Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Busy Weekend!!!

As 2012 winds down, the last busy weekend of the year is upon us.  This year seems to have flown by and I can't believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away (yes, you read that correctly!).  It's been a whirlwind of activity and it promises to be busy right until the clock strikes twelve on New Years!


It's not too late to get your John Gracie tickets!!!  Join the College of Piping Pipe Bands at Trinity United Church in Summerside on December 15th for an evening with John Gracie. This year John will be joined by his daughter, Samantha as he sings the classic Christmas carols and regales us with his own Christmas tales.  Tickets are $10.00 and are available from any College of Piping pipe band member or directly from the College (436-5377).  The concert starts at 7pm and is a fundraiser for the pipe bands.  It promises to put even the biggest Grinch in the holiday spirit!



The Christmas recital is just days away!  Are you ready for some stellar entertainment?! The recital is on Sunday, December 16th  at 2:00 pm at the Summerside Intermediate School cafeteria. Admission is free but the College of Piping is asking for your assistance in support of the Salvation Army Food Bank. Please bring along an item of food in lieu of an admission fee.  During the event there will be a silent auction in support of the College of Piping pipe bands. A goodwill offering/donation would be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of the College of Piping.  Performers are to use the South Entrance off Beaver Street, between Central and Summer Street.  There is parking off Beaver and around the East side.  Arrive by 1:30 in your uniform/costume!  Jane and our instructors will be there to let you know where to go.  Step dancers must wear socks over their shoes.  Students are encouraged to sit with their group until after their performance – if you are going to sit with your family; you need to keep a close eye on the schedule so you don’t miss your number!  If any parents are interested in volunteering to keep a section of performers together and on schedule, please contact Jane.  See you there!


If you still don't have a Christmas present for that family member who has everything, why not give them a ticket to the College of Piping 2013 Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala (and while you're at it, why not buy one for yourself as well!)?!  Tickets are $100.00 (with each ticket receiving a $75.00 tax receipt) and the event promises a fantastic bang for your buck!  Entertainment will be provided by College staff and the extremely talented students of the College of Piping.  The event will see the debut of the newly formed Grade 4 Pipe Band and it will also unveil the College of Piping Dance Company.  There will be the traditional three course roast beef dinner (along with the famous address to the haggis). You don't have a good enough reason not to come!!!   


Monday, December 10, 2012

Classes Cancelled Today



All classes in Charlottetown (step, highland, piping and drumming) and Summerside (drumming) have been cancelled for this afternoon and evening due to the inclement weather.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the College.  Thank you for your understanding!  Please stay safe and warm.  Winter is here!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The month of December has appeared and I hope that as the panic from the realisation that Christmas is less than three weeks away (wasn't June only last week?!) sets in that you take a moment to reflect on what a year it's been at the College.  There were many successes this year and they couldn't have happened without the support from parents, volunteers, visitors and students.  2012 is ending on some pretty big high notes:  the return of the College of Piping Dance Company, the addition of a third pipe band, a brand new Highland Storm and the many student achievements on and off the competition field.

Shakira Gallant (left), Brae Meyers (middle) and proud instructor, Kearsney Smith

The College Highland dancers have ended the year with a bang.  In only their third competition, Brae Meyers and Shakira Gallant were extremely successful at the Greater Moncton Scottish Association and Moncton Highland Games Christmas Celebration Competition.  Not to be outdone, Briana Pineau also had a fantastic day.  She not only had a great showing but she now advances to the novice class!  Brae, Shakira and Briana are members of the newly reformed College of Piping dance company.   For all the results and photos from the day, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  Well done girls!

Disclaimer:  Carly and Morgan are not in the above picture

If you are in the Summerside area this week, why not check out The Fandango Musical Players' production of 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Harbourfront Theatre.  It runs from now until December 8th.  If you look closely at the cast you will recognize two College of Piping students.  Carly MacKenzie is a teacup and a rug and Morgan Dehmel is a town's person and a plate.  Word on the street is that it's a production not to be missed and the Summerside theatre goers have been raving about it since its first show.  To find out more about the show, please follow this link to an article in the Journal Pioneer: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2012-11-15/article-3121458/Be-their-guest/1.


