Monday, July 30, 2012

One More Sleep!!!

The excitement at the College right now is palpable!!!  The Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band leaves for Scotland in just one more sleep.  With a stop over in Iceland, the band will land in Glasgow on Thursday, August 2nd.  The band hasn't been to the World Pipe Band Championships since 2007 when it was under the direction and pipe majorship of the late Scott MacAulay.  They competed in the class of 3B and came fourth.  It will be led this time by Pipe Major James MacHattie and Drum Sergeant Chris Coleman.  They are competing in the 3B category and will have to play in qualifier to obtain a spot in the 3B finals.  Good luck to all band members making the trip across the pond!  Not only play well but have a blast meeting new people, making new friends, seeing new sights and most importantly:  having fun!

The blog will be maintained while the band is in Scotland.  Pictures will be posted of the adventures, practices and contests.  Keep your eyes peeled as it will be updated frequently!  The World Pipe Band Championships will be streamed live by the BBC.  While our category won't be shown (only the Grade One contest will be shown), you will be able to watch the prize-giving ceremonies.  Check out the BBC Scotland webpage and follow their links to the event:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scotland/.  The band is also taking part in the Piping Live! Festival, so be sure to watch this blog for updates on those experiences!

While the Grade 3 band is in Scotland, Highland Storm will be on a two week hiatus.  The show will resume on August 15th.  Not to worry though as the stage won't remain empty! The extremely talented Patricia Murray is putting on three shows on August 7, 8 and 9th! Ryan MacNeil (uillean pipes), Ward MacDonald (fiddle), Kearsney Smith (Highland dance) and others will be joining her as well.  She will be singing some solo songs in English and in Scottish Gaelic.  Some of these songs will be accompanied by both Highland and Step dancers.  The show will highlight each of the instrumentalists and dancers through solo pieces.  The show will also feature both driving tunes and melodic, traditional songs.  This show is not to be missed!  Tickets can be obtained through the College of Piping box office or by calling 1-877-224-7473.

The College of Piping had an impressive contingent of competitors at the New Brunswick Highland Games in Fredericton this past weekend.  For full results, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  Well done to everyone who participated!

Have you heard?!  The College of Piping Pipe Bands are adding another band in to the mix! The College of Piping is pleased to announce that starting in September, the Grade 5 and 3 bands will be joined by a Grade 4 band.  With all the hard work and practice that has been happening, enough students are ready to make the leap to the Grade 5 band and the veterans from that band will be moved to the Grade 4 band.  Exciting times for the College pipe bands!!!

While our very own Lacey Fischer is in Scotland performing at the prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, why not follow her adventures?!  Lacey has started a blog of her travels (http://laceygoestoscotland.blogspot.ca/).  Right now she is preparing and learning the choreography before the tattoo starts. This has been a dream of Lacey's to perform at the Edinburgh Tattoo.  The Tattoo will run from August 3-25 at Edinburgh Castle.  The Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band will be in the crowd on August 13 to cheer her on!

Not long now...suitcases are being packed, uniforms being pressed, shoes shined and instruments polished.  It should be a time regardless of the result!  Hopefully it will create memories that band members can cherish for the rest of their piping careers!






Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thank You!

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."  This Oscar Wilde quote is pretty fitting when it comes to the fundraising efforts of the College of Piping Pipe Bands.  With the amount of funds that had to be raised in a relatively short amount of time, it was the smallest acts of kindness from family members, friends, the community, the surrounding areas and the whole province that helped get the Grade 3 band to Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships on August 11th.  The band is so thankful to all of those people who came to the send off concert this past Monday night.  Thank you doesn't even cover how much we appreciate the continued support of not only the pipe bands but the College as a whole.  The kindness, generosity, encouragement and belief in us has been overwhelming and very much welcomed!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Grade 3 band will have the honour of putting on that same concert in Scotland on August 8th in George Square as part of the Piping Live! Festival.  The College will be part of the "Canadian Invasion" as all the bands participating that day in the square are from Canada.  Today in the Scotsman newspaper, an article was written about the Canadian bands travelling to Scotland to take part in the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships.  To read more about the "Canadian Invasion", follow this link:  http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/scotland/piping-live-preview-canadians-spearhead-invasion-1-2432999.

Starting on July 31st, Highland Storm will be taking a two week hiatus while the Grade 3 band is in Scotland.    There will still be a show tonight but then it won't resume until August 15th.  Call now to reserve your ticket to this fabulous show!  While the Highland Storm is on hiatus, Patricia Murray will be putting on a show in the Mary Ellen Burns amphitheatre.  Watch this space for more details! 

When Highland Storm does resume on August 15th, why not go into Samuel's Coffee House (on the corner of Queen and Water Street in Summerside) on a Thursday and mention the word "Storm".  Samuel's has a special Highland Storm promotion on that when you mention "Storm", you get 10% off of your food purchase this summer! 

The College of Piping is wishing our very own Lacey Fischer safe travels across the pond today.  Lacey is on her way to dance at the prestigious Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland.  We know she will represent the College well.  Our Grade 3 band will be at the Tattoo on August 13th to cheer her on!  Congratulations, Lacey!!!

The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts is wishing all our students who are making the trek to compete at the New Brunswick Highland Games safe travels and lots of luck.  May your fingers be nimble, your feet be quick and don't trip over a drum stick!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Forget!!!

Don't forget that tonight is the FREE concert put on by the College of Piping Grade 3 Pipe Band.  This is a huge THANK YOU to the community for the tremendous amount of generosity, support and encouragement that the City of Summerside and the whole island has shown towards the band.  There will also be a special appearance by the College of Piping Grade 5 Pipe Band!

While in Scotland, the band will be performing during the Piping Live! festival in George Square.  George Square is in the heart of Glasgow and it is where a main portion of the Piping Live! events will take place.  The concert tonight will be the concert that they will be performing in George Square.  Please come out and help send off our band as they embark on this exciting and challenging adventure.  They will not only be representing the College of Piping but the City of Summerside and our gorgeous province.  The concert starts at 7:30 and is FREE!!!  There will be a concession stand if munchies and drinks are needed during the performance.  Help send off our band in style!!!  Do not miss out!!!

 Thank You from Us to You!




Friday, July 20, 2012

It's been a month!!!

It's hard to believe that it's already the middle of July!  Less than two weeks until the Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band make the jaunt across the pond to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships on August 11th.  Keep your eyes peeled to the blog for daily updates of the happenings of the band while they are in Scotland.  As a thank you to the community both College of Piping Pipe Bands are putting on a FREE concert on Monday, July 23rd to thank the city of Summerside and the rest of the island for their generous support this year as the band fundraised like crazy to make this trip possible. The concert will start at 7:30pm and will take place in the Mary Ellen Burns amphitheatre at the College of Piping in Summerside.  Today the Grade 3 band was featured on the front page of the Journal Pioneer.  Follow this link to read about the band's trip: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2012-07-19/article-3035147/Off-to-the-world-championships/1.

The Antigonish Highland Games took place this past weekend and the College held their own amongst stiff competition.  For full results of this contest, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  For photos from the competition field and the parade, please follow these links: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=5009a1f98a27a and http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=5009a10a26361.  Well done to everyone who went!

Recently our very own Sarah Simpson was featured in a pipes|drums blog.  pipes|drums is the only independent news source for pipers, drummers and pipe bands in the world. Andrew Berthoff, the editor of pipes|drums, was a judge at the 2012 Summerside Highland Gathering.  To read about Sarah, please follow this link:  http://blogpipe-pipesdrums.com/.

Our very own piping and dancing instructors were recently featured in Celtic Life.  To read about Kearsney, James and Kylie, please follow these links: http://www.celticlifeintl.com/making-beautiful-music-together/ and http://www.celticlifeintl.com/the-creative-edge/.  


Well done to the Glengarry Pipe Band at the Antigonish Highland Games!  Glengarry spent a week at the College before heading over to compete at the oldest Highland Games in North America.  We had an absolute blast with them and their hard work paid off as they did extremely well as a band and in their solo competitions.  Congratulations, Glengarry!!!


Well, it's been an huge amount of hard work but the last blue dot was put up by Pipe Major James MacHattie this past Friday.  There have been tireless hours of fundraising, practising and competing to make sure that the goal of going to Scotland was reached and the bands have done it!!!  Fantastic job everyone and congratulations!!!








Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time is whizzing by!

Phew...It's been an extremely busy time here at the College.  Please excuse the absent blog posts!  June started with a bang and never slowed down.  It's hard to believe that it's already July.  Where is time going?! In 28 days the College of Piping Grade 3 Pipe Band leaves to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships.  At this rate, they'll be there in no time!  The dog days of summer are anything but!

The Moncton Highland Games have started off the competition season.  Congratulations to all those who made the trek off the island to compete at them.  A special well done to all of our first time competitors!  The College was well represented in highland dancing, piping, drumming and bands.  For full results and photos from these games, please check out these links: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php and http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4fe3768920154.  If you look closely in one of the photos, you will spot Jerome the band gnome!

The day after the Moncton Highland Games was our year end recital.  This is a special day at the College as the year of hard work is celebrated by all four of our core disciplines. This is a chance for our students to strut their stuff and show what they have been practising so diligently throughout the year.  Proud parents and instructors watch as the kids take to the stage and shine.  For photos from this fantastic day, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=4ff30dc72b371. Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners!  Your dedication and hard work has paid off, so enjoy your scholarship lessons starting in the fall.  For a full list of scholarship winners, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/excellenceawards.php.


It's hard to believe that just over a week ago was the Summerside Highland Gathering.  A lot of time, hard work, planning, organizing, coordinating and so much more was put in to make these games possible.  A huge thank you to Susan Topping and Vance Bridges for co-chairing the Highland Gathering and making it the success that it is.  Vance is board member at the College and Susan is a volunteer extraordinaire!  Susan is one of the unofficial/official College paparazzi and spends many a hour helping out where needed. The College is VERY grateful to have someone like Susan volunteering!  Thank you doesn't even cover it!  Despite the Scottish type weather, the Gathering went off without a hitch.  The Barra MacNeils concert was played to a full amphitheatre and it seemed appropriate that the heavens opened up while the song "Caledonia" was being performed! The beer tent was rocking Friday and Saturday night.  A huge thank you to all of our judges who made the trip to the island.  A huge THANK YOU to all of those who competed, supported, volunteered and came to watch the various events that were offered. Our Highland Gathering would not be a success without your support!  For results and photos, please follow these links: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php and http://www.collegeofpiping.com/competitionresults.php.  The Journal Pioneer was also on hand to cover the weekend's events.  For this article, follow this link:  http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2012-06-24/article-3016200/Strike-up-the-bands/1.  


Last night was the preview night for Highland Storm.  The cast performed before a full house and this year's show is proving to be the best show the College has ever seen! Tonight is opening night!!!  Do not miss out!  Directed by Ryan MacNeil and performed by the students and instructors of the College, this is the MUST see summer show on the island!  To book your ticket for tonight (or any other night that the show is being performed) please call 1-877-BAGPIPE.  Don't wait too long as tickets are going fast!  For more information on Highland Storm, please follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/highlandstorm.php.  If you can't make it to Highland Storm, check out one of our mini shows!  For information on these follow this link: http://www.collegeofpiping.com/miniconcerts.php.  


The College of Piping Pipe Bands have a one of a kind painting up for auction!  Grace Curtis, a fantastic PEI artist, has donated a unique painting, entitled Celtic Reverie, for the College Pipe Bands to auction off to the highest bidder.  Grace first learned of the band's fundraising efforts from a CBC radio interview and decided to donate the gorgeous work of art to help the Grade 3 band get to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland.  She chose three members of the band (Shanae Rogers, Logan Doyle and Hayley Porter) and began to conceptualize the painting.  She documented the progress of Celtic Reverie on her facebook page-Grace Curtis Fine Art.  Myron Taylor, a stalwart College volunteer, custom made the beautiful pine frame.  Celtic Reverie is currently up for bid online and will end on July 9, 2012.  For more information on or to place a bid on the painting, please follow this link:  http://www.ebay.ca/itm/280911076432?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649.  All proceeds of the auction will support The College's pipe bands.  The pipe bands and the College are extremely grateful to Grace for such a kind, generous and unique contribution.  Please take the time to help support Grace and her new studio, and visit her website: http://www.gracecurtisfineart.com/.