Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy International Dance Day!

Today marks International Dance Day!  International Dance Day was established to attract a wider audience to the art of dance.  It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council CID (Conseil International de la Danse) and is celebrated every year on the 29th of April which is the anniversary of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet.

In honour of International Dance Day, here is a clip of Highland dancing from the Cowal Games which was from 1947: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBwHkFGi7yU.  Enjoy!

Thank You!

The first place prize winners from the 2014 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge with the judge, 
Dr. Jack Taylor (photo credit:  Susan Topping) 

A huge thank you to everyone who came and competed, supported, sponsored and volunteered at the 2014 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge this past weekend.  The competition was held at The College in the main hall and was very well attended.  The contest has grown since last year with twenty competitors.  We were extremely honoured and privileged to have Dr. Jack Taylor, President of the Piobaireachd Society in Scotland, as our judge and workshop facilitator. Thank you to Shanae Rogers and Devin Paynter for doing a great job stewarding, to Rick Crawford, ACPBA Chief Steward, who made sure that the event ran smoothly and to Nick vanOuwerkerk for reading through the music while the competitors played. Executive Director, Karen Hatcher was the event's Master of Ceremonies and awarded the prizes after the final crunluath was played.   The workshop the day after the contest was also well attended and great fun was had by all.  Two new piobaireachds were learnt and there was even some singing!  To see photos from the contest, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=535eb846d9cda (all photos were taken by Susan Topping).  The competition was even front page news in the Monday edition of the Journal Pioneer!  To read that article, please follow this link:  http://www.journalpioneer.com/?searchQueryString=college+of+piping&clearFacets=1&controllerName=search&search_sortedBy=publicationDate+DESC&search_submit=Recherche.

A huge thank you to the contest's sponsors.  Without your support the contest wouldn't have been able to take place. The associations and businesses that generously contributed to our competition were:  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada, The Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association, MacIsaac Kiltmakers, MacLeod Highland Outfitters, L&M Highland Outfitters and John Walsh Bagpipes.  Thank You!

For a full list of the results, please see below for all of the prize winners:

Grade 5:  1st place:  Carl Brydon, 2nd place:  Greg Burton
Grade 4:  1st place:  Calum Brydon, 2nd place:  Gillian Blaney, 3rd place:  Robert Caldwell
Grade 3:  1st place:  Trevor Profitt, 2nd place:  Heather Stone, 3rd place:  Brady Webb
Grade 2:  1st place:  Peter Allen, 2nd place:  Karen MacLean, 3rd place:  Graeme Murray
Grade 1:  1st place:  James Dyson, 2nd place:  Sarah Simpson, 3rd place:  Liam Murray
Professional:  1st place:  Bruce Gandy, 2nd place:  James MacHattie, 3rd place:  Brandon Gardner

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Extra! Extra!

For all of you avid newspaper readers you may have noticed that The College was featured in Wednesday's edition of the Journal Pioneer.  As the article notes, we are celebrating a big, big year!  We have reached a very significant milestone with the 25th anniversary of the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  Our Summerside Highland Gathering is returning and it's being tagged as "Homecoming Summerside Highland Gathering" as we would love for all of our alumni to return to The College and help us celebrate.  A brand new Highland Storm is returning for the summer and our Grade 3 and 4 College bands are headed across the pond to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships on August 16th in Glasgow, Scotland.  It's going to be a fantastic summer!  To read all about it, please follow this link: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2014-04-22/article-3697620/College-of-Piping-bands-working-their-way-to-world-championships/1.     

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Piobaireachd Challenge Time!

It's almost time for the 2014 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge!  Get your fingers nimble, your vocal chords warmed up for some canntaireachd and your ears ready for a great day of tunes!  This Saturday, April 26th, is going to be a stellar day of playing.  Bruce Gandy will be competing in the professional category (the Gold Medal) and he is fresh off his big win at the BC Annual Gathering from this past weekend.   We have the privilege of Jack Taylor judging this prestigious event. Who better to judge a piobaireachd contest than the President of the Piobaireachd Society?!  After a full day of judging, Jack will host a workshop the next day (April 27th).  It's not too late to sign up for the workshop and you do not have to have competed to attend it.  Everyone is welcome!    

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Reminder!

Happy Easter!  A friendly reminder that the College will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday and will reopen on Tuesday, April 22nd at 9am. There are no classes in Summerside and Charlottetown on Monday as well.  Remember, a good way to burn off all of those Easter treats is practicing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Showers...

...will hopefully bring May flowers!  The weather has been a bit more agreeable lately and the snow banks have started to melt which means that summer is right around the corner (or maybe a couple of more corners...).  After a long winter of practising it's almost time to see the rewards of that hard work.  Whether it's for competition, for fun or for entertaining family and friends, the long hours of dedication will have been worth it.  The summer is in insight and I can't wait to see what it brings!

Speaking of spring, Kearsney is looking for dancers and / or moms to help her reorganize the dance closet. If you are able to spare a few hours, please get in touch with Kearsney to make a date. She is offering chocolates and / or pizza in return.   


Another sign that summer is quickly upon us is that Highland Storm dance rehearsals have started!  If you are in the show but haven't received information on the practices, please speak to Kearsney!

