Friday, December 18, 2015

Winter Break - College is closed!

The College of Piping will be closing today for our winter break.
We will re-open on Monday, January 4th at 9 am, which is the same week that classes start up again!

For those of you playing our 50/50 Goldrush, draws will be done in the afternoon on Wednesday, December 23rd and 30th, so drop your toonie off at one of the many locations a bit earlier for the next two weeks!  

Wishing you great happiness this holiday season from all of us at The College of Piping!

Happy Holidays!

"The toy shop door is locked up tight,
And everything is quiet for the night.
When suddenly,
The clock strikes twelve.
The fun's begun..." - The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers

This has always been one of my favourite Christmas songs...I think because I have a vivid imagination, so I could actually picture all the toys having a big party at night.  Our family used to joke that while I was at school, my stuffed animals would have tea parties and such.  My parents would actually rearrange things in my room some days, just enough that it would look like they'd been up to something, but had tried to get back to the exact spots where I'd left them. 

It is fun to imagine and take a break from the bustle of the season and reflect on family and traditions, and no matter what they are, they are special to you.  My brother and I still call each other on Christmas and say that Santa came to our houses...and we are both nearing 50 years of age and live at opposite ends of Canada!
I have lived in different parts of Canada and have spent many holidays and birthdays away from my family and my dearest friends and have probably been away for more holidays than I've been home for.  For those of you who are away from those you are closest to, you know how difficult it can be, but there is joy to be found around every corner, sometimes you just have to look a little harder for it!

Whether you will be celebrating the holidays surrounded by your friends and family or separated by the miles, we wish you a very happy holiday season and the dawning of a new year that is filled with hope, good health, great happiness and the courage to try something new.  What is the something new?  Use your imagination...it will lead you down a new, adventurous path...






Thursday, December 17, 2015

Volunteer of the Year - Carl Brydon

Many of you who are involved with The College of Piping are familiar with our Volunteer of the Year - Carl Brydon.  He is an amazing volunteer, who will help out with whatever we need help with, usually accompanied by his family.
Carl, who pipes with the Grade 5 band, has most recently taken up Highland Dancing.  We were thrilled to see "The Brydon Family Fling" at our Christmas recital, that had Carl dancing the Highland Fling with his daughter Eithne and Calum played the pipes for them to dance to.  Carl's other daughter, Mairi, is a drummer in the Grade 5 band.  A busy College family!
Carl is a black belt in karate, he loves to kayak, is an awesome Dad.
We are honoured to be able to present the Volunteer of the Year Award to Carl and we are blessed to have him and his family play such a large role in our organization.
Thank you Carl for all you do for us...we are so incredibly grateful!

photo credit - Dean MacDonald

photo credit - Sue McGiveron

photo credit - Dean MacDonald

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Support a Charitable Organization this Holiday Season!

It's that time of year again, when you may already be weary from all the festivities, school plays, recitals, choir performances, parties, parades, etc. that you have attended, and it is only December 16th!!
Well, if you are feeling tired, and you haven't found the right gift for that someone on your list, have you thought about something really simple?  Like supporting a charity?  A donation in the name of that person goes a long way and can really touch the heart of the receiver!
Some people don't need another ____________ (fill in the blank), but would love to have their favourite charity supported.  The College of Piping is a registered charity, and donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt, so you also get a bit of help with your income taxes!
Making a purchase in our gift shop is also helping to support The College, every purchase you make, goes directly into allowing us to fulfill our mandate, which is "inspiring excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educational programming".
If you aren't sure what they would like, we offer gift certificates for merchandise in our gift shop or for tickets to our 2016 production of Highland Storm.
There are so many charitable organizations that need help to keep their doors open, please think of a donation to your favourite one this holiday season, no matter how large or small your donation, every bit helps!
In case you are thinking about popping by The College's gift shop, we are open until the 18th and then we will close for our winter break.  We have some lovely local crafts, College gear, Celtic jewellery and ornaments for your tree, to name a few!
Here are some pictures of a sampling of what is on offer!











Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas recital - December 13, 2015

It really is hard to believe that we have wrapped up lessons already and that the holidays are just around the corner.  I don't think that I'm the only one wondering where the time went this year!

