Friday, June 15, 2012

So it begins!

Well,  our regular scheduled classes have finished for the year.  This can only mean one thing...the start of summer!  The summer is an extremely busy time at the College.  The Highland Gathering is just over a week away, the Moncton Highland Games start the summer competition season tomorrow, Highland Storm is just around the corner and it's not too late to sign up for summer school programs.  It's going to be a time!

Good luck to all competitors travelling to Moncton this weekend for the Moncton Highland Games.  May the weather co-operate and everyone have great performances!  Don't forget that results will come and go but being happy with your performance and having fun are the most important parts about competing!  Safe travels!

Don't forget that this Sunday (June 17th) is the year end recital.  It is held at the College of Piping in Summerside.  It will start at 2pm and is being held in the Mary Ellen Burns amphitheatre.  Come and cheer on the College students as they proudly strut their stuff!  They have worked extremely hard this past year and the year end recital is a way for them to show off what they have learned and practised so diligently.

Also on June 17th and taking place at the year end recital is the John Deere Tractor draw.  One lucky winner will drive away with a John Deere D130 lawn tractor hydrostatic with a 42" mower deck.  You'll be the envy of your neighbour hood!  Thank you to everyone that purchased a ticket.  Proceeds from this draw go towards to the College of Piping Dance Fund.  Good luck!

Thank you to everyone who ran or cheered on the racers at the Run to Scotland race that was held this past Sunday at the College.  Over 40 runners took part in either a 5km or 10km race that started and ended at the College of Piping.  Highland Storm and Gathering tickets went to the top three finishers in each category (male and female).  For photos from this event, please follow this link:  This was a fundraiser for the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  Thank you very much for your continued support.  It is very much appreciated!

Congratulations to all of the College Step Dancers who took part in the Kensington Step Dance Festival!  The College dancers had a stellar showing!  For full results from the festival, please follow this link: and for photos, follow this link:  Well done to everyone that participated!

 Our very fabulous Executive Director, Karen Hatcher, has been interviewed by the prestigious magazine Celtic Life.  To read the fantastic interview, please follow this link:  Watch for future features in Celtic Life about the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reminder! Reminder!

Don't forget tonight is the summer volunteer orientation meeting!  It's at 6:30pm and in the main hall at the College of Piping in Summerside.  If you've already signed up or are still considering but need more information, this meeting is for you!  The coveted volunteer shirts (in a cheery shade of red) will be handed out and any and all questions will be answered tonight.  This orientation is for BOTH Highland Storm and the Highland Gathering volunteers.  Don't miss out!  As Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  Come and volunteer at the College of Piping!

2011 Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient:
The MacLean Family

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Begin Again

Sometimes picking up where one left off is not an easy task.  We put things off until tomorrow and then tomorrow turns into a couple of months and the months soon stretch into years.  This especially rings true when it comes to something like playing the bagpipes.  Some people would be surprised that one actually has to be "in shape" in order to play the instrument.  Your mouth muscles, arm, dexterity of your fingers and all the other physical parts of playing weaken over time.  Coming back to such a physical instrument after time off is sometimes a very daunting idea.  Last week it was proven that it's never too late to restart a piping career.  Don Groom, a founder, board member and long time supporter of the College found his way back to playing after a three year hiatus. I have a sneaky suspicion that his next break from piping won't be as long as his last one! Congratulations on taking the plunge, Don and welcome back to the world of playing!  If you have any second thoughts about the re-emergence of your piping career, just take Dr. Seuss' advice:  "today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way."

Our condolences to Lex Pate on the recent passing of his mother.  Lex is a long time College supporter, piper, past employee, current volunteer and very much a huge part of the College family.  Lex's mother was a big supporter of his piping career.    Director of Education, James MacHattie and board member, Don Groom played at the funeral.  The College extends our sympathies to Lex during this difficult time.

Don't forget to vote!  It's that time of year's Islander Choice Awards time!  Ocean 100.3 FM and PEI Tourism have once again launched this unique contest.  Vote for Highland Storm and the Summerside Highland Gathering.  Go to Ocean 100's website and vote now:  Help us win this coveted award two years in a row!

Thank you to everyone who came out this past weekend and supported the College dancers and pipe bands at the ceilidh this past Friday night.  The appreciative crowd was entertained by step and highland dancers, pipers and drummers and even a tuba!  The College of Piping ceilidhs will resume in the fall.  Thank you for supporting your local dancers and pipe bands!

A huge thank you to all the bargain hunters who came out in the wee hours to support our pipe bands.  A successful day was had at the College of Piping Pipe Band's yard sale. Many a treasure was found or reminisced over.  All proceeds from the yard sale go the College of Piping Pipe Bands.

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time on a sunny spring day to finish prepping the back field  for the Summerside Highland Gathering.  The College is built on volunteers and we couldn't hold events like this without you.  We are hugely indebted to you!  Only three more weeks until the games!  It promises to be a time!  For more information about the Highland Gathering, please follow this link:

And finally, meet the newest member of the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  His name is Jerome and yes, he's a gnome.  He was rescued, er, adopted at the yard sale this past weekend.  If you're at games, at a band practice or visiting the College, come and introduce yourself.  He will be sending off his passport application soon because he will be travelling to Scotland in August.  Check out the website and the blog to keep track of Jerome's summer time adventures!