A reminder that the John Gracie concert is fast approaching!  Join the College of Piping Pipe Bands at Trinity United Church in Summerside on December 15th for an evening with John Gracie.  This year John will be joined by his daughter, Samantha as he sings the classic Christmas carols and regales us with his own Christmas tales.  Tickets are $10.00 and are available from any College of Piping pipe band member or directly from the College (436-5377).  The concert starts at 7pm and is a fundraiser for the pipe bands.  It promises to put even the biggest Grinch in the holiday spirit!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy St. Andrews Day!


Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Saint Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day.  It is the feast day of Saint Andrew and is celebrated on November 30th. Andrew was first recognised as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.  Did you know that Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Romania and Barbados?  His patronage extends to fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to be mothers. 

...and now to some fun Friday facts!!! 

  • Did you know that the Glencoe is used as a location in the new Bond film?
  • Did you know that Saint Andrews University is celebrating its 600th anniversary?
  • Did you know that Calvin Harris (the DJ, singer, songwriter and record producer) is from Dumfries, Scotland?!  His ideal tempo for making a dance club hit is 120 bpm...roughly the same tempo as a strathspey!
Have a great weekend!  Good luck to those College dancers who are making the trek to Moncton to compete this weekend!  Have fun and dance well!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

While modesty is a virtue and I'm sure that Miss Manners wouldn't approve, I am going to continue to boast about the achievements of our students.  November has been quite a successful month for the College's students and those who are affiliated with it.  2012 is certainly winding down on some very high notes!

Devin accepting his drumming student of the year award

Congratulations are in order for Devin Paynter.  Devin is one of our multi talented students. He is an accomplished snare drummer with our Grade 3 band (he was recently promoted to this grade this past fall), he competes in Grade 2 solos (he started the year in Grade 4 and upgraded at the end of the season and then was upgraded again!) and started out as the bass drummer for the Grade 5 band two years ago.  Phew!  Devin can now add piper to that already long list of accomplishments.  Last week Devin earned his bagpipes after starting chanter lessons in September.  Perhaps one summer we'll see him playing his pipes in one band and his drum in the other...I wouldn't rule it out with the eagerness and determination that Devin is showing!  Well done, Devin!

Carsen (on the left) competing at Antigonish

Congratulations are also in order to Carsen Campbell.  He is not only an accomplished piper but he is also a very successful biathlete.  Carsen was the well deserved winner of a $10,000 amateur athlete scholarship to put towards training.  Last year he took part in two world championships:  the world pipe band championships and the world junior biathlon championships.  There were only two recipients for this scholarship which were sponsored by Schick Xtreme Sport.  Fantastic job!  


This summer FISH TV filmed footage of our Highland Storm production and this weekend it will be airing on the following networks:  Global locally 10:30am Saturday and Global Toronto 11:30am Saturday.  Tune in to see our highly talented cast and crew at work!  If the television program snippets leave you wanting more, you can purchase your 2013 Highland Storm tickets NOW!!!  Right now you can purchase 2013 tickets at 2012 prices. Ticket prices will be increasing in the New Year. You don’t need to know the date you
will be attending this summer.  Just pick a date and you can exchange the tickets for the date you will need later in the year. Contact Jane Magee for tickets or if more information is needed at:  jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com or call her at 436- 5377. Tickets will also be on sale at the County Fair Mall on December 12 – 14 and 19 – 21.  Get your tickets now!!!








Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Congratulations!!!

It has been a very busy and successful month at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  Iain Speirs, College alumni, has won two of the biggest piping awards, Ryan MacNeil, our Highland Storm director, won Music Nova Scotia's Best Classical Recording along with his family, the Barra MacNeils and the College of Piping Dance Company is now back in action!  Phew!  But that's not all....

Congratulations to three of our extremely talented College students!  In Highland dancing, Briana Pineau took the high aggregate trophy on the weekend at the Kate Gaddes Memorial Competition in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  She competed in the beginner category.  Briana is not only a competitive dancer but she is also part of the College of Piping Dance Company.  Well done, Briana!  Sarah Simpson also had a successful weekend at the 17th Annual George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational in Hamilton, Ontario.  Sarah took third place in the piobiareachd.  Only ten of the top amateur players from North America were playing at the prestigious contest.  One of our beginning piping students competed for the first time and came first!  Danielle Norris took part in the bagpipelessons.com online competition and had a fabulous result for her first ever contest. For results from these competitions, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.