We celebrated the accomplishments of our students on Sunday at our Christmas Recital.  For parents of beginners...or seasoned performers, it is always a wonderful time to see what they have learned in a few short months.  I know there were many proud parents, grandparents, siblings (well, maybe not siblings!!) and friends out in the audience who were cheering for the student they came to watch, and for everyone else, too.

We are grateful for the support given to the Pipe Band's silent auction, the Highland dancer's bake sale, the donation boxes for The College and the non-perishable food donations that were brought in.

There are pictures and videos up on our Face Book page...please check them out...and like our page...it is always full of great information and fun photos.

Here are some photos from the recital...the quality isn't very good, but they will give you a bit of an idea of the fun we had!  You are always welcome to join us at our recitals...our year end recital will be held on Sunday, June 12th at 2 pm in the Mary Ellen Burns Amphitheatre here at The College of Piping.








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Feeling Grateful

The College of Piping is an organization that works hard to fulfill our mandate, which is to inspire excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educational programming.  We see students start taking lessons with us when they are often quite young and over the years, they blossom into young adults and talented performers.  We are lucky to be able to build long term relationships with many of these students over the years, many of whom keep in touch on a regular basis, no matter where they have moved to in other parts of Canada or the world.
We are a charitable organization and we wouldn't be able to fulfill this mandate without the help of many people.  Doug and Debbie Hall, for the scholarship that allows students to take piping and drumming classes at no charge.  The Moms, the Dads and Grandparents who bring the students to their lessons each week and help out by being volunteers.  The volunteers, many of whom have no familial tie to The College, who are willing to help us out when we need help.
It seems fitting to remind you all of how grateful we are for everyone who helps us out, no matter how big or small your role is, your help is appreciated...we couldn't be the organization we are, or fulfill our mandate without you...so, THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald (an American Great Lakes freighter) in Lake Superior, not far from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  The entire crew of 29 were lost and the remains of the ship (the largest of it's kind at the time) are still below, left at the bottom of the lake where it sank. Such a sad day in maritime history.

As an educational facility that revolves around music, whether for piping, drumming, Highland or Step dancing, it is fitting to recognize an iconic song, written by Gordon Lightfoot (who has been referred to by some as Canadian's greatest songwriter) about this tragic event.

If you aren't familiar with the song...here is a link to it on YouTube.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

Thursday, November 5, 2015

We Remember...

Please take time out on November 11th to remember those who fought to give us the freedoms we appreciate today. There are heroes who walk among us, even today. We are grateful for your service. Thank you.

If you'd like to attend Trinity United Church's Remembrance Service on Sunday, November 8th in Summerside, our Grade 4 & 5 pipe bands will be taking part in the service. It starts at 10:30 am (pipe band members please meet downstairs at 9:30 am). 

The College will be closed on Wednesday, November 11th for Remembrance Day, so that we can honour all who served.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Great Shopping Ideas From the CoP Gift Shop!

It's nearly the end of October and autumn has definitely arrived here on PEI this week!  We had our first real fall storm yesterday and it made us all think of warm, comfy clothes, soothing hot beverages and the upcoming holiday season!
If you have someone on your list that likes all things Celtic or College of Piping, drop by and take a look at what we have on offer.
We have some great handmade items, including fabulous chanter lamps, tartan potholders, Christmas stockings, bottle bags and aprons, to name just a few!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chris is sick!!

Good Morning College of Piping Students and parents! Sadly, Chris is still sick, so his classes and the Grade 5 band practice will be cancelled. We hope that he will be feeling better soon! 



Introducing Briar Catherine MacHattie!

Briar Catherine MacHattie was born on Friday, October 23rd in the Prince County Hospital in Summerside!  Mom and Briar are doing well and both James and Kylie are so excited about their new addition.  James and Kylie say thank you for all the well wishes!
This picture was taken on Saturday, at 1 day old.  Photo credit to Susan Topping.


Friday, October 23, 2015

IT'S A GIRL!!!



We send hearty congratulations to James and Kylie MacHattie on the birth of their daughter, Briar Catherine this afternoon!!  We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome a little girl into The College of Piping family.  We hope that this happy news starts everyone's weekend off with smiles!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's "Back to the Future Day!"

