Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dance News!!!




Mark your calendars!!! HIGHLAND STORM Highland Dance auditions will be taking place on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am with Kearsney Smith and Karen Hatcher.  Auditions will take place in the Main Hall at The College of Piping in Summerside.  A sign up sheet and registration form will be available upon arrival.  Casting Priority will be given to Highland Dance students registered at The College of Piping.  Highland Storm will be running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, opening on Friday, June 27th through to Wednesday, August 6th. There will be no shows after that as the pipe bands head off to Scotland.

Requirements for auditioning for Highland Storm are:  
  • You must be 12 Years or older
  • You must be at Intermediate / Premier level
  • Must be able to endure copious amounts of dancing
If selected for Highland Storm – all rehearsals are mandatory.  The following is the preliminary rehearsal schedule for June (subject to change as required):  June 16th-20th (evenings) and June 23rd-26th (evenings).  Highland Dance rehearsals will start in March on weekend dates, which will be given out once dancers are selected.



We have solidified our teaching team for 2014 with the addition of Chelsey Sanderson as our new lead step dance instructor!  Chelsey has taken over Brittany’s Wednesday and Thursday classes as well as the Dance Company. We are going down the BATD path with her and she will have her qualifications early in the New Year.  Emily Roberts is teaching Monday’s in Charlottetown.  Some of you may recognize her from the summer when she worked in our gift shop.  Mikaila Murray continues to do a great job in Summerside on Tuesdays.  A huge College of Piping welcome to Chelsey and Emily!  We’re very excited to have you join our teaching faculty!  

Chelsey performing at the 2014 College of Piping Robbie Burns Gala
(photo credit to Susan Topping)

In case you aren't familiar with our new lead step dance instructor, let me introduce her!  Chelsey was born and raised in York, PEI, and is currently studying kinesiology at the University of Prince Edward Island.  She is thrilled to be able to start her teaching career at The College and to be able to share her favourite activity with her students.  Chelsey started dancing at the age of two at Shirley’s Celtic Studio of Dance, where she studied and completed all levels of BATD step dancing. She has truly enjoyed the thrill of competing and performing ever since and has been fortunate enough to compete and perform in various ceilidhs and festivals all across Prince Edward Island, and to take her dancing a step farther when she performed as a step dancer/ singer in The College of Piping’s productions of Highland Storm in 2009 and 2010 under the direction of Stephanie Cadman. Chelsey has also performed in the Feast Dinner Theatre in the summers of 2012 and 2013.  Being a part of both group and solo performances has allowed Chelsey to have many enlightening opportunities in her life, and she hopes to inspire her students the way her teachers always did. She is excited for all of the teaching and learning to come and wants to thank Shirley, Heather, Alana, her mom, and certainly The College of Piping and its entire staff for providing yet another opportunity in her life. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What a Month!

Well, this blogger has been decidedly delinquent about posting this month.  My apologies for being a bit sparse in the information department.  Now that I've eaten my haggis, neeps and tatties, I've now got renewed energy and have shaken off the mid winter blahs.  As the wind is howling and the temperatures go up and down like a yo-yo, one way to keep warm this winter is practising.  While motivation might be at an all time low, nothing can pep you up like a good practice. Whether it's a couple of dances to your favourite tunes, practising your favourite steps, playing through your most beloved tunes or even just having jam session with your fellow band mates, you will be amazed at how much your mood has elevated by the time you are done!


A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported our third annual Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala.  It was a sold out event and the College is very grateful for the support from the community for our biggest fundraiser.  A massive thank you to all of our sponsors who contributed to make it such a fabulous and successful evening.  The haggis was piped in and addressed, a fantastic dinner was eaten and the entertainment was top notch.  Mark your calendars for next year's event, which will be held on January 24th, 2015 and don't miss out on a top notch Scottish evening!  The evening was even featured in the Journal Pioneer.  To read about the evening, please follow this link: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2014-01-26/article-3591665/Happy-Birthday%2C-Robbie-Burns/1.  To see photos from the gala, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/photogalleries.php?id=52e908218e066.  A huge thank you to Susan Topping for taking such awesome photos of the event!

Bruce Simpson with our Executive Director, Karen Hatcher

During the festivities on Saturday night, there was a very special presentation.  This presentation is usually reserved for the Christmas recital but since Mother Nature decided to be disagreeable, it ended up getting cancelled.  The Volunteer of the Year award is an award for someone who goes beyond the spectrum of just helping out.  It is someone who comes and gets the job done without complaint, without begrudge or a cross word.  It is someone who goes that extra mile to make sure the job not only gets done but gets done properly.  The very deserving recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award this year is Bruce Simpson. Bruce is father to Ryan and Sarah Simpson who are pipers in our College pipe bands.  Bruce cuts the grass in the back field every year to make sure that it's the perfect length for the Highland Gathering.  He built all of the picnic tables that were greatly needed.  He's a guy who comes and helps out and goes that extra mile. He may be quiet but his heart is big and we really very much appreciate the generosity of his time.  Thank you and congratulations, Bruce!

Dean with his lovely wife, Anna

Dean MacDonald is not only a piper in our Grade 4 College of Piping Pipe Band but he is also a huge supporter, along with his wife Anna, of the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  Each year Dean kindly puts together a video of highlights of what we've gotten up to during the year.  Each video just keeps getting better and better and this year's is no exception.  To watch our year in review, please follow this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFqI-nj23Oo.  To watch more of Dean's videos, please follow this link:  http://www.collegeofpiping.com/pipebands.php.  Thank you, Dean!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Storm Cancellations


Due to the impending blizzard, all classes in Cornwall and Summerside have been cancelled for this afternoon and this evening. The College of Piping Grade 4 band practice is also cancelled for tonight.  Please stay safe, stay warm and keep practicing!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

Lang May Yer Lum Reek!  May you live long and stay well!  2013 was an extremely busy and exciting year at the College. It saw the creation of a third competitive band for the College of Piping Pipe Bands, our Highland dancers travelled to the Canadian Highland Dance Championships in Montreal and all three of our College pipe bands travelled to compete at the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario. Highland Storm, under the direction of Ryan MacNeil, was the best one yet and the Highland Gathering saw the addition of Celtic Idol!  Phew...it was jam packed year!


2014 is proving to top last year already!  This is the year of our homecoming and can you believe that 25 years have already passed since the opening of the College?  We have tons of exciting events planned but you'll have attend our Highland Gathering (June 27th-29th) to see how we'll celebrate this milestone!



Mark your calendars!!! HIGHLAND STORM Highland Dance auditions will be taking place on Saturday, February 1, 2014from 10:00 am – 11:30 am with Kearsney Smith and Karen Hatcher.  Auditions will take place in the Main Hall at The College of Piping in Summerside. A sign up sheet and registration form will be available upon arrival.  Casting Priority will be given to Highland Dance students registered at The College of Piping.  Highland Storm will be running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, opening on Friday, June 27th through to Wednesday, August 6th. There will be no shows after that as the pipe bands head off to Scotland.

Requirements for auditioning for Highland Storm are:  
  • You must be 12 Years or older
  • You must be at Intermediate / Premier level
  • Must be able to endure copious amounts of dancing
If selected for Highland Storm – all rehearsals are mandatory.  The following is the preliminary rehearsal schedule for June (subject to change as required):  June 16th-20th (evenings) and June 23rd-26th (evenings).  Highland Dance rehearsals will start in March on weekend dates, which will be given out once dancers are selected.



If you fell short on the perfect Christmas present for your loved one, why not make it up to them on Valentines Day?!  We have got some unique gift ideas to help you out!  If your loved one likes to travel, why not buy them a Scotland raffle ticket?  They would have the unique opportunity to travel with two pipe bands to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August 2014. Tickets are one for twenty dollars, three for fifty dollars or six for one hundred dollars and are available from any College of Piping Pipe Band member or from The College.  The draw will take place on March 15th at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside.  There are additional prizes to be won as well!

Or...

If your loved one loves haggis and scotch, why not buy them a ticket to our Robbie Burns Gala?!  For all of those Burns fanatics in your life, a Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala has been planned for Saturday, January 25, 2014.  The reception will begin at 6:30 pm with a traditional Robbie Burns Roast Beef Dinner at 7:00 pm. Entertainment will be provided by the faculty and the extremely talented students of the College of Piping. Tickets are $100.00 per person with a $75.00 tax receipt. A table of 8 will be $800.00. There is limited seating available so get your tickets early. A complimentary shuttle service from Charlottetown to Summerside and return is available.  This is the main fundraiser for The College of Piping so your support is appreciated to help us get through the year. As a non-profit organization, we are always looking for new and creative ways to raise the funds that will enable us to continue to provide educational programs, encourage students to learn and grow in their disciplines, and offer continued growth in the Celtic Performing Arts.