Briana and her mom, Ann at the October College Ceilidh

Sarah accepting her Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association awards

Danielle accepting her Doug and Debbie Hall Excellence Award

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported or participated in our last ceilidh of the 2012 season.  It was very much appreciated!  The next ceilidh will take place on January 11, 2013.  The ceilidhs were established to give all of our students a chance to perform and show off what they have learned in classes, either as individuals or in groups. You don't have to stick to your chosen discipline.  So far we've had singing, tin whistles, fiddles, a bodhran, guitars and even a tuba!  The proceeds from the ceilidhs go towards the College of Piping dancers (Step and Highland) and the pipe bands.  Come out, have a time and watch our students strut their stuff!

Sandra Bald Jones

Congratulations to Sandra Bald Jones who has been made an Honorary Member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD).  The College had the honour of Sandra teaching here for a couple of weeks while our Highland dancing instructor, Kearsney, was away last fall in South Africa.  Sandra was given this prestigious honour for her work in promoting Highland dance throughout the world.  It was a privilege to have Sandra teach at the College and we are extremely proud of her achievements!  

        

Friday, November 16, 2012

What time is it?!


It's ceilidh time!!!  Don't forget that tonight is that last ceilidh of 2012!  The next one won't be until January 11th, 2013.  It starts at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm) and it takes place in the main hall at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside.  There is a $5.00 admission charge but there are FREE snacks and non-alcoholic beverages being offered once inside!  Come out and have a time!!!


Join the College of Piping Pipe Bands at Trinity United Church in Summerside on December 15th for an evening with John Gracie.  This year John will be joined by his daughter, Samantha as he sings the classic Christmas carols and regales us with his own Christmas tales.  Tickets are $10.00 and are available from any College of Piping pipe band member or directly from the College (436-5377).  The concert starts at 7pm and is a fundraiser for the pipe bands.  It promises to put even the biggest Grinch in the holiday spirit!


Last night's 50/50 had a non-winner and the jackpot is growing!  Next week's jackpot is an estimated $3400.00!!!  Think of all the Christmas presents you could buy with that!  Don't forget to put your toonie in at participating locations each week.  It's not too late to sign up.  All you have to do is pick an available number, sign up and put your toonie in each week.  It's that simple!  Good luck!

On this gray Friday day, I will leave you with some fun Friday facts:


  • Did you know that the Ryder Cup will be held in Scotland in 2014?  It will be held at the famous Gleneagles course.  Watch this cool video about the announcement:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBnR8yRtsW8 
  • Did you know that the 2012 Giller prize winner, Will Ferguson, accepted his prize in a kilt at the swanky black tie affair.  The Giller prize is the largest paying literary award in Canada.  Will won with his book, 419.
  • Did you know that the title song in Disney's movie, Brave, is sung by Scottish singer, Julie Fowlis.  Julie also sings a Gaelic cover of the famed Beatle's song, Blackbird.  You can check that out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgTgledCjOI

And finally, your weekend chuckle:




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

During the busy summer months I look at the final months of the year and think that things will get back to a slower, gentler way of life.  Boy, have I been wrong!  The College has been teeming with activity.  Students coming and going for lessons, bands practicing and the dance company up and running.  It's been a hub of activity!  The past few months have flown by and before we know it, Christmas will be upon us.  There is only a little over a month until the recital...



Congratulations to Ryan MacNeil, our fabulous Highland Storm director!  Ryan and his family, the Barra MacNeils, have won Music Nova Scotia's Best Classical Recording award for their album, "The Barra MacNeils with Symphony Nova Scotia".  The picture below is that of the family and their prestigious award.  Well done!

The Barra MacNeils and their Music Nova Scotia Award 

Congratulations are also in order for College alumni Iain Speirs!  Iain had a fantastic weekend at the Scottish Piping Society of London Competition.  After winning the piobaireachd contest at the prestigious Glenfiddich Championship the weekend before, Iain took first prize in the Bratach Gorm (the piobaireachd contest) and second place in the William Gillies Memorial Challenge Cup (the march/strathspey/reel contest). The Bratach Gorm is considered to be one of the top five contests for a Highland piper. To say that the College is proud is an understatement!  Fantastic result!

