Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another Storm Day - The College Closing at Noon

Well, old man winter has joined us once again. The College of Piping will be closing at noon today, reopening Thursday morning at 9 am. All Highland Dance classes scheduled for today have been cancelled. Stop in on Thursday or Friday if you still have some Christmas shopping to do. Lots of great gift ideas - Robbie Burns tickets, Win a Trip for 2 to Scotland tickets, College of Piping hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweatpants, PJ bottoms, music, piping and drumming supplies, celtic gifts . . . the list goes on. The College of Piping Gift Shop will be closing at 5 pm on Friday, December 20, 2013 for the holidays.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Recital is Cancelled


Due to a very cranky old man winter, the 2013 College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada's Christmas recital has been cancelled for this Sunday (December 15th).  We had been asking people for a donation to the Salvation Army food bank in lieu of admission.  Please still make that donation!  There would be many grateful recipients and it is the season of giving!


If you are having a hard time figuring out a gift for that hard to shop for person, the College has the answer! For the fashionista in your life, why not buy them some College apparel?  A sweatshirt or sweat pants would make a great gift for those cold winter days.  A pair of our flannel pyjama pants will keep them warm on those long winter nights.


If you know someone that likes to travel, why not buy them a Scotland raffle ticket?  They would have the unique opportunity to travel with two pipe bands to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August 2014. Tickets are one for twenty dollars, three for fifty dollars or six for one hundred dollars and are available from any College of Piping Pipe Band member or from The College.  The draw will take place on March 15th at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside.  There are additional prizes to be won as well!  Who doesn't love to travel?!


For all of those Burns fanatics in your life, a Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala has been planned for Saturday, January 25, 2014 and would make a lovely Christmas present for those who love the bard.  The reception will begin at 6:30 pm with a traditional Robbie Burns Roast Beef Dinner at 7:00 pm. Entertainment will be provided by the faculty and the extremely talented students of the College of Piping. Tickets are $100.00 per person with a $75.00 tax receipt. A table of 8 will be $800.00. There is limited seating available so get your tickets early. A complimentary shuttle service from Charlottetown to Summerside and return is available.  This is the main fundraiser for The College of Piping so your support is appreciated to help us get through the year. As a non-profit organization, we are always looking for new and creative ways to raise the funds that will enable us to continue to provide educational programs, encourage students to learn and grow in their disciplines, and offer continued growth in the Celtic Performing Arts.




If you were planning to surprise your loved one with a car this Christmas, why not purchase it from Hemphill Chevrolet Buick GMC?  They have entered into a partnership with The College of Piping and Celtic
Performing Arts of Canada’s fundraising efforts to donate $100 for every new or used vehicle that is
either purchased or leased at the dealership, by friends and families of students and alumni of The
College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  So if you plan to obtain a vehicle, visit Hemphill GM, and take the required coupon (available from The College).  The only requirement to take advantage of this offer is that the friend or family member of a student or alumni presents the coupon at time of purchase. Hemphill GM is supporting The College of Piping and, through this partnership, asks for an opportunity to earn your business.  Extra coupons can be picked up from Jane in the Gift Shop at The College of Piping. Please note that this promotion expires on 08/30/2014.  The Board of Directors, management, faculty and staff of The College of Piping wishes to thank Hemphill Chevrolet Buick GMC for making this promotion possible and encourages all supporters of College students and alumni to take advantage of the opportunity.


If you're not sure what to do on New Years Eve, we've got you covered!  PEI 2014 is calling volunteers to assist with New Year’s Eve 2014 Opening Celebrations.  Here are the details:

WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st – 4:30pm – 9:00pm
WHERE: Historic Great George Street (Outdoors)/Murphy Centre (Indoors)

Schedule of Events:
5:30pm – 8:00pm
Children's Playzone at the Murphy’s Community Centre
200 Richmond Street
• Performances by The Music Man
• Face painting
• Balloon tying
• Inflatables (e.g. bouncy castles)
6:30pm ‐ 9:00pm

PEI 2014 New Year’s Eve Opening Celebration
Historic Great George Street
• PEI 2014 official opening ceremonies
• Performance of PEI 2014 theme song, Forever Strong
• Concert featuring Rawlins Cross and Meaghan Blanchard
• Stunning performances by world‐class buskers
• Dazzling ice garden by the Canadian Ice Sculpting Team
• Complimentary hot dogs & apple cider (while supplies last)
• Old fashioned wagon rides around Confederation Landing
• Fireworks Display

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy December!