For those of you old enough to remember, it has been thirty years since the first "Back to the Future" movie was released, in which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), hopped in a modified DeLorean car and travelled to this date, October 21, 2015.  Have you thought about any of the things that were shown in the movie, and the number of things that actually do exist today, that are similar to those in the film?  Some of the things that came to fruition are: wearable technology, holograms, virtual payments and video calling.  Sadly, hover-boards and self lacing shoes haven't quite made it to market yet!  Wishing you all a Happy Back to the Future Day!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Finally, it's Friday!

Devin (far left) performing in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014

Keep your eyes peeled to The College's facebook page for the up-to-the minute information on how Devin Paynter does at the World Solo Drumming Championships tomorrow in Glasgow, Scotland. We're sending him tons of positive vibes and wishing him nimble hands for a great play tomorrow! Whatever the result is, we are super proud of Devin and wish him the best of luck!

Bruce Gandy

Bruce Gandy is holding a piobaireachd workshop this weekend on the 2016 silver medal tunes at the North Magazine of the Halifax Citadel on Saturday morning from 10am-3pm Atlantic Canada time. If you can't attend in person you have the option of attending by live stream!  Bruce will be streaming the workshop on a site called concert window.  For the link to the live stream, please follow this link: https://www.concertwindow.com/111998-bruce-gandy-music.  If you have any questions, Bruce’s email address is:  brucegandy@gmail.com.  This is a workshop not to be missed!


With Christmas on the horizon, we are putting together our first holiday order of the season!  We hope that you will support us again and just remember, although the percentages may not seem to add up to much individually, they add up over all of the purchases made by the group! 
If you buy gas or groceries, or shop at many other retailers, and live anywhere in Canada, you can help support the College of Piping.  We aren’t asking for a donation or for you to buy something you don’t need or won’t use.  All we are asking is that you purchase gift cards through us (or online through FundScrip and mailed directly to your home or another person’s home) for stores you would normally shop at (rather than using your debit card).  When these gift cards are purchased, we earn money!  You still get the full value on your gift card, but through the generosity of the stores involved, we earn a percentage of the face value of the gift card.  This will be an ongoing fundraiser, so when you pick up your gift cards from us, a new order form will be available with the next order date!  Gift cards make great presents!!!  The next group order will go in Wednesday, October 28th so please have your orders in by 10am. 

To purchase online:
It’s very simple to create your own account – go to www.fundscrip.com and click on Support Your Group.  Complete the required information and then put in EXBKJ2 as the invitation code.
Agree to the terms of use and click on the Support a Group button at the bottom.
You will be sent a confirmation email to the email you supplied.
Click on the confirmation link in the email and complete your registration.

How to place an order online:
Go to www.fundscrip.com and click on login (top right corner), login with your email address and password.
Click on the green BUY CARDS button - at this point the promotions (cards giving a higher percentage for a limited time) will appear. 
To start adding gift cards to your account, look above the promotions where you will see a spot that splits the gift cards into categories or view all.  View all (they will be listed in alphabetical order) is the simplest, unless you know exactly which cards you would like to purchase!
Once you’ve added the gift cards to your cart, click checkout.
It will likely ask you for an address to ship the cards to (you can ship them to any address in Canada, except PO boxes).
Choose your payment method (PLEASE DON’T USE CREDIT CARDS, IT DECREASES OUR EARNINGS BY 2% ON EACH CARD – more on payment methods further down the page).
Then choose place your order to submit your order.
It does walk you through all these steps pretty well, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Sue (902-436-5377) and she will do her best to help you!
Great options – if you are travelling outside of PEI (going to Highland Games, etc.) or have family that lives elsewhere in Canada, you can select the province you are interested in and purchase gift cards for those other provinces!  Remember, not all gift cards have stores in every province, and we can’t offer a refund on cards purchased for another jurisdiction in error.

Online Payment methods:
If you’d like to purchase gift cards online, the fastest way to do this, with no additional costs is through Electronic Funds Transfer (Sue can email you the form you need to fill out).
The second simplest way is through Online Bill Payment.  Set Fundstream/FundScrip up as a payee (same as you would for any other bill), when you check out your order and choose Online Bill Payment as your payment option, your order will give you your 16 digit customer number, which you will need when you set this up through your bank account.  Just like any other online bill payments, it can take up to three days for the money to transfer (I tried this out and it still only took about 7 days for me to get the gift card I ordered!).
A third way to do this is through Interac Online (most major banks offer this).  Please note, if you do it this way, our earnings are reduced by 85₵ per transaction.
The final way to purchase gift cards online is using your credit card.  The really negative thing about using your credit card is our earnings are reduced by 2%, which negates any money we’d earn on gas cards and nearly removes any earnings on a lot of other cards, so since this is a fundraiser…

Please feel free to email Sue McGiveron with any questions at sue.mcgiveron@collegeofpiping.com or call 436-5377. Thank you in advance for thinking of us and supporting The College!  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good Luck, Devin!!!