Iain Speirs

This weekend our very own Sarah Simpson is headed to Hamilton, Ontario to compete at the 17th Annual George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational Competition.  Ten of the top amateur pipers in North America are competing at this contest. Sarah was the overall aggregate winner in Grade One solos (the top grade for amateurs) for the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association.  Good luck, Sarah!  

Sarah performing at a recent College ceilidh

Don't forget that there is a ceilidh this Friday night!  For only $5 you can enjoy singing, dancing, free food and non-alcoholic beverages, good tunes, jokes and more!  It starts at 7pm and will take place in the main hall at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside.  This is the last ceilidh of the 2012 season.  The ceilidhs will resume on January 11th, 2013.  These are a fundraiser for the College dancers and pipe bands.  Come out and have a time and support the College dancers and pipe bands at the same time!  It puts the fun in fundraising!!!




      

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Will Remember


This Sunday is Remembrance Day.  November 11th is a day of thought, reflection, gratitude, honour and remembrance.  We observe the day as a nation.  It is something that unites our country.  We hear of stories of soldiers from the past and of the present. We hear of the sacrifices of then and now.  We pause and we reflect.  Not all memories from those time periods are just from the veterans.  My own father grew up during World War Two in Leeds, England.  While he was born in Scotland, he moved to England as a young child. He remembers spending time in bomb shelters, he remembers classmates that were killed when they were bombed, he remembers the terror that his family felt.  He remembers a factory just north of where he lived that was bombed because it's where Churchill tanks were built.  He remembers the railway being bombed and the trains falling into the craters that were left behind.  I had never really talked to my dad about his wartime experiences until recently.  He remembers war time rations and to this day will not eat lamb in fear that it might taste like mutton.  While they are not experiences of time spent in trenches with bullets whizzing past, they are still valid.  I realised from my conversation with him how much the war had shaped him.  One lasting memory that he told me about has haunted me the most.  I'm not really sure why.  He told me that it seemed like every time the moon would shine, the Germans would bomb them.  I now look at the moon in a different light.

Please remember that on Monday, November 12th, the College of Piping will be closed and no classes will take place in Charlottetown or Summerside.  Classes will resume as normal on Tuesday, November 13th.


Congratulations are in order to Ryan MacNeil, our extremely talented Highland Storm director!  He along with his famously talented family, The Barra MacNeils, have been nominated for two awards during this week's Nova Scotia Music Week.  Everyone here at the College is super proud of you!  Congratulations and good luck!!!


Congratulations are also in order to the National Piping Centre of Glasgow, Scotland. They recently won the best employer in Scotland for venue/visitor attraction.  The Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band was extremely honoured to take part in the 2012 PipingLive! festival this past August which is put on and run by the National Piping Centre.  Well done to everyone at the National Piping Centre!


The Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association has a snazzy new website.  For those pipers and drummers who are looking for the latest news in the Atlantic Canada pipe band scene, this website is the one to check out.  Follow this link for everything pipe band, piping and drumming related in the east:  http://acpba.ca/.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Friday!



A bit of Friday food for thought:  Life is like a Highland fling.  It keeps you on your toes!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What a week!

What a magnificent start to November!  It feels more like a spring day then the start of a long Canadian winter.  I literally stopped and smelled the roses on the way in to work today because I could!  Not only has it been a great start to November but it's been a fantastic week for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts.  Read below to get the full scoop...


The College of Piping Dance Company dancers have been unveiled!  Congratulations to: Callie Campbell, Siobhan Doyle, Shakira Gallant, Alyssa Howes, Laura Johnston, Robert Larsen, Mikaila Murray, Brae Myers, Kara O'Halloran, Briana Pineau, Hayley Porter, Sherra Rogers, Mackenzie Stewart and Sophie Toole.  They will be joined by dancing instructors:  Kearsney Smith, Samantha MacKinnon, Shanae Rogers and Rebecca Dawson.  The dance company logo (seen above) was drawn and designed by our very own multi-talented Highland dance instructor, Kearsney Smith.  Well done to everyone for making the 2012/2013 dance company!  We look forward to your first public performance at our Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala on January 26th.  