It's hard to believe that it's two weeks until Christmas (yes, you read that correctly).  Two weeks today presents will be ripped open in a flurry of excitement, the turkey will be in the oven and carols will be sung with loved ones.  Not long now! Until then we have this last week of classes (until they resume on January 6th) and the Christmas Recital.  One last busy weekend until everyone can relax over the holidays.  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada wishes you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas!    

We're days away from the 2013 Christmas Recital!  It's this Sunday at 2pm at the Summerside Intermediate School.  We are asking all performers to be there no later than 1:30pm.  Admission is free but The College is asking for your assistance in supporting the Salvation Army Food Bank. We would be extremely pleased if you brought along an item of food as the price of admission.  A goodwill offering/donation would also be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of The College. It is the season of giving!

Sam Ramsay and Sarah Simpson providing the pre-show entertainment

John Gracie

John and his daughter, Samantha Gracie

Thank you to everyone who attended the John Gracie Christmas concert this past Saturday.  A great time was had by all and it got everyone in the Christmas spirit!  John was joined by his equally talented daughter, Samantha.  It was a fantastic evening of classic carols and he regaled the audience with tales of his own Christmas memories.  A huge thank you to Susan Topping for the lovely photos from this event (which can be found here: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=52a77a534be0a).  This was a fundraiser for the College of Piping Pipe Bands and they are very grateful to everyone that attended.  Thank you!


Mark your calendars!!! HIGHLAND STORM Highland Dance auditions will be taking place on Saturday, February 1, 2014 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 in Summerside. A sign up sheet and registration form will be available upon arrival.  Casting Priority will be given to Highland Dance students registered at The College of Piping.  Highland Storm will be running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, opening on Friday, June 27th through to Wednesday, August 6th. There will be no shows after that as the pipe bands head off to Scotland.

Requirements for auditioning for Highland Storm are:  
  • You must be 12 Years or older
  • You must be at Intermediate / Premier level
  • Must be able to endure copious amounts of dancing
If selected for Highland Storm – all rehearsals are mandatory.  The following is the preliminary rehearsal schedule for June (subject to change as required):  June 16th-20th (evenings) and June 23rd-26th (evenings).  Highland Dance rehearsals will start in March on weekend dates, which will be given out once dancers are selected.


You may have noticed a familiar face on the cover of G! Magazine this month.  Our very own lead step dancing instructor, Brittany Banks, is this month's cover girl! G! is a free monthly magazine published on the island and it focuses on 'infotainment' articles, pictures and musings for islanders.  Brittany is featured inside in an article about her role in the show, A Very Sketchy Christmas.  The show features a mix of live sketches, song and dance, and videos, and spans time and space following a pair of non-traditional families (one from Bethlehem and one from Bayfield St.) as they come together to celebrate the holiday season.  The show starts at 8pm and shows on limited dates (December 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st).  Tickets are $22.00 are available from The Guild box office.  The show does contain mature content, so viewer discretion is advised.     

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

All Classes are Cancelled for December 4th!


Due to the frightful weather outside, all classes in Cornwall and Summerside have been cancelled for today and tonight. The College of Piping Grade 4 Pipe Band practice has also been cancelled this evening.  Please stay safe, stay warm and stay indoors!  We'll see everyone tomorrow.  Happy practising!


One way to keep warm this holiday season is attending the John Gracie concert at Trinity United Church in Summerside this Saturday night (December 7th) at 7pm.  It's in support of our three College of Piping Pipe Bands. Tickets are $10.00 and would make a lovely early Christmas present or if you know a Scrooge in your life, it will immediately put them in the Christmas spirit!  Tickets are available from any College of Piping Pipe Band member or from The College.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  He will be singing the classic Christmas carols and regaling us with his own Christmas tales.  It's an evening not to be missed!     

Friday, November 22, 2013

What time is it?!


It's ceilidh time!  Our winter ceilidh season is back!  On Saturday, November 23rd at 7pm there will be a ceilidh at the College of Piping in Summerside (that's tomorrow night!).  There is a $5 admission charge but once inside there are free snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.  We will be joined by Scottish country dancers.  Come and learn Strip the Willow and dust off your Dashing White Sergeant! Ryan Simpson will be back as host and he will be joined by other talented acts as well (you'll have to attend to find out what those other acts are!).  Come out support your local dancers and pipe bands and have a time while you're at it!  


Circle the date!  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada Annual General Meeting is Tuesday, November 26th, 2013.  It will take place in the main hall at the College of Piping at 3pm.  All are welcome to attend.


Mark your calendar!  John Gracie will be performing at Trinity United Church on Saturday, December 7th. Tickets are $10.00 and are available from any of our College of Piping Pipe Band members or the College of Piping.  This is a band fundraiser for the Collegeof Piping Pipe Bands.  The concert will start at 7pm and promises to put you in the holiday spirit!  He will be singing the classic Christmas carols and regaling us with his own Christmas tales.  It's an evening not to be missed!   


Congratulations to all of those Step Dancers who met and exceeded the requirements for The College of Piping Dance Company!  These lucky 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 pre-premier team competitions.  Well done to:
  • Mikaila Murray
  • Sherra Rogers
  • Callie Campbell
  • Sophie Toole
  • Alyssa Howes
  • Robert Larsen
  • MacKenzie Stewart
What a list of talented dancers!  I can't wait to see the fancy footwork they have in store!  Well done!


Jamie Troy is gracing the cover of the newest edition of Piping Today Magazine (http://www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/piping-today-magazine/) and is featured inside in an article! Jamie has been both a drumming and piping judge at the Summerside Highland Gathering for the past two years.  Jamie won the coveted Silver Medal at this year's Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland in August.  He just isn't an extremely talented piper and drummer but he also makes the famed Troy Reeds (http://jwtreeds.com/) along with his father, Jamie Senior (who was also a judge at the 2013 Summerside Highland Gathering and a judge at the inaugural Celtic Idol).  Looking good, Jamie!  

And finally it's Friday:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Wednesday!


This weekend is a time of reflection, thought and gratitude for those who have served or are currently serving our great country.  We observe this day as a nation and we pause in silence and remember those who are gone.  Those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.  This Monday, November 11th , please take the time to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony or church service in your own community.  The College's Pipe Bands will be participating in the Trinity United Remembrance Day Church Service on November 10th (in Summerside) and then our own Pipe Major, James MacHattie, will play the lament at the Summerside Remembrance Day ceremony at Credit Union Place in Summerside.  Please remember that on Monday, November 11th, the College of Piping will be closed and no classes will take place in Charlottetown or Summerside.  Classes will resume as normal on Tuesday, November 12th.     


Congratulations to all of those Highland Dancers who made the high cut, er, I mean cut for The College of Piping Dance Company!  These lucky 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 pre-premier team competitions.  Well done to:
  • Allanna Lee Dalziel
  • Shelby Lynne Dalziel
  • Siobhan Doyle
  • Shakira Gallant
  • Laura Johnston
  • Morgana Lockhart
  • Brae Myers
  • Briana Pineau
  • Sherra Rogers
  • Kearsney Smith
  • Alysha Trenholm
What a list of talented dancers!  We can't wait to see what high calibre dancing the College of Piping Dance Company has in store! Congratulations!!!



Circle the date!  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada Annual General Meeting is Tuesday, November 26th, 2013.  It will take place in the main hall at the College of Piping at 3pm.  All are welcome to attend.


Fresh off of his fourth place finish in piobaireachd at the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship in Scotland and his third place finish in piobaireachd at the Bratach Gorm in London, Bruce Gandy is holding a second Silver Medal Piobaireachd Workshop on November 16th at the Halifax Citadel. It will be held from 10am-12pm and then from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  The day will be spent discussing the 2014 Silver Medal set tunes on their merit, skill levels required to play them and the technical aspects needed to achieve this.  The tunes will also be broken down through their construction and melodies.  The cost for the full day of instruction is a steal at $30.00.  For more information and to register please contact Bruce at 426-3116 or brucegandy@gmail.com.     


Bagpipelessons.com is at it again!  They are holding a World Online Piping and Drumming competition for November 2013. Sign up by November 15th and make sure your video recording is submitted by November 30th and then await feedback and prizes from the judges!  It's that easy!  What a great way to keep your fingers nimble in these colder winter months. Don't miss out on your chance to compete against players from all over the world by world class judges.  To enter the competition, please follow this link:  http://competition.bagpipelessons.com/.  Good luck!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy November!

I can't believe it's already November...that means Christmas is just over a month and a half away...yikes! But...there's lots going on before then.  Sit back, relax and read what we've been up to in the last half of October!