They are off!  Drumming instructor, Chris Coleman and College of Piping student, Devin Paynter left today for Glasgow, Scotland.  Devin is competing at the World Solo Drumming Championships in the juvenile category.  Devin is not only an accomplished drummer but he also is a very talented piper and competes in both the grade 2 (snare drumming) and grade 4 (bagpipes) College bands. Whatever the outcome is, we are super proud of Devin. Have fun, play well and enjoy the experience!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada will be closed on Monday, October 12th for Thanksgiving. This means that no classes will be held in Summerside or Charlottetown on Monday.  The College will reopen on Tuesday, October 13th at 9am for regular business hours, regular scheduled classes and Grade 5 band practice.  Have a great Thanksgiving!  If you eat too much turkey, practicing is a great way to burn off all those extra calories! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


What time is it?!  It's AGM time!  The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada's Annual General Meeting will take place on November 3rd at the College of Piping in Summerside.  It will start at 4pm and will be held in the main hall.  It is open to the public and all are welcome to attend!


It's that time of year again...it's Doug and Debbie Hall thank you letter time!  Piping and drumming students are reminded to write their thank you letters to Doug and Debbie Hall.  Please turn them into your instructor BEFORE December 1st.  Doug and Debbie Hall generously cover the tuition for piping and drumming students under the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship program.  One of the requirements to stay on the scholarship is to write a thank you letter.  You can let them know what you are learning, how you like it and anything else you think they would like to know.  Doug and Debbie provide island students with this amazing opportunity (the only kind like it in the world!) and we need to let them know how much we appreciate their thoughtfulness and generosity.



The Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association has announced the champion supreme winners for the 2015 season. Congratulations to the following College of Piping pipers, drummers and pipe bands:


Piping:
Grade 3 Piobaireachd:1st place: Chris MacKnight
Grade 1 Piobaireachd:1st place: Sarah Simpson
Drumming:
Grade 5:1st place: Stephen MacKinnon
Grade 3:1st place: Austin Trenholm
Grade 1:1st place: Devin Paynter
Senior Amateur Hornpipe and Jig:1st place: Devin Paynter
Bands:
Grade 52nd place: College of Piping
Grade 4:1st place: College of Piping
Grade 2:1st place: College of Piping
Dress and Deportment:
1st place: College of Piping (Grade 2)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tunesday


In just over one week our drumming instructor, Chris Coleman and our extremely talented drumming AND piping student, Devin Paynter, will be headed to the World Solo Drumming Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The draw is out and Devin will be competing in Juvenile Section 5 and is sixth on. To see the full draw, please follow this link: http://www.rspba.org/html/contestdraw.php?id=55. Whatever the outcome is, we are super proud of Devin and his accomplishments. Have fun, play well and enjoy the experience!

Shelby Lynne Dalziel with proud Highland dance instructor, Marielle Lespérance

Congratulations to Shelby Lynne Dalziel who was the fifth runner up in the 16 & Over Atlantic Canada Open Championship and also the fifth runner up in the 16 & Over Maritime Open Premiership this past weekend in Halifax!  Well done, Shelby!   


The College of Piping Pipe Bands “Win a $2,500 Travel Voucher” fundraiser is back!  The major prize for this event will be a travel voucher in the amount of $2,500.  In addition to this Grand Prize there will be 14 additional prizes drawn on Monday, February 1, 2016 at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada. Tickets are $20 each , 3 for $50 or 6 for $100.00.  To purchase tickets, contact the pipe band member or Hall scholarship student of your choice or call The College at (902)436-5377!  Thank you for your support!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Happy October!

Well, it's definitely fall out there!  The temperatures are dropping just as quickly as the leaves on the trees.  At least we don't have to shovel leaves...The dates below may feel far off now but it won't be long until Christmas and the New Year sneak up on us!



Piping and drumming students are reminded to write their thank you letters to Doug and Debbie Hall.  Please turn them into your instructor BEFORE December 1st.  Doug and Debbie Hall generously cover the tuition for piping and drumming students under the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship program.  One of the requirements to stay on the scholarship is to write a thank you letter.  You can let them know what you are learning, how you like it and anything else you think they would like to know.  Doug and Debbie provide island students with this amazing opportunity (the only kind like it in the world!) and we need to let them know how much we appreciate their thoughtfulness and generosity.


On Saturday, January 23, 2016, The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada will host a celebration of the life and works of Robbie Burns at their annual Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala.  The funds raised from this event will go towards the operational expenses of The College and directly supporting the operational mission statement of “Inspiring excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educationally programming”.  The fifth annual Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala will take place at Credit Union Place starting at 6:30pm featuring a Scottish ceilidh with students and faculty performing traditional and contemporary choreographies.  Come enjoy the music of Robbie Burns along with piping, drumming, fiddling and dancing.  A three course roast beef dinner, with haggis, will be served.  Tickets are $100.00 per person with a $75.00 tax receipt being issued.  A complimentary shuttle, is offered from Charlottetown to Summerside (& return) for the event.  

Finally, it's Friday:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

It's hard to believe that September is almost over and the start of October is almost upon us.  The houses in Summerside are already being decked out in their Halloween finest and gulp, Christmas decorations have even been spotted on some lawns.  Before you know it, we will be thinking about the Christmas recital!  Yikes!  Time is just whizzing by!


Pencil in the date of October 3rd! College alumnus, Cameron Francis, will be hosting a two hour workshop that focuses on step and tap training with an emphasis on building new skills, the art of performing and ultimately improving technique in a fun and collaborative way. The workshop will take place at the College of Piping in Summerside and will be broken down into two groups. Students taking half hour lessons will be in group one (which will take place from 9am-11am) and those in an hour long lesson will be in group two (which will take place from 11:15am- 1:15pm). The cost of the workshop is $35.00 and students are asked to bring water and appropriate dance wear (just like in their regular classes). For more information, please contact our step dancing instructor, Chelsey Sanderson, by either calling The College at (902) 436-5377 or by emailing her at cksanderson@upei.ca.  


Highland dancing isn't just for youngsters and not just for women, either!  We have had some interest in beginners Highland for adults, so if this is something you'd like to do and want to register, contact Sue at 902-436-5377 or sue.mcgiveron@collegeofpiping.com.      


We've been ranked #1 of the attractions in Summerside to visit according to TripAdvisor!  Thank you to all of the people who have reviewed Highland Storm and The Celtic Performing Arts of Canada. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know how much you enjoyed your visit.  We couldn't be prouder of everyone who works so hard and contributes so much to make us successful...volunteers, students and staff alike!  To check out the reviews, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g155024-d2219596-Reviews-The_College_of_Piping_and_Celtic_Performing_Arts_of_Canada-Summerside_Prince_Edwa.html. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Open House

As Juliet lamented to Romeo, "Parting is such sweet sorrow."  

This afternoon The College is holding an open house for Kearsney MacNeil. We have been in big time denial that she is leaving but sadly the time has come. It will be held in the main hall from 4pm-7pm. This is a great opportunity to come by and wish her safe travels and a fond farewell. She and Ryan leave for South Africa tomorrow. Never fear though! Ryan MacNeil will be back in 2016 to direct Highland Storm. It's not a good bye but a see you later! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Important Dates to Remember This Week!

It's week two of teaching--have you settled back into routine yet?  It's hard to believe that Wednesday is the first day of fall.  It seems like only last week that Highland Storm was on the stage and bands and dancers were competing at various contests around the maritimes.  Now the theatre roof and set has been dismantled for another year.  Is it me or is time whizzing by?!


Tomorrow marks the start of another pipe band season!  It's been a bit of a well deserved break for the bands but the instructors at The College are eager to start up practices once again.  The grade five band starts tomorrow night (September 22nd), the grade four band will start up on September 23rd and the grade two band will start on September 24th.  New tunes, new and returning members, a Maxville trip in 2016 and a Scotland trip in 2017--it promises to be an exciting year ahead!