The biggest piping contest in the world was held this past weekend and College alumni, Iain Speirs, emerged the overall winner with two seconds.  This was his first time winning this prestigious event.  The 2012 Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship took place at Blair Atholl Castle in Scotland and was live streamed for the very first time.  Only the best of the best are invited to play and an invitation is based on a competitor's track record from the past year.  Congratulations, Iain!  



Also this past Saturday was the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association awards ceilidh. The College was well represented.  The Grade 3 and 5 bands took the overall awards for their respective grades.  Our solo competitors had a fantastic year as well.  For the full list of results, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php. For photos of the champion supreme winners, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=509115962d0b1.



Our first ceilidh of the 2012/2013 season was held on October 19th.  It was a huge success by all accounts and a great time had by all.  Ryan Simpson did a fabulous job as emcee and kept the audience entertained between acts.  For photos of the ceilidh, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=509113a6d4307. The next ceilidh will be held on November 16th!  See you there!


The very first Summerside Storm basketball game is this Friday!  The College of Piping pipe bands are selling basketball tickets!  20 Summerside Storm Basketball tickets for $100.00!! That is only $5.00 a ticket. You can use these as season pass tickets or take several friends and family to several games. Individual tickets are priced at $10 each.  The choice is yours!  There are a limited number of tickets so you need to act soon. Come in to The College of Piping or call Jane at 436-5377.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's the time of year where the shine of the new school supplies and back to school clothes have worn off.  School sports have started and games have been lost and games have been won.  The cycle of a new school year has begun.  Our routines have now been established and the doldrums of an impending winter are already starting to make us tired. It's also the time of year where practising starts to wane.  We put off what we can do tomorrow.  Tomorrow comes and we put it off once again.  That becomes a regular non practice routine.  Think about how much easier lessons would be with a little practice! How much you would retain between each lesson.  For dancers and pipers, think about how much more stamina you would have at your lesson and how much more productive they would be.  The Christmas recital is fast approaching (yes, you did read that correctly) and you'll want to show off what you've learned thus far.  Don't stop practising!  Let the excitement of an audience inspire you!  Get practising!!!


If you know that you are going to miss your lesson, please have the courtesy to let your instructor know as soon as you do.  We realise that things come up at the last moment and you are not able to attend.  This also applies if you are in a band or part of the dance company.  Please either call/email your instructor directly or email/call our fabulous registrar, Jane Magee (jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com).  The College phone number is: 436 5377 and all instructor emails can be found on the College of Piping website (http://www.collegeofpiping.com/).  It's very much appreciated when we know in advance that you won't be attending your lesson.


The College of Piping pipe bands are selling basketball tickets!  20 Summerside Storm Basketball tickets for $100.00!! That is only $5.00 a ticket. You can use these as season pass tickets or take several friends and family to several games. Individual tickets are priced at $10 each.  The choice is yours!  There are a limited number of tickets so you need to act soon. Come in to The College of Piping or call Jane at 436-5377.


Check out the Journal Pioneer every other Thursday (starting today!) for the new Celtic Connection column.  Not to be confused with our monthly newsletter, the Celtic Connection in the Journal Pioneer will feature subject matter that won't show up in the newsletter or blog.  We're now everywhere! 




Thursday, October 18, 2012

They begin again...



What time is it?!  It's ceilidh time!  Our monthly ceilidhs are baaaaaaaaack.  This Friday, October 19th, marks the first one of the season.  The ceilidhs were created to provide a venue for every single student of The College to get a chance to perform and show off what they’ve learned in their classes, either as individuals or in groups.  The ceilidh starts at 7pm and there is a $5 admission charge.  There are FREE snacks and non-alcoholic beverages!  Last year we had Celtic ensembles, singing and even a tuba!  The ceilidhs take place in the main hall at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside.  Even if you only just started in September, you can still perform!  If you would like to perform, please contact Kearsney at kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com.  Here are the dates for this season’s ceilidhs:
  • October 19
  • November 16
  • January 11
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 10
Come out, have fun, meet everybody, be highly entertained and support the College of Piping dance company and the pipe bands at the same time!  See you there!









