Friday, August 29, 2014


It's been a busy three days of competing and it's not over yet!  The Argyllshire Gathering took place this past Wednesday and Thursday.  College board member, Andrew Hayes took fifth place in the Gold Medal competition, a fifth in his march and a fourth in his strathspey and reel.  Former College piping instructor, Bruce Gandy, won the Senior Piobaireachd and alumnus Iain Speirs took fifth in the strathspey and reel.  It was a great day for Canadian pipers as many featured throughout the prize lists.

Today saw the weather turn abysmal once again as James and Kylie headed towards the Cowal Highland Gathering.  Water wings and flippers were in order as a not so gentle wind and heavy rain dampened much of the morning and early afternoon.   James won the A Grade Piobaireachd.  Highland dancing instructor, Kearsney Smith, was also in attendance so it was nice to see a familiar face from home.

Tomorrow sees James and Kylie at the Birnam Highland Games before heading north to Inverness.  Keep your eyes locked to the blog for further updates of their adventures!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Argyllshire Gathering

Well, it's been a time in Scotland so far!  After James and Kylie waved goodbye to the bands they headed west to recharge for a couple of days and switch into solo piping mode.  A couple of days was spent on the Isle of Skye wrapping their fingers around their solo tunes and doing laundry and they then headed to Glen Isla for the first in a jam packed two weeks of contests.  Of course travel with the MacHatties isn't without its trials.  They woke up that Friday morning to discover they each had a tick in their leg.  This was from a visit the evening before to the MacCrimmon Cairn.  Enroute to Glen Isla, they stopped at the Broadford Bay hospital to have said ticks removed.
After four hours of driving they reached Glen Isla (tick free).  The rain held off but it was a very chilly afternoon of competition.  James ended up the first runner up behind fellow Canadian, Andrew Lee who took the overall.
The following day saw them in Drumnadrochit at the Glen Urquhart Highland Games.  The weather was chilly once again but this time there were pockets of drenching showers.  James was the overall victor taking three firsts and a second and Kylie received a second and a fourth.  From there they headed to Aberdeen to pick up College board member and fellow competitor, Andrew Hayes.
Today (Wednesday, August 27th) and tomorrow (August 28th) sees James, Andrew, Sarah Simpson and past judges (Jack Lee and Jamie Troy) from the Summerside Highland Gathering competing at the Argyllshire Gathering.  Keep your eyes peeled to the blog for updates on the prizes.  Fingers crossed for all!
Friday sees James, Kylie and Andrew off to Cowal to compete and then Saturday they will be at the Birnam Highland Games.  They then head north for the Northern Meeting in Inverness, Braemar and Blairgowrie.  Stay tuned for more adventures!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And That's a Wrap!

Well, time has flown by since the bands landed in Scotland.  It's been a whirlwind trip with tons of memories for everyone to take home.  The day of the World Pipe Band Championships was an extremely busy one. Both bands qualified and made it into their respective finals.  The grade four band placed fifteenth out of fifty eight bands and the grade three band placed ninth out of twenty eight bands.  Not a bad showing from Canada's smallest province!

James Dyson made it to the final of Pipe Idol and played very well.  He didn't end up winning the overall title but can very proud of how he played. Sarah Simpson ended up fourth at the CLASP piobaireachd  contest and should very proud of that achievement as she was playing against the top amateur players from all over the world.

As the bands head home today and some of left for Europe already, don't forget to watch this space as James and Kylie head off on their solo piping journey through Scotland.  James will be competing at two of the biggest contests as he competes in the Gold Medal competitions at Oban and Inverness.

Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. Through purchasing a raffle ticket, meat, a hotdog, fries or participating in the Gold Rush 50/50, your support has been invaluable. On behalf of the College of Piping Pipe Bands, THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's almost here!

The World Pipe Band Championships are almost upon us!  Only two more sleeps until both bands are on Glasgow Green competing in their respective qualifiers.  It's been a great week so far of practices and making huge strides in confidence of playing.  There is a lot of excitement for Saturday!

