Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Snow Day!

Hunker down!  It's official!  It's a snow day here at the College!  All classes and Grade 5 band practice have been cancelled for today and tonight.  Please stay at home, stay warm and stay safe!  Classes will resume as scheduled on Wednesday, February 29th.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the College.  If you were scheduled to pick up your meat order tonight, please hang tight as we will have details soon regarding an alternative pick up day.  Just under three weeks until spring...not that we're counting down...!   

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bits and Bobs

Phew...February has quickly come and is almost gone.  For once the shortest month actually feels short!  Is it me or does the College seem busier than ever?!  I thought the summer was the busiest time here but I'm beginning to think that winter is just as or even more.  Below are some very important must save the dates.  Put them in your calendar now because time flies when you're having fun!

On Friday, February 24, a ceilidh is being held at the College.  A milling frolic will be held and it will be lead by Rob MacDonald.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the ceilidh will start at 7pm.  There will be a $5 admission to the event but free refreshments will be provided.  At the end of the scheduled entertainment there will be an open mic session for anyone who was inspired by the night's entertainment and wants to get up and perform themselves!  Come and have a toe tapping good time!

The College of Piping Pipe Bands are holding not one but TWO whiskey tastings!  If you are over 19 and like to indulge in a dram now and then, this event is for you!  On March 2nd a tasting will be held at the College of Piping in Summerside and on Saturday, March 3rd, a tasting will be held at the brand new Holman Grand Hotel.  Both events will start at 7pm.  The events will be hosted by Frank Scott.  Frank co-owns and manages the Lunar Rogue Pub in Fredericton, New Brunswick which received "one of the best whiskey bars in the world" awards from The Whiskey Magazine, a UK publication.  His knowledge is second to none as he is chair of Canada's oldest Whiskey, Spirits and Liqueur Festival for the past 16 years.  This man knows his whiskey!  Tickets are limited and a steal at only $50 each.  The tasting also includes pairing food that compliments the whiskey.  Please call the College at 436-5377 to reserve your ticket!

Summer seems so very far off but it's never too early to start thinking about the Summerside Highland Gathering!  On Friday, June 22nd, the Barra MacNeils will be performing at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  Live in our amphitheatre!  What a way to kick off the start of the Gathering!  For more details, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/macneils.php.  

A reminder that the Highland, Step and choreography workshop is taking place on March 4th.  The instructor is Kelly MacArthur and it includes lunch, craft and a t-shirt.  The cost is $25 or $40 for both (there is no charge for College of Piping students).  If you would like to register for the workshop or if you have any questions, please contact Kearsney Smith at:  kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com.      

Congratulations to the newest 50/50 winner!  Joan Blacquiere was the latest winner and she took home a cash prize of $231.00!  Not a bad for just a toonie!  If you haven't signed up for the 50/50 "Gold Rush" style draw, there is still time!  The draw takes place every Thursday.  You can enter as many times as you like (with a new number) to increase your chances of winning!  For a toonie you can enter at any of these participating locations:  

  • College of Piping, Summerside
  • Samuels Coffee Shop, Summerside
  • Gateway Petroleum Esso, Borden-Carleton
  • Gass's Store, New Haven
  • Book Mark, Confederation Court Mall (Charlottetown)
  • Beanz Coffee Shop, Charlottetown
  • Gallant Clover Farm Store, Rustico
  • Kensington Food Basket, Kensington
   Good luck to all who enter and thank you for supporting the College of Piping Pipe Bands!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be Ours!

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!  While Valentine's Day isn't a holiday, it is nice to show appreciation to the loved ones in your life.  Yesterday at the College, the staff was treated to a fantastic lunch hosted by Elaine and Jane.  It was nice to get together and eat a meal and have some laughs with the people that you appreciate and respect and most importantly, like.  With the end of winter and early spring shaping up to be busy, busy, busy at the College, it was nice to take an hour and relax!

Speaking of Jane, you may have noticed that you are now getting emails from a Jane Magee.  No, we haven't replaced Jane Dunn with a new Jane!  Jane has changed her name back to her maiden name of Magee.  Please don't fret, Jane is still here!

This past weekend, our Highland and Step dancers and our two pipe bands had the privilege of being involved with the Hockey Day in Canada.  The dancers performed during the day and the pipe bands played in the evening on the ice for Don Cherry and Ron MacLean.  For youtube footage, follow this link (you'll note our very own and very talented Hayley Porter entering Credit Union Place in the clip!):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SWi9yWP1mDk.  For photos of the day, follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4f3918b833e92.  Thank you to Susan Topping, the College's extremely fabulous photographer, for braving the elements!


Mark your calendars!!! HIGHLAND STORM Highland Dance auditions will be taking place on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am with Kearsney Smith and Karen Hatcher.  Auditions will take place in the Main Hall at The College of Piping, 619 Water Street East, Summerside.  A sign up sheet and registration form will be available upon arrival.  Casting Priority will be given to students registered at The College of Piping

Highland Storm will be running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, opening on July 3, 2012 through to Thursday, July 26, 2012.  There will be no shows July 31, August 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 or 14.  The show will resume on Wednesday, August 15th and will run through to Thursday, August 30, 2012 (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday).  If selected for Highland Storm – all rehearsals are mandatory

The following is the preliminary rehearsal schedule for June (subject to change as required):
Monday, June 18 – Thursday, June 21 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Summerside Highland Gathering takes place June 22, 23 & 24
Monday, June 25 – Thursday, June 28  3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday, June 29 – Afternoon Rehearsal – Evening Dress Rehearsal
Saturday, June 30 – Afternoon Rehearsal – Evening Dress Rehearsal
Sunday, July 1st – Day Off
Monday, July 2 – Afternoon Rehearsal – Show Preview 7:30 pm
Tuesday, July 3 – Afternoon Rehearsal - Opening Night

Selection criteria for Highland Storm Highland Dancers:

  • Age: Must be 13 / 14 or older this year
  • Dancer must be of Intermediate / Premier standard. This standard must be maintained throughout the membership.
  • Dancer must be available for rehearsals where the entire cast is included.
  • Dancer must be able to endure copious amounts of dancing. 