Friday, October 12, 2012

Day of the Girl

Yesterday, October 11th, was the first annual "Day of the Girl".  This international day has been established to highlight, celebrate, start discussions, and advance lives and opportunities for girls across the globe.  This got me thinking about the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts.  The College is a very unique place when it comes to girls.  Most of the student body is made up of females.  Our pipe corps in our three bands have a higher than normal female ratio.  Our dancing programs are predominantly girls.  Each of our drum corps boasts females in the ranks.  This past weekend, Sarah Simpson, was the only female piper competing at the prestigious amateur invitational contest, the Nichol Brown.  Every where you look at the College, there are very successful female students!

This then made me think about the staff at the College.  Our Executive Director, Karen Hatcher, is a strong female role model.  She has taken on an executive role in a mostly male dominated executive world.  The piping, drumming and pipe band world is a mostly male dominated world as well but Karen is a force to be reckoned within this mostly male society.  She is a senior piper in the 33rd Halifax Service Battalion Pipe Band and a very accomplished musician.  She has proven and been highly successful where traditionally woman are not expected to excel.  What an exceptional role model for all of the female students (and staff!) at the College.  You couldn't ask for someone better to look up to!

All of our highly talented Highland and Step dancing instructors are female.  Our accountant, receptionist and cleaning lady are all female!!!  The College is the perfect place for girls to attend.  Strong female leadership and workers are evident everywhere you look!  So while this may be a date late, please take the time to celebrate and appreciate the strong females (women or girls) in your life!  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's been almost a week since my last blog post and it's been busy, busy, busy around the College!  It seems that even though the extremely busy summer is now past, the fall is proving to be anything but quiet.

Congratulations to Sarah Simpson who competed this past weekend in Albany, New York at the Nichol Brown Amateur Invitational competition.  Only the top amateur players in North America are invited to compete at this prestigious competition.  While Sarah did not gain a prize, she did have the honour of being the only girl to compete.  Sarah is one of the top female amateur players in North America!  What an achievement!  Well done, Sarah!

Piping Instructor, Kylie MacHattie, had the honour of piping in the Grey Cup at Credit Union Place this past Tuesday morning.  The Grey Cup is making its way across the country as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.  College photographer extraordinaire, Susan Topping, was also on hand to capture the event.  Please see the photos below of Kylie and Susan with the Grey Cup!

Susan with the Grey Cup

Piping in the Grey Cup


Our monthly ceilidhs are back to keep us out of the doldrums during the colder months.  These ceilidhs were created to provide a venue for every single student of The College to get a chance to perform and show off what they’ve learned in their classes, either as individuals or in groups.  Even if you only just started in September, you can still perform!  If you would like to perform, please contact Kearsney at kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com.  Here are the dates for this season’s ceilidhs:

  • October 19
  • November 16
  • January 11
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 10
Come out and have fun, meet everybody, and be wildly entertained!


Mark your calendar!  John Gracie will be performing at Trinity United Church on Saturday, December 15th. Tickets are $10.00 and will be available soon from any of our College of Piping Pipe Band members.  This is a band fundraiser for the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  The concert will start at 7pm and promises to put you in the holiday spirit!  Watch this space and the newsletter for more information.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Happy turkey weekend!  Can you believe it's already Thanksgiving?!  This means that fall is definitely here and the long days of summer are well behind us.  Don't forget that there are no classes in Charlottetown or in Summerside on Monday, October 8th.  Classes resume as normal on Tuesday, October 9th.  If you eat too much turkey this weekend, why not sign up for our Highland dance open class!  This is a class that is designed for retired or recreational dancers to stay fit and have fun in a non-competitive atmosphere.  If you don't know how to dance, you're never too old!  Sign up for a Step or Highland class. The College accepts registrations year round.  Don't let too much stuffing bog you down...sign up and get fit!

Executive Director, Karen Hatcher and Sarah with the 2012 5th place 3B Worlds Trophy

The College is sending good luck vibes to Sarah Simpson this weekend.  Sarah is competing at the Nichol Brown invitational piping contest in Albany, New York.  Only the top amateur players in North America are invited to compete at this prestigious event. Have a fun and play well, Sarah!  You have quite the cheering section at the College!


Congratulations to our recent 50/50 Gold Rush winner, Juanita Boucher!  Juanita won the biggest jackpot so far!  She took home $2393.00 on last night's draw.  Not a bad return on a toonie!  It's never too late to sign up and it only costs two dollars!  Thank you to everyone for your continued support towards the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  It is very much appreciated!     


Very exciting news at the College!!!  All dancers age 9 and older are invited to join this year’s Dance Company! Chat to your instructors about what level you need to be at in order to be a part of this. Dancers will have the opportunity to learn a new repertoire of traditional and choreographed dances, improve presentation skills and technique, and learn to work and travel as part of a team.  In the interest of developing performance abilities and choreography experience, dancers will be working towards community-level performances, as well as competing in regional team competitions. For more information, get in touch with Kearsney or Samantha      

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Already?!

Happy October!  Where is time going?!  It's just flying by!  Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend and Halloween isn't too far behind.  Soon the Christmas tree will be trimmed and Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose!  A reminder that next Monday, October 8th, the College will be closed and classes will not be held in either Summerside or Charlottetown.  
As Juliet parted from Romeo on her balcony, she aptly said:  "parting is such sweet sorrow".  This past Friday we said goodbye to our good friend, Grant Campbell, as his work placement finished.  Grant has spent the summer working at the College.  He is the man behind the paint brush, hammer and other various tools for the polished, spiffy and much needed renovations.  Sam's office and Kearsney's dance studio have never looked better!  Grant has worked on the College before.  He was part of the team that helped renovate the College from a house into the building it is today.  Thank you for all of your hardwork, Grant.  We, students, parents, visitors and staff, appreciate it very much!   

This week the College of Piping Pipe Bands are selling Vesey's Bulbs!  This fall fundraiser comes at a perfect time!  Christmas is just around the corner and who doesn't love to garden?!  You could even purchase them in bulk and put them away for a loved one on Valentine's Day!  Please see a member of any of the three pipe bands to get your order in!

The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts was featured in the Maritimes Cultureville which aired on the CBC.  While Summerside was not named Cultureville 2012, the College did feature in the segment!  To find out who did win the title of Cultureville 2012, please follow this link:  http://www.cbc.ca/maritimes/cultureville/#igImgId_49616.  

Become a College Student over Skype!  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada is now offering piping lessons over Skype!  Particularly in the United States, many pipers are frustrated and held back by lack of access to quality instruction due to their location.  A high speed internet connection and a free Skype account is all you need to access instruction from The College!  We can customize a package to suit your requirements. For details, rates and availability, please contact Director of Education James MacHattie at james.machattie@collegeofpiping.com.  


Celtic Life has posted an interview with the 2012 Adult World Highland Dance Champion, Marielle Lesperance, a Canadian dancer.  For all you aspiring Highland dance world champions, this is a great read!  To read about Marielle and her big win, follow this link: http://www.celticlifeintl.com/the-dancer-2/.   

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reminder!

Happy Friday!  It's a wet and drizzly Friday but a Friday no less!  Today also marks the first day of fall.  That's right...the days are getting shorter and the dog days of summer are most certainly gone.  Leaves turning, cooler temperatures and the season of gourds is no reason for despair.  At the College of Piping we rejoice in the return of classes.  Students old and new passing through the doors, the start of new friendships and expanding the mind in learning a Celtic art.  This is the best time of year!

A reminder that four of your beloved highland, piping and drumming instructors (Kearsney, James, Kylie and Chris) will be away until Wednesday evening of next week (September 24th-26th).  Classes are still on in Charlottetown (September 24th) but Tuesday (September 25th) and Wednesday (September 26th) classes in Summerside are cancelled. Please check with your instructor about make up sessions for those missed lessons.  Classes will resume as normal on Thursday, September 27th.  If you are in the Grade 5 band, the pipe corps is still practising on Tuesday night but drum corps practice has been cancelled for that evening.  Grade 4 band practice on Wednesday will still go ahead as scheduled (both corps).  Thank you in advance for your cooperation regarding lessons and band practices!  Happy practising!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fit as a...