Both bands have been up early this week putting a lot of time and energy into multiple practices.  This past Tuesday the Grade three band had an open practice at The Piping Centre.  The rain held off but the conditions were cool.  It was an authentically Scottish night weather wise!  It was well attended and feedback to the band was very positive.

Today saw the band supporting Sarah Simpson who was competing in the CLASP contest and James Dyson was competing in Pipe Idol.  James was in a heat of four pipers and he was the overall winner and now moves on to the final. Sarah's contest is still going on.  Watch this space for those results!

Tomorrow sees the bands with their final practices before the big day and then heading down to the contest field to watch the grade one qualifiers.  A quiet night will be had with pizzas being ordered so everyone can relax together.

Stay tuned for results  and news from the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!

The College bands have landed in Scotland and they hit the ground running!  Barely twelve hours on Scottish soil and the bands were headed off to their first contest.  With some lost luggage (which has since been delivered) and some kilt juggling, the bands have arrived safely in Glasgow.  Saturday saw the band at North Berwick bright and early. The weather looked dodgy to start but the day turned out lovely and some Scottish sunburns were sported the following day. The day was long but very good. The grade four band had an early start and the grade three band had two plays with a challenge up in grade two.  The grade three band came away with a second place in grade three and a sixth place in grade two.  The drummers were ecstatic with their first place finish in grade three.  The band won marching and deportment in grade two.  The grade four band placed eleventh.  They were very happy with that considering it was everyone's first time competing in Scotland!
Sunday saw the bands travelling to Perth.  With a rainfall warning and the tail end of hurricane Bertha set to arrive, the day didn't look as balmy as the previous one.  The grade fours had an early start and ended placing fourteenth.  The grade three band were pretty happy with their result as the storm hit just shortly before they went on.  A rain soaked medley was ended with some laughter at the ridiculous conditions that the band had just played in.  They ended up with a fourth place finish in their grade.
Monday was definitely not a day of rest.  The day started off with band practices for both bands and then they were headed off to play in the PipingLive! Festival.  They had three performances in the city centre and then band photos.  The grade three band was then headed back to the dorms for their last practice of the day.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), sees the bands practicing at the residence and then the grade three band heading off to the National Piping Centre for an open band practice.   The week is still young but the bands have been extremely busy with competition  and performances. The next three days will be full of practice and taking in  events at the PipingLive! festival.  Keep your eyes peeled to the blog for updates!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

I read somewhere that August is the Sunday of the calendar year.  I think that this a great comparison.  The summer days are winding down and the new school year beckons.  The thought of starting up regular life and getting back on schedule begins to take shape.  Before long we'll be switching sandals for sneakers and socks and light sweaters for light jackets. The trees will start to shed their leaves and the last of the summer heat will soon fade away.

The summer at The College is an extremely busy time and as fall looms, it doesn't seem to want to slow down.  The Grade 4 and 3 College of Piping Pipe Bands head off to Scotland this week and the last of the Highland Storm shows are upon us.  Where has time gone?  Don't forget to sign up early for classes in the fall.  You can register any time and remember, the earlier you register, the better chances you'll get your desired lesson time.  Call (902 436 5377) or email ( The College to sign up!  

You read that correctly!  The last two shows of the 2014 Highland Storm season are upon us.  Tonight and tomorrow night are your last chances to catch one the most talked about shows on the island.  Don't let it slip by!  Call or purchase your tickets online before it's too late!  The College phone number is 902 436 5377 and you can purchase tickets online (and in the comfort of your own home!) by following this link:  Don't miss out!  

A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported our pipe bands at their free concert this past Friday night.  It was great to get such a huge send off from the community.  They are extremely grateful to the City of Summerside and the province of PEI for all of the support they have been shown.  Through meat sales, Goldrush 50/50, concerts, silent auctions, etc. they have been overwhelmed by the generosity that has been shown.  Thank you!  The College of Piping Pipe Bands were recently featured in the Journal Pioneer and their upcoming trip over the pond.  To read this article, please follow this link: and to see photos from this article, please follow this link: