Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't be late or miss out!

As the last days of May pass, June is looking to be busy, busy, busy!  There are some very important dates in the month of June.  The Highland Gathering, the year end recital, gearing up for Highland Storm and pipe band and dancing fundraisers.  As the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland sang, "I'm late!  I'm late!  For a very important date.  No time to say "Hello, Goodbye".  I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"  Circle the following dates on your calendar so you don't miss out or be late like the White Rabbit!

Volunteers are needed on June 2nd to finish getting the field ready for the Highland Gathering.  Check out the pipe band yard sale and then come help out back!  The following tasks need to be completed:  putting the half shell up in the back field, tying down the walls in the amphitheatre, putting the back panel on the amphitheatre, putting all the seats in place in the amphitheatre (after the completion of the yard sale), LOTS of whipper snipping in the back field (please bring gloves and equipment if you have them), installing the rest of the boards on the bleachers and over all tidying up in the back field. Please let Jane or Lacey know if you plan on coming.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated!

Also on June 2nd, the College Pipe Bands are having a yard sale.  The sale starts at 7am. Stop by and browse for fantastic deals and listen to the Grade 3 band as they gear up for their big trip to Scotland in August to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships. The practice starts at 10am.  All proceeds from the yard sale will go to the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  If you can't make it out to the sale but have items that have been cluttering up your basement, we will gladly accept them! 

There is a volunteer orientation on June 6th for all potential Highland Gathering and Highland Storm volunteers. It is at 6:30pm and will be held in the main hall at the College of Piping in Summerside.  You will also be able to pick up your very coveted volunteer t-shirt.  The Highland Gathering and Highland Storm wouldn't be the successes that they are without your support!  

On June 10th, the College of Piping Pipe Bands are holding a "Run to Scotland" running race.  It will be comprised of a 5km and a 10km race.  The 5km race will take place on the Confederation Trail and is walker friendly.  The 10km will take place on the streets and trails of Summerside.  Tickets to Highland Storm and the Summerside Highland Gathering go to the top three finishers (male and female).  Registration on the day of the race starts at 5pm and the race starts at 6pm.  Registration is now open at the College of Piping. Come and support a great cause and enjoy a great race while you're at it!

The end of year recital will take place on June 17th.  It will commence at 2pm at the College of Piping amphitheatre in Summerside.  Come and watch the talented students of the College of Piping as we celebrate the past year of hard work.  Awards will be handed out and the John Deere winning raffle ticket will be drawn.  Do not miss out on a fantastic afternoon of entertainment!

As mentioned above, the John Deere lawn tractor raffle will come to a close on June 17th.  There are still tickets to be had!  If you need a inspection of the lawn tractor before you buy a ticket, it is currently being displayed at  the College of Piping.  You can even come and sit on it to see how it feels!  Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25.  To purchase one, please see any College of Piping dancer or dancing instructor.  Tickets can also be purchased at the College of Piping registration desk.    

I will leave you now with some great advice from the Doorknob from Alice in Wonderland, "Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction."  Now that you have read these dates for the month of June, put them on the calendar so you don't miss any great opportunities or events being offered by the College of Piping!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

As the teaching year here winds down, the summer season is revving up and will quickly be upon us.  The Highland Gathering is only 30 days away and the start of Highland Storm is soon after that on July 3rd.  It's just over two months away until the Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band makes the trek across "the pond" to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.  The last week of classes is the week of June 11th but the way summer is quickly filling up, classes will be resuming in no time!

Have you limbered up for the last ceilidh of the season?!  Circle the date of June 1st on your calendar.  The festivities start at 7pm with doors opening at 6:30pm.  There is a $5 admission fee but once inside the main hall, there is FREE food and drink!  Come, listen and see some home grown island talent!  Proceeds from the ceilidhs go towards the College of Piping dancers and pipe bands.  The College ceilidhs will resume in the fall session.  Please watch this space for those dates!

Are you ready for the dance party on Friday, May 25th?  The party is open to all College dancers (Step and Highland) and it will be held from 4-6pm at the College of Piping in Summerside.  There will be hot dogs and refreshments, games, contests, prizes, complimentary gifts and lots of other fun stuff!  Come and celebrate your hard work throughout the year with a party!

