Monday, January 30, 2012

Dancing and Pipe Band Happenings

It's that time of year where fundraising committees and various disciplines are planning upcoming events for the last of the winter months and upcoming spring ones.  It's hard to believe that it's already the end of January.  Time is marching on at a very rapid pace and the calendar is quickly filling up!

Save the date!  On February 5th there will be a Dance Out at Andrew's Lodge at 2pm for all Step and Highland dancers.  Dancers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate.  Please let your instructor know if you are available to attend.  Outfits will be supplied to dancers that do not have their own.  

Save this date as well!  On March 4th at the College, there will be a dance workshop in Highland dance, Step dance and choreography.  The workshop instructor will be Kelly MacArthur  from MacArthur's Dance Studio in Cape Breton.  The workshop will include a craft, lunch and a t-shirt.  Dancers that are currently taking classes in both disciplines can register for both workshops.  Dancers should also check with their instructors about what class level they should register for.  Sounds like it will be a time!

 John Deere raffle tickets are still available to purchase! Tickets can be purchased from any dancer (Step and Highland) or from the registration desk at the College.  Enter for your chance to win a John Deere D130 Lawn Tractor with a 22 HP engine, hydrostatic drive and 42" mower deck.  It practically cuts the lawn by itself!  Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25.  Proceeds from this raffle go to the College of Piping Dancer's Fund and it kindly sponsored by Green Diamond Equipment.

We have a celebrity in our midst at the College!  Jordan Chowen was recently featured in the Eastern Graphic for his piping, dancing and fiddling talents!  To read all about Jordan and his achievements from this past year, follow this link:  Well done, Jordan!

Congratulations to Carsen Campbell.  Carsen has been competing in the North American Cup Biathlon Event in Fort Kent, Maine.  He won gold in the youth men's 7.5 km sprint.  He hit 8 out 10 targets and had a skiing time of just over 28 minutes.  Not only is Carsen a talented band and solo piper but he is also very prominent on the youth biathlon scene.  Fantastic job, Carsen!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ceilidh is Cancelled

Unfortunately due to mother nature, the ceilidh that was planned for tonight has been postponed.  Watch for details on our upcoming ceilidh in February.  We hope to see you there!  In the meantime, please stay safe and drive carefully if you happen to be out and about!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

College Happenings

With temperatures above the zero degree mark, it's hard to believe that it's the end of January.  Melting snow and rain showers conjure up images of spring rather than winter.  Fingers crossed that the snow storms stay at bay and classes will remain uninterrupted for the rest of the winter!  It's the hard work that's done in the winter months that is the most beneficial when it comes to the competition season (if you chose to compete) in the summer.  While the warmer weather now may be tempting to put off the practicing, remember that summer is just around the corner (well, a couple of corners...!).

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out and supported the College at our first annual Robbie Burns Gala this past weekend. By all accounts it was a huge success and the feedback has been very positive.  If anyone has any comments or suggestions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact the College.  Save the date of January 26, 2013 for the second annual Robbie Burns Gala!  Another huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported the College of Piping Pipe Bands with their silent and live auctions at the gala.  Your continued support of the College and their Pipe Bands is very much appreciated.  We couldn't do it without you!

Clear the date!  On January 27th, the College is proud to present a ceilidh!!!  What is a ceilidh?!  It's a party featuring music, song and dance.  We are even offering a milling frolic at the ceilidh!  What is a milling frolic?!  It's when individuals sit around a table and knead a circular piece of cloth while singing a traditional Gaelic song.  If you don't know how to milling frolic, no need to worry!  We'll show you how!  Admission to the ceilidh is $5 and it will take place in the main hall at the College.  There will also be free snacks!  The doors will open at 6:30pm.

Congratulations are in order to Nigel Waite and Carly MacKenzie!  Nigel and Carly earned their bagpipes this past week.  Both of them passed their four tune audition with flying colours!  Nigel and Carly are some of the College's multi-discipline students.  Nigel is not only a snare drummer with the College of Piping Grade Five Band but he is now on the road to becoming a Highland piper.  Carly is also a successful Highland Dancer with the College and is now on her way to a career in piping.  Well done Nigel and Carly!!!

Nigel with the Grade Five Drum Corps in Antigonish (second from the left)

Carly (on the left) and Kate Ross (on the right) practising their chanters!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala

Robert Burns is probably the most famous of Scottish bards.  He was not only admired for his prose and love songs but for his gregarious character as well.  He rose to fame as a poet at the young age of 27 and his love of a malt beverage, women and song made him famous in all of Scotland.  He is regarded as Scotland's national poet and he is celebrated worldwide.  He is also regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement.  Burns tragically died at the young age of 37 (the last of Burns' children was actually born during his funeral service).  His influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.  His own literature is still as popular today as it was during his lifetime.

Robbie Burns Night is usually celebrated on or around January 25 (his day of birth).  This is a night dedicated to all things Robbie Burns.  It is a night to remember a Scottish character who had a great influence in the Scottish literary world.  There is a traditional roast beef supper and a toast to the haggis with a dram of whiskey.  The evening traditionally ends with a "rousing rendition" of Auld Lang Syne!   

On January 21, 2012, the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada will hold our very first Robbie Burns Gala Fundraising Event.  Tickets are $100 (with a $75 charitable donation receipt) and can be purchased from the College.  The reception is at 6:30pm with a traditional roast beef supper at 7pm.  There will be fabulous live entertainment courtesy of the exceptionally talented faculty and students of the College.  Do not miss out on a fantastic fundraiser for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  It's going to be a time!

There will also be a live AND silent auction at the gala!  All proceeds from this auction will go towards the College of Piping Grade 3 and 5 Pipe Bands.  You will be able to bid on artwork by renowned artists such as Joan Savage and Maurice Bernard.  You can bid on a Green Gables Golf Package and a night at the Inn at the Pier in Stanley Bridge (two hours kayaking included).  There will be a signed official Olympic poster by Summerside's own Heather Moyse.  There will even be two gift certificates for Kohler Windows!!!  

Dion Phaneuf, the Toronto Maple Leaf's Captain, has also generously donated two tickets for the sold out game between the Leafs and the Rangers on March 24, 2012.  An original six match up!  This package also includes a signed hockey stick, a photo of Dion and a meet and greet with the superstar after the game!  Don't miss out on this fabulous package!!!  A once in a lifetime opportunity to mingle with a hockey star!

How much better could a Saturday night get?!  A night spent celebrating Robbie Burns and supporting the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada at the same time.  If you bring your cheque book (or major credit card!!!), you can be twice as generous and support the College of Piping Pipe Bands and bid in the auctions on some amazing items.  This is a night not to be missed!  As Robbie Burns once wrote:

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

So take your cup of kindness and come to Credit Union Place and come and celebrate at our first annual Robbie Burns Gala!  It's going to be a night to remember!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Robbie Burns Gala

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts will be holding its first annual Robbie Burns Gala.  A reception will be held at 6:30pm and a traditional roast beef dinner will follow at 7pm.  Entertainment will be provided by the talented students and faculty of the College.  Tickets are $100.00 per person with a $75.00 tax receipt.  A complimentary shuttle service from Charlottetown to Summerside (and return!) will be provided.  It will leave by the Wal-Mart by Pay Less Shoes at 5:30pm on the 21st.

This event is a fundraiser for the College.  Do not miss out on this fantastic evening!   It will be a night of great food, top notch entertainment and fabulous people!  Events like this enable the College to provide educational programs in the Celtic Arts.  Students come to the College to learn and grow in their chosen disciplines and carry on the Celtic traditions.  The College is the only year round facility in North America to provide such programming.  Come, support the College and have an amazing evening while you're at it!!!

If the lure of an evening spent soaking up all things Robbie Burns still isn't enough, then come for the auction as well (note:  you must purchase a Burns Gala ticket to bid on the silent and live auction items)!  The College of Piping Pipe Bands are holding a silent and live auction at the Burns gala.  Some of the items up for grabs are golf packages, art and Toronto Maple Leaf  tickets!!!  That's tickets!  Come and bid in a live auction for an original six match up.  The captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dion Phaneuf, has kindly donated two tickets to a game on March 24th against the New York Rangers.  Along with the tickets comes a signed hockey stick and picture of the Leafs captain.  The live auction will take place after the main course but before dessert.  The silent auction will close at the the end of the live auction.  Don't miss out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Hogmanay!!!

On behalf of the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts, I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year.  We hope that everyone had a very relaxing holiday.  Instructors are hoping that some practising was done to shake off the turkey and tinsel.  Classes and band start back up this week.  I hope you're as excited as we are!!!  

Did you know that the most commonly sung song on New Year's Eve is Auld Lang Syne (for English speakers)?  Did you also know that the song literally translates to "old long since" and also means "times gone by."  It has also been noted that Auld Lang Syne is one of the most popular songs that no one knows the lyrics to!  Poor Robert Burns!

Before the festivities of Christmas and New Years, the College held our annual Christmas recital.  By all accounts, it was seen as a huge success!  Thank you to all the instructors and volunteers for your time and efforts for helping this event run smoothly and on time!  Congratulations to the MacLean family!  They were the winners of the volunteer of the year award.  This award goes to an individual (or family in this case!) who goes above and beyond the duties of a volunteer.  The MacLean family has certainly done that and more!  They are certainly an inspiration! 

Susan Topping, the College's unofficial official photographer, was there to capture the action.  Below are a snippet of some of the awesome photographs that were taken.  To see the rest, follow this link:  Thank you Susan, for your stellar photography skills!

Karen Hatcher, our fabulous Executive Director (and her Grade Five Pipe Band d├ębut!)

The MacLean Family

Highland Dancing Students

Step Dancers in action!

Step Instructor, Rebecca Dawson, trying her hand, er feet, at the Fling!

A wee Highland Dancer

Wee Step Dancers

All together now!