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!!!