Ryan and Kearsney MacNeil
(Photo courtesy of Susan Topping)

Don't forget that tomorrow afternoon, September 22nd, The College is holding an open house for Kearsney MacNeil.  We have been in big time denial that she is leaving but the time has come.  It will be held in the main hall from 4pm-7pm. This is a great opportunity to come by and wish her safe travels and a fond farewell.  She and Ryan leave for South Africa on September 23rd.  Never fear though!  Ryan MacNeil will be back in 2016 to direct Highland Storm.  It's not a good bye but a see you later!  


Pencil in the date of October 3rd!  College alumnus, Cameron Francis, will be hosting a two hour workshop that focuses on step and tap training with an emphasis on building new skills, the art of performing and ultimately improving technique in a fun and collaborative way.  The workshop will take place at The College of Piping in Summerside and will be broken down into two groups. Students taking half hour lessons will be in group one (which will take place from 9am-11am) and those in an hour long lesson will be in group two (which will take place from 11:15am- 1:15pm).  The cost of the workshop is $35.00 and students are asked to bring water and appropriate dance wear (just like in their regular classes).  For more information, please contact our step dancing instructor, Chelsey Sanderson, by either calling The College at (902) 436-5377 or by emailing her at cksanderson@upei.ca.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Finally, it's Friday!

The first week of classes are complete!  It was fantastic to see new and returning faces pass through The College's front doors this week.  Don't forget that band practices start up next week:  Grade 5 on September 22nd, Grade 4 on September 23rd and Grade 2 on September 24th.  Let the new year begin!

50/50 Gold Rush Winner, Shannon Warrick, accepting her winnings from drumming instructor, Chris Coleman

Congratulations to Shannon Warrick who was the big winner of this week's College of Piping Pipe Band 50/50 Gold Rush Draw! She came into The College today to accept her cheque for $2527.00 from drumming instructor, Chris Coleman. Have you signed up for the draw yet?! It only costs two dollars (per draw) and all proceeds are in support of The College's three pipe bands.  Sign up today!

Ryan and Kearsney MacNeil

Don't forget that this Tuesdsay, September 22nd, The College is holding an open house for Kearsney MacNeil.  We've been in denial that she is leaving The College but her last few days on the island have finally come.  It will be held in the main hall from 4pm-7pm. This is a great opportunity to come by and wish her safe travels and a fond farewell.  She and Ryan leave for South Africa on September 23rd.  Never fear though!  Ryan MacNeil will be back in 2016 to direct Highland Storm.  It's not a good bye but a see you later!  

And finally, it's Friday:

After this past winter, I think all islanders could be considered pretty badass and Hollywood star Mindy Kaling seems to agree as well:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/anne-green-gables-mindy-kaling-1.3231786.  Enjoy your weekend!    

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Open House on September 22nd!


For all of us here at The College, we've been in denial about the departure of our beloved Highland dance instructor, Kearsney. This Tuesday, September 22nd, The College is holding an open house for Kearsney who is leaving for South Africa the following day. It will be in the main hall from 4pm-7pm. This is a great opportunity to come by and wish her safe travels and a fond farewell. Photo Credit:  Susan Topping

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Happy Hump Day!

The first week of classes is half over and it's great to see the new and returning faces coming through the doors at The College!  It's not too late to sign up for classes in all of our disciplines.  There are still spaces!  Do you ever wonder how much air it takes to play the bagpipes?  Ever wondered how much a drum weighs?  Did you know that a six step fling is the equivalent of running a mile?  Have you ever wondered how fast a step dancer's feet move?  Now is your chance to find out these answers and more!  Sign up now for lessons and start your journey in the Celtic arts!

If you are islander between the ages of 8-18 and want to learn the pipes or drums, now is your chance!  Did you know about the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship?  What is the scholarship?  Please read below for all of the information!

The Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band 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 focuses 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 $750.00 per year  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Welcome Back!

What time is it?  It's lesson time!  That's right...lessons start back up today in Summerside and Charlottetown.  Band practices do not return until next week (the week of September 21st). It's time to get back to a routine of daily practice and lessons.  It's also time to start setting goals for what you would like to accomplish this year. The sky is the limit! Remember:  "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."  (Zig Ziglar)



Thank you, so much, for those of you who were able to come out and help on Saturday morning to take down the set in the theatre.  It was done in record time!!!!  It took approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That was amazing!.  Many hands do indeed make light work!!!  There is one final project – the removal of the theatre roof.  Due to the inclement weather last Saturday, the theatre roof needed to stay in place. This coming Saturday is looking, weather-wise, like that day that we can put it away for the winter.  Once again, we are asking for help.  We will be starting at 9 am and hope to finished within 2 hours.  If anyone can come along to help, it would be greatly appreciated.  Our plan is to put two teams in place.  One team will be pulling the tarps (with a truck, of course) off of the roof and the second team will be folding the tarps and putting them away for the winter.  Thank you, one and all, for your continued support.  We are very grateful for all of the assistance that you provide!