Speaking of dancing, a reminder that the registration deadline is approaching for the March 4th Highland, Step and choreography workshop.  Please register by February 17th to ensure that you get the proper size t-shirt!  The workshop instructor will be Kelly MacArthur from MacArthur's Dance Studio in Cape Breton.  Dancers that are currently taking classes in both disciplines can sign up for both Step and Highland.  The cost is $25.00 or $40.00 for both (note:  there is no charge for College of Piping students).  For any questions about the workshop, please contact Highland Dancing instructor, Kearsney Smith at:  kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com.  Sign up now!  It promises to be a great day of dancing!

Congratulations to all the College of Piping pipers who took part in the first of three Halifax Citadel Mini Meets.  Six pipers braved an early morning start on February 4th.  It was an excellent day for the College students.  It was a day of firsts for all of them.  Four were competing for the first time in a new grade.  One was competing for the very first time on pipes and one placed first in their competition!  Well done to all!  For complete results of the competition, follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  

For all you pipers that have subscriptions to the online magazine, pipes|drums, our own piping instructor, Kylie MacHattie, has a book review published.  To check it out, follow this link:  http://www.pipesdrums.com/Default.aspx?sys-Portal=57.  If anyone wants to read the book, please see Kylie and she will kindly lend it to you!

Phew!  It's been a long post but just bear with me for one more bit of news!  Over the weekend the two College Pipe Bands took part in the Jack Frost Festival.  This was a fundraiser for both bands.  Usually pipe bands entertain by using their musical talents but for this fundraiser, the bands donned furry costumes to entertain the many children who came out to the festival.  It was a great weekend filled with much laughter and one that won't soon be forgotten!  For evidence of this weekend, follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4f3bc7a23ced0.  See if you can figure out which furry critters are your piping and drumming instructors!

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Busy, Busy, Busy!

    February is one of those months where it's the shortest month but has the ability to feel like the longest month of the year.  With the leap year this year, it means that the shortest longest month has become one day longer.  This year, that's a good thing!  The month of February is an extremely busy one at the College.  There is lots going on and as Martha Stewart would say, "that's a very good thing!"

    The Grade Three and Five College Pipe Bands have launched another fundraiser!  It is a 50/50 "Gold Rush" style draw.  The draw takes place every Thursday.  You can enter as many times as you like (with a new number) to increase your chances of winning!  For a toonie you can enter at any of these participating locations:  

    • College of Piping, Summerside
    • Samuels Coffee Shop, Summerside
    • Gateway Petroleum Esso, Borden-Carleton
    • Gass's Store, New Haven
    • Book Mark, Confederation Court Mall (Charlottetown)
    • Beanz Coffee Shop, Charlottetown
    • Gallant Clover Farm Store, Rustico
    • Kensington Food Basket, Kensington
    Congratulations to the very first winner, Brenda Boudreau!  Brenda took home $160.00 at the February 2nd inaugural draw!  Not a bad return on a toonie!  Enter now for your chance to win!!!

    Sorry vegetarians but the College Pipe Bands are also currently selling meat!  This fundraiser has been generously sponsored by the Summerside Butcher Shop.  Stock up now for the summer on 5lbs of store made hamburger patties (100% island beef) for $20; 2kg of chicken burgers (white meat) for $15; 3kg IQF boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $25 and that's not all!!!  Check with any Grade 3 or 5 member for more great deals! Orders are due the week of February 13th and the meat will be delivered during the week of February 28th.  Don't miss out on these fantastic prices!

    Our condolences go to Sandy Keith's family on his recent passing.  Sandy was a long time supporter of the College.  He judged many times at the Summerside Highland Gathering over the years.  Sandy was a popular piper, teacher and leader from Dunedin, Florida (although he was originally from Paisley, Scotland).  He will be greatly missed on the piping, drumming and pipe band scene.  Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

    Congratulations are in order to Carsen Campbell.  Carsen has qualified for the World Youth Junior Biathlon Championships being held in Kontiolahti, Finland later this month (February 15-28).  He qualified for this event in Quebec City at the Youth Biathlon Selection trials (he earned a second and two thirds).  He is the only member of the team that is not training in Canmore, Alberta.  He is staying on the island to train for this big event.  Carsen was recently featured on the CBC news show Compass.  Follow this link, to learn more:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/02/07/pei-biathlon-bagpiping-championships-584.html?cmp=rss.  Well done, Carsen!  We're super proud of you!

    Congratulations are also in order for Morgana Lockhart!  Morgana is the latest chanter student to earn her bagpipes!  She successfully passed her four tune "audition" last Tuesday with flying colours.  Morgana has worked extremely hard this past year and has improved leaps and bounds.  Awesome job, Morgana!

    Phew!  That's just a sample of what has been happening lately at the College!  Stay tuned to the blog as it promises to be a very busy month.  But not too busy to practice...

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Step Classes Cancelled! Please Read!

    All Step Dancing classes in Summerside AND Cornwall have been cancelled due to weather.  Highland Dancing, Piping and Drumming classes will still go ahead in Summerside.  Please take care in the snow.  If you don't feel comfortable driving in the snow, please stay at home.  Please remember to call or email your instructor to let them know that you will not be coming to your class (all email and phone numbers are available on the website).  Stay warm and stay safe!  It's only 47 days until spring!