The Dance Parent Committee is sponsoring all the College of Piping dancers for one competition entry at the Summerside Highland Games (June 22-24th).  For Step dancers, it is either a solo entry or their part of a group entry fee.  For Highland dancers, it is a solo entry fee at the Sunday competition.  When filling out the entry form, simply write sponsorship in the chosen entry and fill out the remainder of the form accordingly and pay any remaining costs.  Dancing instructors are encouraging all dancers considering competing for the first time to discuss competition readiness with them.  For dancers that require outfits for competing, they will be available through your instructor.  If parents or dancers have any questions about the sponsorship, please talk to your instructor for more information.

A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported the College of Piping Pipe Bands and their May long weekend BBQ blitz at Sobeys and Callbeck's.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And so it begins!

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying that, "all great achievements require time."  I would have to take that quote one step further and add practice (when applied to the College of Piping disciplines!).  The competition season for Highland dancing, piping, drumming and pipe bands is only one month away.  Our own Summerside Gathering is only 37 days away.  The winter months have seemed cold and endless but now that the warmer temperatures are here, the countdown to the summer competition season has started. The summer showcases the hard work that has been put in over the winter.  The improvement from week to week.  Learning new tunes, steps and learning how to play or dance in a group.  The summer is a stage for the long hours of practising put in over the long dreary island winter.  But remember, the greatest achievement of all is not about the prizes but the satisfaction from putting out a performance that you're happy with.  Happy competing!

Savannah at the latest ceilidh on the left and Alyson MacLean on the right

Someone that has worked really hard and earned their pipes in a very short amount of time is Savannah Walker!  Savannah started in the middle of January of this year and hasn't looked back!  She passed her four tune requirement with flying colours.  Savannah is also a talented step dancer with the College and she can now add great Highland bagpiper to her list of talents!  Congratulations, Savannah!

Jordan's trophy from the BATD's

Jordan Chowen had a very successful weekend at the BATD Festival of Dance on May 5th.  Jordan is not only a talented piper with the College Grade 5 Pipe Band but he is also a fantastic step dancer as well.  He placed first in his category of Open Solo-16 years. He then qualified to dance in the Rose Bowl.  Well done, Jordan!

Carly on the left and Kate on the right

The College dancers were busy over the weekend.  Brianna Pineau took part in the ScotDance New Brunswick Pre-Premier Highland Dancing Competition and Carly MacKenzie and Kate Ross competed at the PEI Closed Selection Competition.  Brianna and Carly were both first runners up in their respective age groups and categories.  The results from these competitions can be found here: and pictures from the PEI Selections can be found here:   

The College Pipe Bands are having a yard sale on June 2nd.  The sale starts at 7am.  Stop by and listen to the Grade 3 band as they gear up for their big trip to Scotland in August to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships.  All proceeds from the yard sale will go to the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  

It's not too late to buy John Deere lawn tractor tickets!  There are still tickets to be had!  Be the envy of your neighbourhood as you ride around comfortably on your shiny tractor while your neighbours melt in the sweltering heat with their push mowers.  Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25.  You can purchase tickets from any College dancer or at the reception area at the College of Piping.  The draw takes place at the year end recital on June 17th.  Tickets must be purchased by the week before the draw.  Don't delay!  Buy a ticket today!!!  Proceeds from the lawn tractor draw will go to the College dancers (Step and Highland).  


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thank you!

Gratitude for selflessness is such a hard thing to repay.  No matter how grateful you are for the act of others, you can never adequately express your gratitude, relief or thankfulness.  Words, actions and repayment never seem sufficient enough.  As Oscar Wilde once said, "the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." The small acts are the ones that keep the College running smoothly.  It's not just the people who work here that keep this place thriving.  It's the volunteers that help make the College a community.  They help make it the world class facility that it is known for. Without the generosity of the volunteers, the College wouldn't be here.        

