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!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Winner of the Jeep Raffle is....

Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket (or in some cases, tickets!) for the 2013 Jeep Wrangler! Your support is greatly appreciated and 100% of the proceeds are going towards providing piping/drumming/dancing education (Island step dancing and Highland dance) to hundreds of keen Island kids and are in support of The College of Piping's educational mission..."Inspiring excellence in Celtic Performing Arts through quality educational programming."  The winner of the Jeep Wrangler was Alan Preston which was ticket #245.  Congratulations to Alan!!!  Please see below for a picture of Alan and his wife with their new Jeep!

Executive Director, Karen Hatcher, handing over the keys!

Alan Preston and his wife with their new vehicle! 

And now for the rest of the winners!  The first ticket drawn won a $1000.00 and that went to ticket #560 which belonged to Wilfred Perry.  Every fiftieth ticket drawn won a $100.00 and these are the lucky winners:  #29 which belonged to Don Murphy, #367 which belonged to Brian Mills, #272 which belonged to John Mitchell, #264 which belonged to Frank Osborne, #160 which belonged to Boyce Murphy, #104 which belonged to South Shore Properties, #129 which belonged to Cheryl Campbell, #67 which belonged to Raymond and Nora Dorgan, #2 which belonged to Lindsay and JD Johnston, #494 which belonged to Bill Martin and #167 which belonged to Gerard Greenan.  The third last ticket drawn won $300.00 and that was ticket #460 which belonged to Dianne Schurman.  The second last ticket drawn won $500.00 and that was ticket #36 which belonged to Stan MacPherson.



Can you believe that August is almost over? We're more than halfway through the month. Soon classes will resume, the leaves will start to turn and the amphitheatre roof will be disassembled for another year.  Do you know that there are only 4 more Highland Storm shows left?!  There is still time to purchase tickets!!!  Do not miss out on the opportunity to see this brand new show which is directed by the very talented, Ryan MacNeil.  Book your tickets NOW (902-436-5377 or https://boxofficepei.com/venue/college-piping)!!!


Andrew, helping to tune the Grade 3 band in Scotland 2012 at the World Pipe Band Championships

Congratulations are also in order to the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada board member and alumnus, Andrew Hayes.  Andrew won the jig competition at the prestigious Argyllshire Gathering last week.  Players must apply and then be accepted to play at this contest.  Only the top players in the world are eligible to compete.  Well done, Andrew!    

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Forget!!!


Reminder! Reminder! Tomorrow is the Jeep draw and you have less than 2 days to purchase your Jeep ticket! There are lots of chances to win CASH or the GRAND PRIZE Jeep, so pick up your ticket before it's too late! We are holding a raffle for a 2013 Jeep Wrangler!!! The draw date for the Wrangler will be Thursday, August 22, 2013 at an event that will take place in the Mary Ellen Burns Amphitheatre at The College of Piping. Tickets are $100.00 and 100% of the proceeds go towards providing piping/drumming/dancing education (island step dancing and highland dance) to hundreds of keen Island kids! And yes, the Jeep is, appropriately, lobster red!!!  To purchase a ticket please call our registrar, Jane Magee, at 902-436-5377 or email her at: jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com.
There will be an elimination draw – first ticket drawn to receive $1,000.00, every 50th ticket drawn will receive $100.00, the third last ticket is for $300.00, second last ticket is $500.00 and the last ticket drawn receives the Jeep Wrangler. During the elimination draw process, we will be providing entertainment.All proceeds are in support of The College of Piping’s educational mission … "Inspiring excellence in Celtic Performing Arts through quality educational programming."


Congratulations to our three College of Piping Pipe Bands!  They took part in the Gold Cup and Saucer parade in Charlottetown this past Friday as one big band and took home top honours in the band category. The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada is proud to be a part of such a celebrated event on the island.  Well done!

Jack Lee

Jamie Troy Junior judging bands at the 2013 Summerside Highland Gathering

Congratulations to Jack Lee and Jamie Troy Junior!  Today is the first day of the Argyllshire Gathering, one of the biggest solo piping contests in the world which takes place in Oban, Scotland.  Two of our 2013 judges won their events at this prestigious contest.  Jack Lee has won the Senior Piobaireachd and Jamie Troy Junior has won the Silver Medal.  Jack Lee was our judge for the Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge which was held at The College.  Jamie Troy Junior was a piping judge at the 2012 Summerside Highland Gathering and a drumming judge at the 2013 Summerside Highland Gathering.  This big win for Jack comes on the heels of his overall win at the 2013 Masters Invitational Solo Piping contest which was part of the PipingLive! festivities in Glasgow, Scotland.  Well done to both Jack and Jamie Junior!  Everyone at The College is very proud of your achievements!    

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, FunDay

As the midway point of August has passed, it's time to start thinking about, gulp, back to the realities of life. No more beach days or lazy days swinging in a hammock but back to school and back to work.  It's hard to believe that the summer is almost over.  Soon we will be back to regular lessons, band practices and dance company rehearsals.  Even though summer is coming to a close, I'm pretty excited as to what the next year holds for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  It's our 25th anniversary and the sky is the limit!

This could be yours!

There are only 4 days left to purchase your Jeep ticket! There are lots of chances to win CASH or the GRAND PRIZE Jeep, so pick up your ticket before it's too late!  We are holding a raffle for a 2013 Jeep Wrangler!!!  The draw date for the Wrangler will be Thursday, August 22, 2013 at an event that will take place in the Mary Ellen Burns Amphitheatre at The College of Piping. Tickets are $100.00.  There will be an elimination draw – first ticket drawn to receive $1,000.00, every 50th ticket drawn will receive $100.00, the third last ticket is for $300.00, second last ticket is $500.00 and the last ticket drawn receives the Jeep Wrangler. During the elimination draw process, we will be providing entertainment.All proceeds are in support of The College of Piping’s educational mission … ”Inspiring excellence in Celtic Performing Arts through quality educational programming.”

This year's show within a show!

There are only 7 Highland Storm shows left!  Have you seen one of the most talked about shows on the island yet?!  We had a visit from a very special family and then they blogged about their Highland Storm experience.  To read about their night at the show, please follow this link: http://fivesonthefly.com/2013/08/15/the-perfect-highland-storm-our-evening-at-the-college-of-piping/. We're very happy that they enjoyed their evening so much!  There are options when it comes to ordering your tickets and here they are:  you can call us at 902-436-5377 (or toll free at 1-877-224-7473), email us at jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com or use this link to purchase tickets from the comfort of your home: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/gathering.php.  It's that easy!  Purchase your tickets now!         

Our pizza making view

Sam Ramsay ready to toss his dough

Alyson MacLean with her pizza creation

Pizza making instructions

Each band had their own cake generously made by band parent, Shannon Richards

A huge thank you to Doug and Debbie Hall who hosted the three College of Piping Pipe Bands at their home for band pizza parties over the weekend.  It was three fun nights filled of a lot of laughter, lots of pizza but also three great band bonding experiences.  Doug and Debbie generously sponsor all of the piping and drumming lessons (if you're an Islander between the ages of 8-18) at The College and are huge supporters of all of the pipe bands at The College.  Thank you very much for the fun and the creative experience of making our very own pizzas!  All of the bands had a blast!  



It's also not too late to enrol in classes for the fall!  There are still spots for piping, drumming, highland and step dancing!  Please call our registrar, Jane Magee, at 902-436-5377 or email her at jane.magee@collegeofpiping.com.  We not only accept kids but adult learners as well.  It's never too late to start learning.  If you don't live in the province or even Canada, not a problem!  We teach by Skype.  You can learn piping and drumming from your own home!  Call or email now to enrol!

Glengarry practising at The College in July 2012

A huge congratulations to the Glengarry Grade 4 Pipe Band.  They were sixth place in the 4A category at the World Pipe Band Championships which were held this past weekend in Glasgow, Scotland.  They placed a convincing second in their qualifying heat to make it to the final.  The College of Piping piping and drumming faculty had the pleasure of teaching the band last year during a week of summer school.  We are very happy and extremely proud of the band!  Well done! 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Hump Day!

Hold on to your hats, it's going to be one long blog post today!  So much has happened in the last week and I can't wait to fill you in.  We've been featured in the Journal Pioneer; Andrew Hayes, a board member, has been having solo piping success in Scotland; the Jeep Wrangler is about to be won and so much more!  Sit back and relax and read about what we've been up to lately.    



There are only 10 days left to purchase your Jeep ticket! There are lots of chances to win CASH or the GRAND PRIZE Jeep, so pick up your ticket before it's too late!  We are holding a raffle for a 2013 Jeep Wrangler!!!  The draw date for the Wrangler will be Thursday, August 22, 2013 at an event that will take place in the Mary Ellen Burns Amphitheatre at The College of Piping. There will be an elimination draw – first ticket drawn to receive $1,000.00, every 50th ticket drawn will receive $100.00, the third last ticket is for $300.00, second last ticket is $500.00 and the last ticket drawn receives the Jeep Wrangler. During the elimination draw process, we will be providing entertainment. All proceeds are in support of The College of Piping’s educational mission … ”Inspiring excellence in Celtic Performing Arts through quality educational programming.”

JohnDonald at the 2013 Antigonish Highland Games

Our very own, JohnDonald MacLean, was featured in a front page article in the Journal Pioneer over the weekend.  JohnDonald won the amateur bass competition at the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario just over a week ago.  To see his award winning perfomance, follow this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WBFOv0BpP0. Well done, JohnDonald!


Highland Storm was recently featured on the Arts East blog.  We are very happy to hear that the author of the article was so taken with Highland Storm but we do have one minor correction to the blog posting. None of our performances take place in direct sunlight. They are all held in our open-air amphitheatre, so you are always protected from rain or harsh sunlight!  To read the blog posting, please follow this link: http://artseast.blogspot.ca/2013/08/highland-storm-mini-ceilidhs-in.html.  If you haven't been yet, there is still time!  You can purchase tickets either at the College of Piping or by following this link and ordering them on-line:  https://boxofficepei.com/venue/college-piping.  It's that easy!  Don't miss out seeing one of the best shows that the island has to offer!  Shows run Monday through Wednesday and the last show of the 2013 season will take place on August 29th.  Get your tickets NOW!!!

