MacHattie, made it into the honourable mention section for the pipes|drums annual "Top Ten News Stories of 2010".  Although the news did not make it into the top ten list, the honourable mention is still a big achievement!  To review the top piping and drumming stories of 2010, follow this link:

As the 2011 competition season starts, here is some advice for all disciplines:  "If you are lucky enough to win a major event, always remember, you are still the same player as you drive home from the competition as you were going to it."  This fantastic piece of advice is from piper, Murray Henderson on the recent pipes|drums blog (to read more on this, follow this link: Murray is a top soloist, reed and bagpipe maker and father to the 2010 Gold medal winner, Faye Henderson (the first female to win the Gold medal).  Competing is not just about the prizes but about the hard work, the friendships made along the way, new places discovered and the moments that come from such achievements.  The College wishes all competitors much luck in the 2011 season!  Oh, and do not forget to have fun.  That is what is most important of all!


Thursday, January 13, 2011


All classes, as well as band practice, have been cancelled for today. 

Pass the word, however, The College will still be open if anyone has not purchased their ticket for the Car Raffle - the 2011 Ford Mustang Convertible - and 28 additional prizes!!!!  Draw to take place on Friday, January 21st - time is running out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's snowy outside...

STOP THE PRESSES...There has been a Debbie and Doug Hall sighting in Summerside!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Halls, they are the generous benefactors of the piping and drumming programs.  They pay the tuition for all island pipers and drummers between the ages of eight and eighteen.  They make possible what some kids can only dream about in other parts of the world.

Whew...A winter storm is brewing out there and I do not mean the big piping and drumming contest being held in Kansas City this weekend (which goes by the name of Winter Storm)!  Tonight we are reportedly going to get up to 25cm of snow!   Students and parents, please make sure to watch this space for notification in case tomorrow is a snow day. 

In non storm related news....The College now has Skype!  Paul, the College's intern, has been a great help in setting this up.  People can add the College to their contact list by searching for TheCollegeofPiping.  Between the blog, Skype, email and the newsletter, there is no excuse not to be connected to what is happening at the College! 

A big congratulations goes out to Carsen Campbell who will be competing at the Canada Games.  It turns out he is not only a talented piper but a strong biathlete as well.  The College wishes you much luck and success at these games!

The snow has started, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog.  If you get snow in your eyes, listen to the radio for announcements as well!  Hopefully we will not have to dig out of too much snow!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Friday!

It is a cold and snowy day here in Summerside but inside the College things are heating up as another busy year starts.  Planning for the Highland Gathering is well underway, auditions dates and times for Highland Storm have been set and the Grade Four and Five bands are busy working hard towards their trip to compete in the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario.

Some changes and cancellations to start the new year.  Gaelic was being offered by the College but has been cancelled due to lack of enrollment.  Have no fear, plans are in the works to hopefully offer gaelic once again.  Watch this space for an announcement when that happens.  For those pipers planning on travelling to the Halifax Citadel mini gatherings, the date for the first contest has changed.  The original date for the first mini gathering was February 5.  This date has now changed to January 29.  Please make this change in your calendar so that you do not end up in Halifax on the wrong date!

Karen Hatcher has some exciting news about Highland Storm auditions.  Here is her casting call:


Mark your calendars!!! HIGHLAND STORM auditions will be taking place on Saturday, February 5, 2011.  Stephanie Cadman will be here conducting the auditions.

Highland Dance Auditions will start at 10:00 am.  Auditions will take place in the main hall at The College of Piping.  A sign up sheet and registration form will be available upon arrival.

Step Dance Auditions will take place in the main hall starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 5, 2011.  As you arrive, sign in for your audition slot and fill out an audition registration form.

Casting Priority will be given to students registered at The College of Piping. 

Highland Storm will be running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, opening on July 5, 2011 through to Thursday, September 1, 2011 (33 shows in total).  There will be no shows on Thursday, August 28 or Monday, August 1, 2011.

If selected for Highland Storm – all performers – pipers, drummers and dancers - all rehearsals are mandatory.  There will be a weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in May – to be determined at a later date, based on Stephanie’s schedule – also Mandatory.

The following is the preliminary rehearsal schedule for June (subject to change as required):
Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23, 2011 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Summerside Highland Gathering takes place June 24, 25 & 26, 2011
Monday, June 27 – June 30, 2011 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday, July 1st – Day Off
Saturday, July 2 – Afternoon Rehearsal – Evening Dress Rehearsal
Sunday, July 3 – 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Monday, July 4 – Afternoon Rehearsal – Show Preview 7:30 pm
Tuesday, July 5 – Afternoon Rehearsal - Opening Night

For Step and Highland Dancers – all selected dancers will be performing on a rotational schedule for the summer.  On any given night that you are not scheduled to perform, you are considered the Alternate Dancer for that show and must be available to perform up until 2:00 pm on that day.  If you do not receive a call or e-mail prior to 2:00 pm, it will be your night off.

Summer Performances:
For the summer of 2011, we would like to offer our College of Piping students – in the discipline in which they are registered – the opportunity to perform on a daily basis for a live audience.  Each day, Monday to Friday at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm, we offer mini-concerts.  These 30 minute concerts are co-ordinated and presented by 4 of our instructors – a piper, drummer, highland dancer and step dancer and run during July and August.  This will give you 120 opportunities to perform.  In May, we will set up a master schedule and you will be able to sign up for as many concerts as you like, throughout the summer, based on your schedule.   With each performance, you will be able to perform with an instructor, showcase a solo performance or dance with some of your friends in a choreographed dance that you are working on.  Fill your summer schedule with practice and performance!!!!!

So start working on your autograph and watching out for paparazzi!  2011 promises to be full of performance opportunity here at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy Hogmanay!  Bliadhna Mhath Ur!  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada wishes everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!  Now that the presents have been unwrapped, the Christmas dinner eaten and the New Year rung in, it is time to start back at lessons!

2011 promises to be a busy and exciting year at the College!  The car raffle, a new dance instructor, the much anticpated return of the Highland Gathering, our Highland Storm production, summer workshops and schools...oh my!  How the time will fly and before you know it, it will be September! 

Speaking of the car are still available!!!  They can be purchased at the registration desk or by calling or emailing our most fabulous registrar, Jane Dunn.  The draw is on January 21, 2011.  Do not miss out on your chance to to own a 2011 Ford Mustang Convertible!  Do not forget, there are other prizes to be won! 

As we eagerly await the arrival Kearsney Smith, our new dance instructor, we would like to thank Brooklyn Tchozewski and Karen MacLeod-Wilkie for all their hard work as dance instructors this past fall.  Brooklyn has been at the College for the past year and a half and she leaves to pursue studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.  The College wishes her much success in her academic path.  Karen MacLeod-Wilkie has been a huge asset this fall, helping out on the nights that Brooklyn had her school courses.  Thank you does not even cover how much the College appreciates the hard work and dedication Karen has provided to the College.  Do not despair! You will see Karen in the dance hallways once Kearsney arrives as she helps Kearsney adjust to life here at the College!

A big thank you to Hayley Porter and Suzanne Wilkie (Karen MacLeod-Wilkie's daughter) for stepping into dance instructor roles until Kearsney gets here!  Once the College has an exact date of Kearsney's arrival, all Highland dance students and parents will be notified.  The College is confident that students and parents will make Kearsney feel right at home in the dance studio and Summerside as she may find a Prince Edward Island winter a bit different from a South African one...

A big congratulations to Nancy Pitre (the College's wonderful bookkeeper) and her family as her son has won the Island competition for the Junior Boys Curling title.  He will be competing in Calgary for the Canadian Championships at the end of the month.  Good luck!  If anyone has any results, College or non College related, please let us know so that we can celebrate the achievements of our students!

So, it is time to dust off your chanters, bagpipes, drum sticks and dancing shoes.  Time to get back into the swing of things here at the College!  May your New Year be filled with lots of practicing, much fun and achieving your goals!