This past weekend at the College, we relied on the generosity of others.  On Saturday we had over 42 volunteers come and help prepare the back field and the amphitheatre for the Highland Gathering and Highland Storm.  The amphitheatre roof was put on in record time and the backfield was swarming with people with hammers, rakes and shovels.  The work is not yet done but the amount that was covered in one day was phenomenal.  Thank you to everyone who donated their Saturday to help prepare the grounds at the College.  Dr. Seuss aptly put it, "unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support. Thank you for caring.  Please see below for a snippet of what was accomplished and for the rest of the pictures, please follow this link:

As William Shakespeare once said, "I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tonight's the night that there is going to be a ceilidh!  This is the second last one until the fall.  All this fun is taking place at the College of Piping in Summerside (in the main hall). Doors open at 6:30 and the festivities kick off at 7pm.  There is a $5 admission fee but once inside, food and non-alcoholic drinks are FREE!  Come out and support the College of Piping dancers and pipe bands.  Is there a better way to spend $5?!  I didn't think so! Do not miss out!

On Saturday, May 5th the College needs your help.  We need volunteers to help put the roof on the amphitheatre and working in the back field.  The clean up for the Highland Gathering and Highland Storm has begun!  The fun starts at 9am and lunch will be provided.  There will be jobs for everyone.  Please bring your own tools, gloves, whipper snippers, happy dispositions and energy!  On sight there will be a dumpster, wood chipper, tractor and a pile of donated lumber to repair the bleachers in the field. Remember, many hands make light work!  We thank you in advance of your hard work, dedication and support of the College!

Congratulations to this week's 50/50 winner, Jim Doucette.  Jim took home a whopping pot of $490.00 thanks to last week's non-winner!  Remember, you can sign up at any time to participate in the 50/50.  Help support our pipe bands for only a toonie a week!  

Don't forget that on Tuesday, May 8th the College is holding its Annual General Meeting. It will take place at 3pm in the main hall of the College of Piping in Summerside. Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A very good week!

"Believe you can and you're halfway there" is the sage advice from Theodore Roosevelt. With the Moncton Highland Games lurking in just over a month, the outdoor competition season will be upon us very soon.  The hardest hurdle in competing is taking a leap of faith, believing in yourself and just doing it.  My challenge this year for all disciplines is this:  enjoy the experience, give yourself a break and instead of focussing on the prize, why not be happy with the performance you've put out?  That's the only thing we, as competitors, have absolute control over.  Here's to a competition season filled with good tunes, great dances and good times!

This past weekend was a busy one for our College Highland dancers and pipers.  Our College dancers took part in the Patricia Murray Dickie Memorial Competition in Sussex, New Brunswick.  The College pipers took part in the Antigonish Piobaireachd Challenge and the Antigonish Indoor.  A special mention of some stellar performances go to Briana Pineau and Sarah Simpson.  Briana won her first ever high aggregate in Highland dancing and Sarah Simpson won her very first high aggregate in Grade One piping.  Well done to all of our College students who took part in these competitions!  For full results, please follow this link:  For photos from these events, please follow this link:

Briana with her first aggregate

Sarah and the Grade One Piobaireachd Challenge trophy

Congratulations are in order for College alumni Lacey Fischer and former Highland Dance Instructor, Brooklyn Tchozewski.  This summer they will be dancing at the 2012 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  This spectacular event is held from August 3rd to August 25th. This will be the 62nd year for the tattoo.  It is an honour to be invited to participate in such a prestigious event.  Good luck and have fun, ladies!  

Lacey Fischer

Brooklyn Tchozewski

Congratulations are also in order for Garrett MacDonald and Kate Ross!  Both chanter students earned their bagpipes this week.  Garrett has been playing the chanter for just over a year and successfully passed his "audition" at his lesson this past Wednesday. Kate is one of our multi-disciplinary students.  Not only is she a talented Highland dancer and piper but she is also in her first year of step dancing.  Both have a bright future ahead of them in their piping careers.  Fantastic job, Garrett and Kate!  

Kate at a recent dance contest

Garrett playing on the goose

Don't forget that this Friday there is a ceilidh!  The doors will open at 6:30pm and the festivities begin at 7pm.  There is a $5 admission but once inside there is FREE food and non-alcoholic drinks.  After the scheduled entertainment there will be an open mic session.  Feel free to play a tune, sing a song or get your feet moving!  Come and support the College of Piping Dancers and Pipe Bands and have a good time while you're at it!