And while summer may seem like a ways off with the snow still melting, it's not too far in the distant future!  Now is the perfect time to start thinking about summer school! We offer classes in highland dance, step dance, piping and drumming.  Tuition fee for pipers and drummers is $450.00, however, current College of Piping Students pay only $225.00.  If you are interested in taking Highland or Step Dance, please contact Sue for pricing.  We welcome students of all levels and we tailor each session based on your level of experience and any goals you may have.  Further information is available through Sue at 436-5377 and on our website at www.collegeofpiping.com.  Early registration is recommended as class sizes are limited.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Latest Band Fundraisers!

What does it take to get two bands to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland?!  A heck of a lot of fundraising and while our pipe bands are making good progress with their goals, they're not quite there yet!  The support from the community, province and from across the globe has been fantastic but they still have some more left to do! Please read below for the upcoming College of Piping Pipe Band fundraisers.   

The College’s three pipe bands will be performing in a fundraising concert at the New London Community Complex on Saturday May 3.  The concert will also feature performances from North Shore talent, including Bridgette Blanchard, Jenna Marie Gallant, Morgan Hill, Jason Campbell, and Karen Slater will perform a short skit – she brought the house down last time!  There will also be a silent auction and a cake auction.  Tickets are only $10.  Don’t miss it!  

Sorry vegetarians but our pipe bands are selling meat for their latest fundraiser!  It's just in time for the (hopefully!) approaching barbecue season.  There are hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, sausages and more! Please see any of the College of Piping pipe band members to get your order in.  This fundraiser has been generously sponsored by the Summerside Butcher Shop.  Orders must be in by May 2nd.

The College’s Pipe Bands will be once again holding a Yard Sale on Saturday June 7th.  If you are doing a purge while spring cleaning, or have a box in the basement you haven’t opened since you bought your house, please set items aside that you think could sell and help the bands meet their fundraising goals!  They cannot start accepting donations until the snow goes, but please keep them in mind – and come to the sale in June for new hidden treasures!  

Have you got your toonie in this week for the College of Piping Pipe Band Gold Rush Draw?  These past few weeks have seen a non-winner so if your number is pulled this week, you could take home over $4000.00!!!  It's not too late to sign up if you aren't already playing!  Just imagine what you could do if you won this week's draw!  Good luck! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy National Volunteer Week!

"Those who can, do.  Those who can do more, volunteer"
Author Unknown

April 6th-12th marks National Volunteer Week.  At the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada we are extremely lucky and privileged to have a dedicated team of pretty extraordinary people who volunteer their time here.  From taking personal holiday time to help prep the grounds for the Highland Gathering and Highland Storm, to volunteering in the gift shop in the evening during the winter months, to greeting, ticket taking, assisting and serving in the concession stand during Highland Storm, to building the Highland Storm set, to putting the amphitheatre roof on…the list could go on for miles.  We are truly blessed with the best volunteers in the world.  A huge thank you for all that you do because we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you!  Thank you!  

Speaking of volunteers...Highland Storm and The Highland Gathering will be here before you know it and we will be looking for volunteers to fill morning, afternoon and evening shifts throughout the weekend.  By signing up early, you will have your choice of times, activities and venues!  If you fill a minimum 4 hour shift, you will receive a weekend pass to the Gathering and tickets to Highland Storm and you will receive a stylish 2014 College of Piping volunteer shirt!  We will provide an informative training session in early June to let you know what you will be doing over the weekend.  If you are someone who prefers to work outside clearing brush, moving benches, putting the roof on the Amphitheatre?  When winter has finished with us (we hope sometime soon), we will be looking for volunteers to get the field ready for The Highland Gathering.  There is a task for everyone!  We welcome one and all, the more hands the better.  If you are interested in volunteering to help with the clean up, set up, or on the Gathering weekend, please contact Sue, who is in the office Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.  Sue can also be reached via email at sue.mcgiveron@collegeofpiping.com.

Did someone mention The Highland Gathering?!  This year marks our 25th anniversary and we have turned the Highland Gathering into a homecoming for all of our alumni!  Many pipers, drummers, dancers, performers and enthusiasts have walked through our front doors and we would love to welcome you back to The College to celebrate this huge milestone. Recently The College was featured in an article on the website pipes|drums.  To read about our planned festivities, please follow this link: http://www.pipesdrums.com/article/college-of-piping-celebrates-a-quarter-century-with-june-festivities/. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge

Calling all piobaireachd (pronounced pee-brock) enthusiasts!  I know you're out there...  Circle the dates of April 26th and 27th on your calendar.  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada is proud to announce that we will be hosting and running the 2014 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge and workshop.  We have the privilege of Jack Taylor judging this prestigious event.  After a full day of judging, Jack will host a workshop the next day.  Don't miss out!  If you want to enter the contest, it's not too late! The deadline to enter is not until April 18th.  To find a copy of the entry form, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/pdfs/2014%20Entry%20and%20Workshop%20Form.pdf.  Please remember that you do not have to have competed to attend the workshop.  Everyone is welcome!  Sign up now!  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Classes Cancelled Again...

It's seems that Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have teamed up and planned an elaborate April Fool's joke...except that it's not very funny!  Due to the winter storm, classes have been cancelled once again for the College.  The Grade 5 Pipe Band practice has also been cancelled for this evening.  Hopefully this will be the last winter storm cancellation of the, er, spring...