Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Phew!  This past weekend was an extraordinarily busy one!  A pipe band concert, Highland dancing medal testing and our pipe bands played at the closing ceremonies of both the men's and women's Grand Slam curling event at Credit Union Place.  Things aren't predicted to slow down either at the College.  Not many free weekends between now and the start of the summer competition season.  It's busy, busy, busy!

Hayley Porter (performing in Highland Storm) on the left

Congratulations to all of the College dancers who took part this past weekend in the medal testing.  The College Highland Dancers received:  6 highly commended, 4 commended and 8 passed plus.  A special congratulations to Hayley Porter on passing her associate's exam.  Hayley is now qualified to assistant teach for Highland Dancing. The examiner is said to have been very pleased with Hayley and that she did, "very well and we should be proud!"  Kearsney and the College are so proud of all who participated and for doing such a wonderful job!  Well done!

In other dancing news, the dance parents committee would like to let all dancers (Step and Highland) know that the end of year dance party is on May 25th at the College of Piping.  This is a not to be missed event!  Come and celebrate all your hard work with a party!

Thank you to all that came out and supported the College of Piping Pipe Bands at their New London concert this past weekend.  The hall was packed, great tunes were heard, some very entertaining live auctions were held and everybody had a fantastic time!  A big thank you to Ward MacDonald and Kendall Docherty for their support and great tunes. Keep your eyes peeled to the blog for future concert dates.

Super exciting news at the College!  We are now offering official College of Piping apparel online!  You can now order the stylish and very comfortable College of Piping apparel from the comforts of your home and from anywhere in the world.  You have several different options to access the fancy new swag.  You can either click on the banner that will appear on our website or the link can also be found in the About Us and Gift Shop sections of the website.  Start shopping!

My favourite quote of the week is one by Hans Christian Andersen.  It's very appropriate for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts no matter what discipline you are in. He is quoted as saying,  "where words fail, music speaks."  I would have to add not only music but dance as well.  Happy practicing!                

Friday, April 20, 2012

Have you bought your ticket yet?!  For what you ask?!  The College of Piping Pipe Bands are holding a fundraising concert this Saturday (April 21st) at the New London Community Complex.  This a not to be missed event!  Not only will our pipe bands showcase their talents but they will also be joined by Kendall Docherty and Friends and Ward MacDonald.  Not only will there be fantastic music but there will be a silent and live auction, a cake auction, a quilt raffle and more!  Who doesn't like cake?!  Rumour has it that one of our very own Grade 5 pipe band parents is a professional cake decorator!  The concert will start with a bang with the Grade 5 band taking the stage at 7pm.  Tickets are $12.00 and are available at the College of Piping.  For more information, please contact the College at 1-877-224-7473.

Did you hear the College of Piping on CBC Mainstreet PEI this week? James MacHattie, Kylie MacHattie, Chris Coleman and Shanae Rogers were featured.  The show focussed on the fundraising efforts of the College of Piping Grade 3 Pipe Band and their big trip to Scotland to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in August.  If you missed to the opportunity to hear the show live, follow this link to hear the interview:  http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?clipid=2224205469&position=3250&site=cbc.news.ca.  

Congratulations to this week's 50/50 winner, Ryan Boulter!  Ryan took home a $206.00 return on a two dollar investment.  Not a bad way to end the week!  It's never too late to enter the draw.  You must sign in each week to be eligible for the weekly winnings.  Help support the College of Piping Pipe Bands!  

Don't forget tomorrow is medal testing time.  Please arrive no later than 3:45 and the testing starts at 4pm sharp.  If you are late and miss your time slot, there will not be a make up or a reschedule.  Once you have danced, you are allowed to leave.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kearsney at kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com.

Don't forget that May 4th is the date of the next ceilidh.  This gives you lots of time to put the finishing touches on your ceilidh act.  Start warming up your vocal chords, stretching your legs and tuning your instruments as May will be upon us in no time!  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Dance!

It's medal testing time!!!  Medal tests are on Saturday, April 21st and will be held at the College of Piping in Summerside. Our session is expected to begin at 4:00pm so Kearsney will need all dancers there NO LATER than 3:45pm. This will give all dancers the chance to warm up and get ready.

What you will need:
Ø       Hair in a bun – there should be no loose hair hanging in the dancer’s face.
Ø       Extra bobby pins, hair gel and safety pins.
Ø       White KNEE-HIGH socks – these HAVE to sit just under the kneecap.
Ø       Black ghillies / dance shoes.
Ø       Black underwear.
Ø       No jewelry or watches.
Ø       If you don’t already have your own, kilt and white blouses will be provided.

Please expect some delay as these tests can be unpredictable on time. Once your child has finished, you may leave. Results will be given in class. Please make sure you are on time as they run according to a schedule – if you’re late, you miss out. Parents are welcome to contact Kearsney (kearsney.smith@collegeofpiping.com) if you have any questions or concerns. 

There are still lots of tickets available for the John Deere fundraiser!  The proceeds from this fundraiser go to the College of Piping Step and Highland Dancers.  Enter for your chance to win a John Deere D130 lawn tractor hydrostatic with a drive 42" mower deck. Be the envy of your neighbourhood as your neighbours sweat it out with their push mowers and you zip around on your lawn tractor!  You'll have to time to cut the grass between innings and not miss a moment of the game!  Tickets can be purchased from any College of Piping dancer or at the main desk at the College of Piping.  Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25.  This draw has been generously sponsored by Green Diamond Equipment.  The draw will take place on Father's Day.  Get your ticket today!

I hope the date of April 19th has been circled!  There is a dance parents meeting at 7pm at the College of Piping (Summerside) boardroom.  Please attend this meeting if you are a dance parent!  Your input is invaluable for fundraising ideas, planned activities for the dancers and allocating dance funds to different projects.  The agenda for this month's meeting is:  Highland Gathering competition sponsorship, end of year party and summer activities.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday!

The sun is shining, crocuses are popping up and Bryan Adams is playing in Summerside this weekend!  Can life get any better?!  Did you know that on his last tour, he incorporated bagpipes into his show?  A piper joined Bryan on stage for the song, Cuts Like A Knife.  Other singers have done this as well.  Paul McCartney is sometimes joined on stage by a pipe band when he sings the song, Mull of Kintyre.  Madonna had a piper in her Re-Invention Tour.  Did you know that the drummer for Marianas Trench is a snare drummer and played with the six time world champions, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band?  I bet piping and drumming doesn't seem quite as nerdy now...

It may not be on the same scale as the Bryan Adams concert but our very own College of Piping Pipe Bands are hosting a fundraising concert on April 21st in New London.  They will be joined on stage with acts such as Kendall Docherty, Ward MacDonald and our very own and multi talented, Jordan Chowen.  The fabulous entertainment starts at 7pm. Come early to get a good seat!  Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased through the College of Piping Box Office (902-436-5377).  Come and support our pipe bands and hear some stellar tunes at the same time!

Congratulations are in order for John MacIntyre!  John is a piper in the College's Grade 3 Pipe Band and has just been named pharmacist of the year for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  John will travel to Toronto this weekend to take part in an awards ceremony where he is up for the Pharmacist of the year for Ontario and Eastern Canada. Good luck and congratulations on such a prestigious award!

Congratulations are also in order to Bruce Simpson!  He was the bigger winner in yesterday's 50/50 draw.  Bruce took home over $200 which he generously donated back to the pipe band!  It's never too late to sign up for the draw.  It's only a toonie!  You could be next week's big winner!

A quote that I discovered from one of my favourite authors is pretty fitting for the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts.  Oscar Wilde was once quoted as saying, "A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament."  Words that couldn't be truer for a place like this!    


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts!  May your Easter egg hunts be successful and the Easter Bunny leave you with lots of chocolatey treats. Remember, chocolate is considered to be healthy!  Chocolate contains the same health benefits as dark vegetables and dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants. Dark chocolate has even more antioxidants than strawberries!  If you feel like you have overindulged in your treats, just practice a little bit longer or harder!  A reminder that lessons will not be held in Charlottetown this Easter Monday (April 9th) because the church is not open.

Thank you very much to all of you who came out and supported the March ceilidh!  A time was had by all!  The College of Piping Dancers and Pipe Bands greatly appreciate your support.  For photos from the ceilidh, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4f7b41413d915.  If you attended the ceilidh and have photos from the night, please send them in to the College so that they can be put on the website to be shared with the College of Piping community (please remember that photos will have to be approved before they are put on the website and not all photos may be website quality).  

Circle the date of Thursday, April 19th.  A Dance Parent committee meeting will be held. It will start at 7pm and will take place in the boardroom at the College of Piping.  On the agenda is:  Highland Gathering competition sponsorship, end of year party and summer activities.  If you're a dance parent, please come out and give your input!  Find out what the dance committee has planned for your dancers!  

Congratulations to all the College pipers who travelled this past weekend to the Halifax Citadel Mini Meet #3.  A contingent of six made the trek and all were very successful. Three of the six won the overall for their respective grades!  For results and photos, follow these links: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php and http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4f7b41bd323e3.  Well done to all of you!

The MacIsaac Kiltmakers were recently featured on Celtic Life's online "Getting to Know You" page.  For those of you who don't know who the MacIsaacs are, they are the reason why our College Pipe Bands look so spiffy and polished!  The MacIsaacs own and operate a kiltmaking shop in St. Peters, Cape Breton.  If you are ever looking for a brand new kilt for piping, drumming or highland dancing, these are the people to see!  Not only are they extremely talented but they are also fantastic people.  To read the article on the MacIsaacs, please follow this link:  http://www.celticlifeintl.com/getting-to-know-you/.  To find their lovely website, follow this link:  http://www.mackilts.com/.

Congratulations to this week's 50/50 Gold Rush winner!  Margaret Blacquiere from Rustico took home a jackpot of $204.00.  Not a bad return for a toonie!  Proceeds from this draw go to the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  Enter now at participating locations for your chance to win!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

To Good Health!

Earlier this month PEI's chief public health officer released the first ever report on the state of health on the island.  The results have been a huge wake up call to Canada's tiniest province.  The report shows that Islanders have higher instances of obesity, asthma, diabetes and cancer than the rest of the country.  On average, Islanders tend to be less active and have poorer eating habits.  Islanders are also more likely to suffer from chronic conditions, one in ten islanders suffers from asthma and residents are also more likely to be obese than other Canadian provinces.  Not the happiest of news for the birthplace of Confederation!

There is a bright side and the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts can help.  Did you know that dancing a six step fling is the equivalent to running a mile?  Did you know that a dancer jumps vertically 192 times while dancing a six step fling?  Did you know that a snare drum weighs anywhere from 16 to 20 pounds?  Imagine carrying that in a 5km parade with hills!  Did you know that the great highland bagpipe is one of the most physical instruments to play?  Did you know that you have to keep four reeds going in the bagpipes?  At once?!  I wouldn't want to count how many times in a minute that step dancers click their heels and toes.  All four of our core disciplines are not only physically demanding but mentally as well (which is good to help stave off alzheimers disease!).

Did you know that the Highland dancing program at the College offers an open class?  This class is designed for retired or recreational dancers to stay fit and have some fun in a non competitive atmosphere.  Did you know that the College offers a fitness class?  This is a targeted fitness and exercise class designed to improve conditioning for both Highland and Step dancers.  The College Bagpiping and Drumming courses are offered to anyone who wants to learn how to play regardless of age.  Once you're on your chosen instrument, come and sweat it out at band practice once a week.

While the College may not seem as conventional as a gym or fitness institution, it offers a lot of courses to promote good health.  It's a fun and relaxing atmosphere.  What better way to stay in shape than showing off your new moves or technique at a ceilidh!

Let's show the rest of Canada that we Islanders are not just a bunch of couch potatoes.  Fit as a fiddle?!  How about fit as a bagpipe?  Drum?  Highland or Step shoes?!  We'll let you decide.