So...are you over 30 years of age and want to learn how to step dance??  Do we have the class for you!  We are teaching a beginner adult step dance class on Wednesdays from 5:30-6pm here at The College of Piping.  It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!! Granted, we may not be spring chickens any more, but it will be about having fun, and being able to skip the gym workout that day.  No previous experience required, the more, the merrier!  To register or if you have any questions, please call Sue McGiveron at 902-436-5377 or email sue.mcgiveron@collegeofpiping.com.  We'd love to have you join us!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy 5 Year Anniversary Kylie!!!

Happy 5 Year Anniversary at The College of Piping to Kylie!!  Thank you for all you do.  Here's to another exciting year ahead.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Happy Friday!

It's hard to believe that the summer is over.  It feels like the Year End recital was just yesterday and Highland Storm was just beginning its 2015 run.  Where has the time gone?!  Before we know it, the snow will be falling and we'll be gearing up for our, gulp, Christmas recital!  Perhaps I'm getting a bit too carried away...Until then, classes resume on Monday, September 14th with band practices starting up the week of September 21st.  It's time for a new and exciting year to begin again at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada!

2015 World Highland Dance Champion, Marielle Lespérance

A huge College welcome to our newest faculty member, Marielle Lespérance!  Fresh off her win from the World Championships at Cowal, Marielle is replacing Highland Dance Instructor, Kearsney Smith, who is headed back to South Africa later this month. Marielle started this past Tuesday and is excited to start teaching next week.  Not sure who she is?! Check out her bio below!  Please help us make Marielle feel welcome by introducing yourself to her when you see her!  

Marielle Lespérance is the current Adult Ontario, Canadian, Commonwealth and World Champion in highland dancing. She is a 4-time World Champion, 5-time Commonwealth Champion, 10-time Canadian Champion and 11-time Ontario Provincial Champion. Marielle has performed with various groups throughout Canada and the United States, including with DRUM! at Dollywood in Tennessee, and with the Squid Precision Drummers in Jacques Cartier park for Canada Day. Marielle’s passion for highland dance also extends to teaching. She is a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance and has taught dance workshops across Canada.

Her newest venture is the formation of the highland dance performance group, Change of Step, with several other accomplished highland dancers. Marielle has been instructed by Ellen Cameron since the age of 10, and by Janice Macquarrie while completing her Bachelor of Science in Physics at St. Francis Xavier University. Marielle also holds a Master’s of Science in Medical Physics from Carleton University.

Welcome, Marielle!

Nick vanOuwerkerk celebrating a successful 2015 Maxville

Also new to the teaching faculty this year is Nick vanOuwerkerk.  Nick is filling in for piping instructor, Kylie MacHattie, as she prepares to go on maternity leave in October.  Nick is a familiar face at The College.  He has performed for many, many, many years in Highland Storm and is a member of the Grade 2 College of Piping Pipe Band.  Nick has also done some instructing throughout the years at The College.  Welcome back, Nick!  

We have a winner!

Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket for the RAV4 Draw!  The draw was made on September 8th and the lucky winner was Frank Osborne which was ticket # 209, sold by Board Member Ken Gillis. Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and in turn, supported The College of Piping!


We need your help!  It is that time of year when the roof will be coming off of the theatre and the set put away for the winter.  We are doing this on Saturday, September 12th and the more hands make the work go faster.  If any of you are able to come out Saturday morning to help – it would be greatly appreciated!  We are watching the weather closely.  If it is raining, we will not be able to take the roof off as we will not be able to store it for the winter wet.  If this is the case, we will still be working on the set and will pick a sunny day for the roof.  Here’s hoping for a nice morning and we can get the complete jobs finished.  Thank you, in advance, for any and all who are able to assist!

And finally, it's Friday...

The winner's fling from the 2105 World Highland Dance Championships which were held in Dunoon (Cowal), Scotland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kspXHwCtjs.  Well done, Marielle!!!