Andrew competing at the 2013 Masters Invitational Solo Piping Contest

Congratulations to alumni and board member, Andrew Hayes, who started his Scotland trip off with a bang! Andrew placed third in piobaireachd at the Masters Invitational Solo Piping Contest held at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.  Andrew is over to compete not only in solo piping competitions but also he is pipe major of the Ottawa Police Pipe Band who are over in Glasgow to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships.  We wish Andrew and the band much success and luck.  Keep your eyes peeled to the blog, the College's facebook and results pages (http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php) to keep tabs on how Andrew is doing overseas! 

If you couldn't make it to Maxville, never fear some of our performances were captured on video!  Please follow this link if you would like to listen to the College of Piping Grade 3 band's second place medley performance:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A904rasPEEo.  If you would like to see the College of Piping Grade 5 band's eighth place march medley performance, please follow this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHVOvAQPimc.  If you would like to see Devin Paynter's Grade 2 MSR, please follow this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l4NJw4AE8A.  Thank you to the people who kindly captured these performances on film!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

That's a Wrap on the Competitive Season!

This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  The three College of Piping Pipe Bands headed to Maxville, Ontario for the North American Pipe Band Championships which were part of the Glengarry Highland Games and our Highland dancers were busy at the PEI Highland Games which were held in Eldon.  The College was well represented at both Highland Games.  Well done to everyone!  For results and photos from both competitions, please do not forget to check out our results page and photo gallery page.  These can be found by following these links: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php and http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php.  Well done to everyone!

The College of Piping Pipe Bands had quite the adventure travelling to Maxville, Ontario. They left in the wee hours of August 1st for a full two days of competition at the Glengarry Highland Games.  August 2nd saw a full day of solos for our amateur pipers and drummers and the Canadian Gold Medal and the Clasp competition for our professional pipers.  Some highlights of the competition were JohnDonald MacLean taking home the title of North American amateur bass drummer as he won the top prize in the amateur bass drum MSR contest, Devin Paynter took home some top prizes in the Grade 2 amateur solo snare drumming contest and Jordan Chowen had a second in the Junior Amateur Piobaireachd competition.  Full results can be found by following the link mentioned above.

Saturday, August 3rd, saw the professional solo events and band events take place.  It was a busy, busy morning for our instructors as they played some of their solo events and then tuned up and played with the Grade 5 pipe band and then went back to their solos! Phew!  It made for one busy day!  The Grade 4 and 5 bands had their best plays of the year and came out 10th and 8th in their respective grades.  The Grade 3 band had a long day of waiting as they were the last to play in their grade.  They were very happy with their result coming in second place behind the powerhouse, George Watson's College from Edinburgh, Scotland. Board member and College alumnus, Andrew Hayes, had a very successful solo and band day.  He is the pipe major of the Ottawa Police Pipe Band and they were the winners in the Grade 2 band category and walked off the field as North American Grade 2 Pipe Band champions.

Sunday was a much needed day off for the bands as the Montreal Highland Games had been cancelled.  The Biodome and Old Montreal were explored and the day was capped off with a band supper.  Monday was met with an early start as the bands and their supporters made the long trek home.  This journey was made even longer by one of the band buses breaking down just inside the New Brunswick border.  The first bus carried on and the second bus arrived at The College eighteen hours after the return trip had begun! The bands were featured in a Journal Pioneer article upon their return.  To read this story, please follow this link: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2013-08-07/article-3341866/---Strong-showing/1?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter.

It's now the down time for the bands and dancers.  They get to enjoy the rest of their summer before classes, band practices and dance company start back up in September. A huge thank you for all of the support that we've had from families, friends, volunteers, alumni and visitors to The College.  A massive thank you to Susan Topping for all of the photos that she's taken throughout the year.  It's not just taking the photos but sorting through them, editing and then picking the best ones for the website.  More thank yous to the parents of our students.  Their willingness to jump in and help in any situation and lend a hand or two is more than appreciated.  We are very thankful for their support.  

A huge thank you to our Executive Director, Karen Hatcher.  Without her unconditional support the College of Piping Dance Company and the College of Piping Pipe Bands wouldn't have been able to achieve any of our goals without her advice, hard work, support and willingness to pitch in and help when needed.  She has always been there for the bands and dancers and we couldn't have done this without her!  THANK YOU!!!

Please enjoy some photos below taken in Maxville by our unofficial/official paparazzi, Susan Topping.


The journey to Maxville

Executive Director, Karen Hatcher and Grade 5 piper and Grade 3 snare drummer, Devin Paynter

JohnDonald MacLean competing in the amateur bass drum competition

The Grade 5 band being led on to massed bands by College drum major, Scott Richards

Ottawa Police Pipe Major and College board member and alumnus, Andrew Hayes

The Grade 4 Pipe Band in massed bands

Grade 3 Pipe Major, James MacHattie

And that's a wrap!