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 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 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.