Speaking of, gulp, Christmas....please circle the date of December 15th.  The recital will be held at the Summerside Intermediate School on Summer Street in Summerside. The festivities will start at 2pm sharp.  Admission is free but the College of Piping is asking for your assistance in supporting the Salvation Army Food Bank. Please bring along an item of food as the price of admission.  A goodwill offering/donation would also be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of The College. Students who will be performing are asked to arrive at 1:30 pm.  Please check with your instructor about appropriate attire.


A reminder that there will be no classes in Summerside or Charlottetown on November 11th out of respect for Remembrance Day. Classes will resume on their regular schedule on November 12th.  Please try to attend a church service or gather at your local cenotaph and remember with our veterans the sacrifices that have been made.

Matt Bellia (centre) competing at the prestigious Winter Storm Contest in Kansas City

A huge thank you to Matt Bellia from the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band.  He was out on the weekend of October 26th and 27th to run workshops with the College of Piping Pipe Bands tenor and bass drummers.  A lot was learned over the weekend and it was great to see the huge mid-section working together.  By all accounts, it was a great weekend of learning from a knowledgeable and super nice guy! Thank you, Matt!

Iain Speirs at the 2013 Glenfiddich

While our pipe bands were hard at work last weekend, College alumnus, Iain Speirs was busy adding to his already bulging trophy collection.  Iain was the overall winner of the prestigious Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championships.  Iain won the piobaireachd event and came second in the March/Strathspey/Reel event to emerge the overall winner.   The Glenfiddich is seen as the most prestigious piping contest in the world with only the best players being invited to play. Well done, Iain!  

And finally, it's Friday....



Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Friday!

It's been a while but I'm back!  Things have been busy, busy, busy at The College.  I can't believe that it's the last weekend in October already!  Classes are in full swing, band practices are charging along, fundraising has started for the pipe bands and The College, our Highland dancers have been in fall/winter competition mode and the College of Piping Dance Company have started rehearsals.  I'm tired just thinking about it! Read below and get caught up!

Highland Dance Instructor, Kearsney Smith with Shelby Lynne Dalziel (far left) and Allanna Lee Dalziel (middle) at the ScotDance PEI Fall Fling

Check out The College’s website for the most up-to-date results from this past year (and previous years as well!).  Our Highland dancers have been busy with fall competitions and the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association have announced their 2013 Champion Supreme winners and it's all on our results page!  To find out how our students are doing, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  While you're on The College website, why not peruse The College photo galleries page as well.  Pictures from all the competitions, fundraisers, concerts, Highland Storm and much more are up on the website!  Follow this link to check those out: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php.


Speaking of fundraisers...the pipe bands are not only working hard in the main hall but they are very busy fundraising as well.  The pipe bands are raffling off a grand prize of two (TWO!!!) tickets to travel with them to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August 2014.  There are over 25 additional prizes as well.  Mini vacations, dinners for two and much, much more!  Tickets are $20 per ticket or $50 for 3 tickets.  The draw will take place on March 15th at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club.  You can purchase these from any College of Piping Pipe Band member or The College office. 


If going to Scotland isn't your thing, you can still help the bands with their fundraising efforts.  They are having a meat fundraiser (sorry vegetarians) which is generously sponsored by the Summerside Butcher Shop. There are some non-animal products in the way of pies (and who doesn't love pie?!).  Please check out the list below for the great products:
    
        3 kg IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $25.00
       1.5 kg bag of big crunch chicken breast burgers $20.00
       5 lbs store made medium ground beef patties $20.00
       4 pcs – 5 oz marinated steaks (Montreal) $20.00
       4 pcs – 8 oz Strip Loin Steaks $25.00
       8 pcs – 4 oz Pork Chops $15.00
       1.5 kg, pre cooked hot chicken wings $20.00
       1.5 kg pre cooked mild chicken wings $20.00
       9 inch pork and chicken meat pie $10.00
       9 inch Apple pie $5.00
             9 inch strawberry/rhubarb pie $5.00       

See any College of Piping Pipe Band member to place your order.  Orders need to be received no later than November 14th and will then be delivered to The College on November 23rd (at noon).  Start your holiday feast shopping early!       

The Christmas Crooner, John Gracie

Mark your calendar!  John Gracie will be performing at Trinity United Church on Saturday, December 7th. Tickets are $10.00 and will be available 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!  He will be singing the classic Christmas carols and regaling us with his own Christmas tales.  It's an evening not to be missed!


And finally...for all of you piping enthusiasts who want an early start to your Saturday, the Glenfiddich Invitational Piping Championships will be live streamed from Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland.  The event will start at 10am GMT (an early 6am for us East coasters!) and continue throughout the day.  Please follow this link for all the fun: http://new.livestream.com/thepipingcentre/events/2489930.  The day will consist of the piobaireachd competition in the morning followed a break for lunch and then a double March/Strathspey/Reel competition in the afternoon.  College of Piping alumnus, Iain Speirs, is the defending Glenfiddich champion as he was the overall winner at last year's event.  The Glenfiddich is seen as the most prestigious piping contest in the world with only the best players being invited to play. Good luck Iain!  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy October!

Well...I've been a bit of a slacker this past week but never fear, I'm back!  Classes are well under way and band practices are now going into their third week of hard work.  Speaking of the pipe bands...the decision was cemented last week that the Grade 3 AND Grade 4 College of Piping Pipe Bands will attend the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland next August.  This means a ton of blood, sweat and tears not just in practising but fundraising as well.  The first fundraiser up to bat is an exciting one...read below for all of the details!


Have you ever wanted to travel with a pipe band and see what it takes to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland?!  Now is your chance and it’s not just with one pipe band but two!  The College of Piping Pipe Bands are raffling off a grand prize of two tickets to travel with the Grade 3 and 4 bands as they make the trek across the pond to compete in the world’s largest and most prestigious pipe band competition in August 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.  There are over 25 additional prizes as well.  Mini vacations, dinners for two and much, much more!  Tickets are $20/ticket or $50/3 tickets.  The draw will take place on March 15th at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club.  These will be available soon from any College of Piping Pipe Band member.  Watch this space for when they are available for purchase!  



Are you interested in joining the Dance Company? Chat to your instructors about what this might include. 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 pre-premier team competitions.  Certain criteria must be met and dancers must be 9 years or older by December 31st.



You may have noticed a certain member of The Barra MacNeils around the College the past couple of years. You may have even noticed that he was the Artistic Director of our summer production Highland Storm. But, have you noticed that he is now on the staff of Hemphill GM? That’s right! Our very own Ryan MacNeil is their newest car salesman! If you’re feeling like it’s time to trade in your wheels, or that it’s time to take out a truck for a test drive, or even just to say hi to a familiar face, pop in to see Ryan. Who knows? He may even play his pipes, or step dance, or sing…or all of the above!


The pipe band world can be a strange and bizarre place for those parents who are wondering what it's all about.  Or maybe you've just joined one of the College pipe bands and have no clue what you're in for.  The editor of the pipes|drums website has an extremely well written article on what that world is really like.  To read it, please follow this link:  http://blogpipe-pipesdrums.com/for-the-parents/.  Happy reading!

And finally....


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Welcome Back!

It's halfway through the first week of classes and what a week it's been!  New students beginning their journey in their chosen disciplines and returning students ready to face the challenges of a new year.  Exciting times here at the College! There is still time and space to sign up for classes (and don't forget, you can sign up for more than one discipline).  If you are interested in piping and drumming, you might be eligible for the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship.  Call the College now and find out!  Sign up by either calling or emailing our registrar, Jane Magee, at 902-436-5377 or jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com.  Don't miss out on an opportunity to learn a new skill (or skills!) in the Celtic performing arts!

Matt MacIsaac

One alumnus that is putting their Celtic Arts training to good use is the extremely talented, Matt MacIsaac. Not only is he one of the top pipers in the world but Matt is also multi-talented when it comes to other instruments.  He also Natalie MacMaster's piper when she is on tour.  Why not check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel?  You can find that here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/mattrick78.  Here is a snippet of Matt in action:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqGKASCHr0U&feature=c4-overview&list=UUTDUlvodYQLcwhpHwhaVldw.  If you want to catch Matt live, you're in luck! On September 21st at the Uxbridge Music Hall, Matt will be joined by his wife, Kate Quinn, Mac Morin, Timi Turmel and Marie-Jeanne Brousseau and it will be hosted by Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.  It promises to be a fantastic night of music!

Bruce Rainnie, Kendra MacGillivray and Kevin "Boomer" Gallant

On September 28th, don't miss Kendra MacGillivray and Bruce Rainnie with special guest Kevin "Boomer" Gallant as they celebrate 10 years.  They'll be performing at the Harbourfront Theatre and the shenanigans start at 7:30pm.  It promises to be an evening of award winning East Coast and Celtic fiddle, engaging stories and songs, and sidesplitting comedy by three of the Island's favourite personalities.  Tickets are $21.00 and are available through the Harbourfront box office.  Keep a close on Boomer as he is sporting a kilt and a set of bagpipes which were loaned to him by The College.  It promises to be a time!

Bruce Gandy

Fresh off of his second place finish in the Senior Piobaireachd contest at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Bruce Gandy is holding a Silver Medal Piobaireachd Workshop on September 28th at the Halifax Citadel. It will be held from 10am-12pm and then from 1:15pm to 3:45pm.  The day will be spent discussing the 2014 Silver Medal set tunes on their merit, skill levels required to play them and the technical aspects needed to achieve this.  The tunes will also be broken down through their construction and melodies.  The cost for the full day of instruction is a steal at $30.00.  For more information and to register please contact Bruce at 426-3116 or brucegandy@gmail.com.      


A fantastic article was written by Canadian Highland dancer, Ross Armour, for the ScotDance Canada website (http://scotdance.ca/).  It recounts the success of the Canadian Highland Dancers at the 2013 Cowal Highland Games.  He also talks to the current world junior champion (and Canadian!), Maegan Sweeney about her big win and what it takes to become a world champion.  To read his account of the world highland dance championships, please follow this link: http://scotdance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/The-tale-of-a-ScotDance-Canada-Cowal.pdf.     

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday!

"No great thing is created suddenly"
Epictetus

I ran across this quote on one of those quote-a-day calendars and thought it was quite fitting as we head into the 2013-2014 season at The College.  As we head into the darker, colder days of fall and winter, the days and months can stretch on for what seems like an eternity.  Practicing can seem like a chore and motivation can sometimes lack but it's the practice that we put in on a consistent and persistent level that will pay off in the end.  Everyone's goals are different and it's up to you how much you want to challenge yourself. Whether it's performing overseas in international competitions, tattoos or shows, competing, performing or just dancing or playing in your living room for fun.  Maybe it's to master that one dance you've always admired or that tune that you've always wanted to play.  Perhaps it's just for fitness.  Whatever the reason, have patience, practice regularly and have fun! 

Doug and Debbie with Sarah Simpson in Scotland 2012

Doug and Debbie Hall generously invited all three of our pipe bands into their home this summer for nights of pizza making, team building and fun!  An absolute blast was had by everyone and some very unique pizza creations were taste tested. To commemorate all the fun Grade 4 piper, Dean MacDonald, made a video. To watch all the pizza making action, please follow this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9qWcl2x4_A.  Thank you for all you do, Doug and Debbie!


Good luck to College alumnus, Iain Speirs!  He has qualified to play at the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship which takes place at Blair Atholl Castle in Scotland in October.  It is the 40th anniversary of the prestigious contest and only ten of the world's best pipers are selected to play based on their success at major qualifying competitions over the past year.  To read more about the contest, please follow this link:  http://www.pipesdrums.com/ViewObject.aspx?sys-Portal=57&sys-Class=Article&sys-ID=19263.  Well done, Iain!


For all of you Highland dancers out there who are keen to find out a bit more about the 2013 Cowal World Champions, here is an article on the newly crowned adult world champion, Morgan Bamford from New Zealand. To read more about Morgan and her elation for winning the worlds, please follow this link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/9132437/Dancer-on-high-after-record-victory.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Are You Ready?!

Less than one week until classes start back up!  We can't wait to see new and returning faces walk through the doors of The College.  If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late!  Are you interested in Highland or Island step dancing?  Or maybe the Highland bagpipes or Scottish snare drumming have been tempting to learn?  There is still time and space to register for the 2013-2014 year!  Did you know about the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band scholarship?  If you are an Islander between the ages of 8-18, you qualify for it!   Doug and Debbie will generously cover your tuition for bagpiping and drumming lessons.  Did you know that you can sign up for more than one discipline?  You can dance and learn a new instrument!  Did you also know that there is no age limit when it comes to learning a Celtic art?  If you are an adult, we will gladly sign you up (for any of our disciplines!).  Did you know that dance is a great way to stay in shape?  A six step Highland fling is the equivalent to running a mile and a dancer vertically jumps 192 times while performing it!  I can’t even imagine the calories burnt while step dancing!  Please call or email our registrar, Jane Magee, and she will happily assist you.  Her email address is:  jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com and the phone number to reach her is: 902-436-5377.  Sign up today and start your journey in the Celtic performing arts!


Lots of congratulations are in order to alumni, board members and judges!  Alumnus and board member, Andrew Hayes, had a successful trip to Scotland this year.  Andrew was second in the hornpipe and jig competition at the prestigious Northern Meeting contest in Inverness and he place fourth in the march competition at the Royal Braemar Highland Gathering (that's the highland games that the Queen attends!).  This is after he placed first in the jig contest at the notable Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland.  Our Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge judge, Jack Lee, also had a success Scotland trip.  Fresh off of his win of the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, Jack took third place in the Clasp Piobaireachd competition and fifth place in the Silver Star competition at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, Scotland.  Well done to both Andrew and Jack!  


Congratulations are also in order to the Barra MacNeils for their two nominations from Music Nova Scotia for their album, "The Celtic Colour Sessions".  The Barra MacNeils were the headlining show which kicked off our 2012 Highland Gathering. Good luck to our extremely talented Highland Storm Director, Ryan MacNeil and the rest of his famous family.  We all have our fingers and toes crossed (which makes dancing and playing a bit hard!) for you guys! Well done and good luck!  


Don't forget to check out our photo gallery page on our website.  It has been updated throughout the spring, summer and now fall with photos from various competitions, recitals, fundraising ventures, Highland Storm and all other events that The College has been involved in.  A huge thank you to all of the parents and volunteer extraordinaire Susan Topping for taking the photos. Thank you! Please follow this link to find the photo gallery:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php. While you're perusing through the photos, why not stop by our results page and find out how the students of The College did at the various competitions over the summer.  You will also find out how our alumni are doing on the competition boards as well.  Please follow this link to find the results page:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.    

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Night for Highland Storm!!!

Tonight is the last night to see Highland Storm of the 2013 season! Have you gotten your tickets yet?!  Do not miss out on the highly acclaimed show.  It has comedy, romance, traditional elements and lots of surprises!  Tonight is also your last night to catch our fabulous Executive Director, Karen Hatcher, in the show.  She makes a very special appearance for one number!  Can you guess which one it is (see the photo below for the hint!)?!  Congratulations to the whole cast and crew for an outstanding season!  You guys and gals are a stellar cast of very highly talented people.  A special thank you to Matthew Downey for stepping in halfway through the summer and becoming our stage hand.  You have done an outstanding job!  A big thank you to Ryan MacNeil for being such a terrific director!  See everyone next year on the stage!


Karen in Highland Storm

Are you interested in Highland or Island step dancing?  Or maybe the Highland bagpipes or Scottish snare drumming have been tempting to learn?  There is still time and space to register for the 2013-2014 year!  Did you know about the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band scholarship?  If you are an Islander between the ages of 8-18, you qualify for it!   Doug and Debbie will generously cover your tuition for bagpiping and drumming lessons.  Did you know that you can sign up for more than one discipline?  You can dance and learn a new instrument!  Did you also know that there is no age limit when it comes to learning a Celtic art?  If you are an adult, we will gladly sign you up (for any of our disciplines!).  Did you know that dance is a great way to stay in shape?  A six step Highland fling is the equivalent to running a mile and a dancer vertically jumps 192 times while performing it!  I can’t even imagine the calories burnt while step dancing!  Please call or email our registrar, Jane Magee, and she will happily assist you.  Her email address is: jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com and the phone number to reach her is: 902-436-5377.  Sign up today and start your journey in the Celtic performing arts!  

Please Read This Next Section Carefully!!!

Director of Education James MacHattie has a message for all piping and drumming students who are enrolled in the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship.  Doug and Debbie have asked the College to make some changes to reflect their purpose in providing the tuition for these lessons.  Each parent should plan to attend the first 5 minutes of the first lesson to sign a waiver, which is a new requirement for a student to be in the Hall Pipe Band Scholarship program.  They should also bring any questions or concerns that day for their instructor to answer.  Please read the following changes closely, as the requirements to remain in the program will be closely adhered to by the College out of respect and gratitude to the Halls for providing such a generous and kind opportunity to Island children and youth.

CHANGES TO
THE DOUG AND DEBBIE HALL PIPE BAND
SCHOLARSHIP

Starting in September 2013, at the request of Doug and Debbie Hall, the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship is changing slightly.  The changes are not in eligibility or inclusions; the major changes lie in what is required to remain in this particular program.  The Scholarship is in place to enable Island children and youth to study piping and drumming at The College under the terms of The College’s mandate: To inspire excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educational programming.  The Scholarship will intensify its focus on building excellence.  This is not to be confused with sheer talent or level of ability; this is an expectation of commitment and motivated dedication to achieving excellence.

To remain enrolled in the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship, students are required to:

  • Enter the pipe band when their instructor feels they are ready.
  • Commit to regular practice at home throughout the year.
  • Attend every class/rehearsal unless a reasonable reason is given in advance for absence.
  • Participate in 2 fundraisers per year: one for The College and one for the Pipe Bands.  Band members are required to participate in all fundraisers.
  • Write a thank you letter to Doug & Debbie Hall – must be delivered to The College by December 1st of each year.
  • Demonstrate progress in ability and understanding in their discipline.

NB:  The instructors (and ultimately the Director of Education) will be the enforcers of these requirements.  Students who cannot or do not fulfill the requirements – in particular demonstrating a lack of commitment – will first be warned and then removed from the Scholarship program.  They may remain as students of The College, but they will be charged tuition.  (The amount owing will be prorated from the time of removal until the end of June).

Since the Doug and Debbie Pipe Band Scholarship is eligible to minors, parents will now be required to sign a waiver signifying their understanding and acceptance of the terms of the Scholarship. 

Achieving excellence is a shared responsibility between The College, the instructor, the student and the parents.

Goals of the Hall Pipe Band Scholarship:

  • To inspire Belonging through performing and working with others
  • To inspire a sense of Accomplishment through learning achievements
  • To inspire Fun & Excitement through music performance
  • To inspire Leadership through personal and group competitions
  • To help each student become the best player they can be

As the patrons of
The College of Piping Pipe Band, Doug and Debbie Hall have made it possible for hundreds of Island youth to experience and enjoy the power of music. In so doing, they are providing inspiration for parents to stand up, reach out and make a difference in the lives of their children.

Eligible students must:
  • Be 8-18 years old
  • Be residents of Prince Edward Island
  • Enroll in lessons in Highland bagpiping or drumming
  • Intend to join The College of Piping Pipe Band once they are deemed capable

A Scholarship includes:
  • One weekly group lesson from September through June

Value of a Scholarship:
The total value of the Scholarship is $592.00 per year


As our extremely busy summer comes to a close and we wrap up the season, I would like to select some very special people who help make The College what it is.  The first person I would like to thank is The College's number one supporter. She is there in the thick and thin of things...a supporter in the bad times and the good times.  Her extreme patience, guidance and knowledge is invaluable and everyone here at The College is hugely indebted to her.  Read below to see who it is!!!

Susan Topping (Volunteer of the Year 2012) and Lindsay Rogers (Volunteer of the Year 2010)

A huge thank you to Susan Topping, volunteer extraodinaire, College paparazzi, spreadsheet whiz and all round right-hand woman to all the staff at The College.  Not-for-profits, I've discovered, are a labour of love.  Everyone has the same goal of providing and delivering excellence to the students at The College but with a limited budget, limited staff numbers and a heavy reliance on volunteers, times can get a bit trying. That's where people like Susan come in.  She was the 2012 Volunteer of the Year award recipient and very deservingly so.  About 95% of the pictures on the website are due to Susan. She takes all of them, sorts them, edits and then selects the best ones for us to post.  She painted the Highland Storm set (along with help...thank you Jillian and Emily!), is a huge band and dancer supporter, is our Highland Gathering co-chair and does other countless jobs at the College (like mopping the men's washroom, picking up garbage after Highland Storm shows, the list goes on and on...).  THANK YOU!!!     



And finally...for those of you who can't make it to the Cowal Highland Gathering but want to be there, here is a unique way for you to be partake in the festivities.  This year Cowal is providing free streaming of the World Highland Dance Championships.  You can enjoy the Highland dance competitions from the comforts of your own home!  To watch all the action, please follow this link:  http://www.cowalgathering.com/live-feed.php.  Each day the Cowal Highland Gathering will update their facebook page with that day's programme of what you can expect to watch on the live stream.  It's that easy! So like them on facebook and sit back and watch the world's best in Highland dancing!