Friday, March 22, 2013

Marching on in March...

March came in like a lion and is going out like a lion...?!  The weather has been anything but spring like this week.  Old Man Winter just doesn't want to leave and Mother Nature seems to be a bit cranky because of it.  Sheesh!  Spring has definitely yet to sprung and I'm getting a bit impatient!  Perhaps we'll notice a change next week.  Fingers and toes crossed (which makes practising piping, drumming and dance a bit hard).


While images of daffodils and tulips dance in your head while longing for spring, the Highland Dancers can take it one step further and help put not only a spring in your step but thoughts of summer in there too.  They are holding a "Summer Lovin'" trunk raffle.  The beautiful handmade trunk is full of summertime treasure!  There is a beach blanket, beautiful stained glass wind chimes, beach bag and other fun stuff to help sweep away the winter blahs.  Tickets are 1 for $2.00 or 3 for $5.00 and can be purchased from any of our Highland dancers or at the College of Piping.  The draw will take place for the trunk and its contents on June 16th at the year end recital.  Help support our Highland dancers in their quest to compete in Montreal in July!


Our Highland Dancers are also holding a fundraising concert on April 13th at 6:30pm.  It is being held at Gulf Shore Consolidated School in North Rustico.  There will be performances by Ryan MacNeil of The Barra MacNeils, Dakota Oliver, Kathryn Gallant and Olivia Blacquiere.  The College of Piping Grade 3 Pipe Band will perform as well as The College of Piping Dance Company and our talented Highland Dancers will show us their fancy footwork.  Tickets are $10.00 and are available at the door or at The College (436-5377).  Help support our Highland Dancers so that they can reach their goal of competing at the Canadian Highland Dance Championships in Montreal!     



Calling all piobaireachd (pronounced pee-brock) enthusiasts!  I know you’re out there…somewhere!  Circle the dates of April 27th and 28th on your calendar.  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts is proud to announce that we will be hosting and running the 2013 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge.  We have the privilege of Jack Lee (pipe sergeant of the six time world pipe band champions, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and one of the most decorated and award winning Canadian and international pipers of our time) judging this prestigious event.  After a full day of judging, Jack will host a workshop the next day from 10am until 3pm.  Don’t miss out!  You don’t have to compete in the challenge to attend the workshop.  Everyone is welcome!  Sign up now!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Spring is almost here!  One more week and then we can tell Old Man Winter to, er, hibernate.  I can't wait!  I hope everyone remembered to "spring" forward with their clocks this past weekend.  Speaking of spring...don't forget that there are no classes or band practices next week because of March/Spring break.  This will give everyone extra time to get caught up on their practising!  A well practised student makes for a very happy instructor!  Happy spring!


A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Highland dancers at their evening of Fine Dining which was held this past Saturday night at the Atlantic Superstore in Summerside.  The meal was divine, the entertainment top notch and the atmosphere nice and relaxed.  Chef Calvin Burt from Shipwright's Cafe did an outstanding job and it was nice to see our Highland dancers perform between courses.  This was a fundraiser for our Highland dancers in their quest to compete at the Canadian Championships in Montreal in July.  Thank you for your support!


A huge congratulations to our highly talented Highland Storm Director, Ryan MacNeil and the rest of his famous family, the Barra MacNeils for their East Coast Music Award this past weekend.  They were recognized for their contribution to the East Coast music scene and were presented with an award for making music for the past 25 years.  Well done! We are super proud of Ryan and the rest of the Barra MacNeils!


Calling all tune writing enthusiasts!  The Vancouver Police Pipe Band are holding a tune writing competition in celebration of their 100th anniversary.  Their big milestone happens in 2014 and they are looking for three new tunes to commemorate the occasion.  There are cash prizes for the winning selections (which will be chosen in May)!  For more information, please follow this link:  http://www.pipeband.ca/vppb-100th-anniversary-tune-writing-contest/.  Is there a better way to spend March break than writing tunes?!  Happy writing!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Marching On...


March is finally here!  Spring is less than two weeks away and daylight savings time begins on Sunday (remember to set your clock ahead one hour!).  As a west coaster, I find this time of year the hardest of all.  Snow turns in to a foul four letter word and I turn into a crusty Canadian moaning about the weather.  I'm used to crocuses and daffodils starting to poke through the ground in February, cherry blossoms in full bloom and the warmth starting to come back in the sun.  I'm used to the grass being green, the leaves starting to come out and a feeling of general hope that winter is now gone.  Seasons take a little longer on this side of the country to change.  I'm trying my hardest not to despair.  I had a glimmer of hope when I heard on the radio that this year's spring is supposed to be very mild according to the Farmer's Almanac.  Let's hope they're right in their predictions because this west coaster is getting itchy feet for spring!


Don't forget that this Saturday (March 9th) is the Fining Dining event at the Altlantic Superstore in Summerside.  It will be hosted by our talented Highland dancers.  Chef Calvin Burt of Shipwright's Cafe will oversee the meal.  The menu is going to be absolutely delicious!  It consists of: chicken cordon bleu, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spring vegetable medley and dessert. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased from any of our Highland dancers, Highland dance parents or from the College. There is limited seating so get your tickets now! Anyone who has eaten at Shipwright's will know that this is a meal not to be missed!  Help support our Highland dancers so that they can reach their goal of competing at the Canadian Championships in Montreal!   



Good luck to our extremely talented Highland Storm Director, Ryan MacNeil and the rest of his famous family, the Barra MacNeils this weekend at the East Coast Music Awards. They are nominated in the Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year for their highly acclaimed album, The Barra MacNeils Live with Symphony Nova Scotia.  We all have our fingers and toes crossed (which makes dancing and playing a bit hard!) for you guys! Well done and good luck!  



Congratulations to Calum Brydon!  Calum placed first in both of his events at the Halifax Citadel piping competition this past weekend.  Calum plays in the Grade 5 band and competes in the Grade 5 solo category.  He has worked extremely hard this past winter and it shows!  Don’t forget to check out the College of Piping website for the latest photos and results.  There are contests held throughout the Maritimes to keep dancers, pipers and drummers motivated through the cold winter months.  Check out the College of Piping website to see how our students are doing!  We also post photos from most of the events that our students attend.  These can be found under the photo gallery on the website.  If you have photos from a competition, dance out, fundraiser, gig, etc., please send them to the College.  The photos will be vetted for quality and variety, so not all photos will be put up. 




Friday, March 1, 2013

Ceilidh Cancelled!


March has decidedly come in like a lion and hopefully it will leave like a lamb!  The ceilidh scheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to the freezing rain warning for our fair isle. Please join us at our next ceilidh which is scheduled for May 10th.  Please stay safe!