Did you know that in a report released earlier this year (March 2012) by PEI's chief public-health officer, it found that "more Islanders are more likely to be obese than Canadian counterparts."  58 percent of Islanders are classified as overweight or obese compared to the rest of Canada which weighs in at a leaner 52 percent.  The report found that Islanders are more likely to be less physically active than other Canadians and have poorer eating habits.  It also shows that Islanders have higher instances of not just obesity but asthma, diabetes and cancer than the rest of the country.

What does this have to do with the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada?  We can help!  Did you know that a six step fling is the equivalent to running a mile?  If that doesn't have your heart racing, did you know that a dancer jumps vertically 192 times while dancing that six step fling?  I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it!  If a dancer is jumping that many times during the fling, I wouldn't want to count the number of times a Step dancer click their heels and toes in any of their dances!

Did you know that a snare drum weighs anywhere from 16 to 20 pounds?  Imagine carrying that in a long parade with hills!  Did you know that the Highland bagpipe is one of the most physical instruments to play?  Did you know that you have to keep four reeds going in the bagpipes...at once?!  All four of our core disciplines are not only physically demanding but mentally as well (which is good to help stave off Alzheimer's disease!).  Did you know that all of the piping and drumming music is memorized?  Dancers (Highland and Step) have to have their steps memorized?

Did you know that the Highland dancing program at the College offers an open class?  This class is designed for retired or recreational dancers to stay fit and have some fun in a non competitive atmosphere.  Did you know that the College offers a fitness class?  This is a targeted fitness and exercise class designed to improve conditioning for both Highland and Step dancers.  The College piping and drumming courses are offered to anyone who wants to learn how to play regardless of age.  Once you're on your chosen instrument, come and sweat it out at band practice once a week!

While the College may not seem as conventional as a gym or fitness institution, it offers a lot of courses to promote good health.  It's a fun and relaxing atmosphere.  What better way to stay in shape than showing off your new moves or technique at a ceilidh (watch this blog for the upcoming 2012-2013 ceilidh dates)!  We accept registrations all year round.  Call or email our wonderful registrar, Jane Magee, NOW!!!




Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Friday!

Congratulations on the completion of the first week of classes at the College!  The College has been bustling this week with new and returning students.  All of the instructors look forward to getting to know the new students and recognizing the returning students since so many have had growth spurts over the summer months!  There is still time and space to register for the 2012-2013 year.  Please call or email our fabulous Registrar, Jane Magee, and she will happily assist you.  Her email address is:  jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com and the phone number to reach her is:  902-436-5377.  Sign up today and start your journey in the Celtic performing arts!

This weekend don't miss Kendra MacGillivray and Bruce Rainnie with special guest Kevin "Boomer" Gallant.  They'll be performing on September 15th at Harbourfront Theatre.  The show starts at 7:30pm.  It promises to be an evening of award winning East Coast and Celtic fiddle, engaging stories and songs, and sidesplitting comedy by three of the Island's favourite personalities.  Tickets are $21.00.  Here is a sneak peek of Boomer's attire for the show (you may recognize Boomer's kilt as the kilt and his accoutrements (including pipes) are provided courtesy of the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts): 




Don't fret!  Boomer has since been told that he put on his kilt backwards.  This is how not to wear a kilt!  Not to worry, I promise that it will be put the right way on for the show tomorrow evening!  



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome Back!


It's halfway through the first week of classes and what a week it's been!  New students beginning their journey in their chosen disciplines and returning students ready to face the challenges of a new year.  Exciting times here at the College!  There is still time and space to sign up for classes.  If you are interested in piping and drumming, you might be eligible for the Hall  Scholarship.  Call the College now and find out!  Sign up by calling 902-436-5377 and our fabulous registrar, Jane Magee, will assist you.  Don't miss out on an opportunity to learn a new skill in the Celtic performing arts!

A few years ago an audience member took a video of the act "Duelling Pipers" from Highland Storm and posted it on YouTube.  It has become an internet sensation!  Duelling Pipers now has over a million hits!  Too say it's amazing is an understatement!  Follow this link to check it out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amNF_F6oeRU.

Thank you to all the countless volunteers who have helped at the College this summer (and throughout the year!).  The Highland Gathering, Highland Storm, various fundraisers and countless other tasks would not get done without your help.  As Winston Churchill once aptly put it, "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."