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 (  The College phone number is: 436 5377 and all instructor emails can be found on the College of Piping website (  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  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  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:  

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  

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: