In hopes to get the winter funk out of our bones, we at APNA will be listing summer events to go see, hear, and take part in alternative piping. If you have an event to add for the summer email us here.
Prince Edward Island Camp July 13-20
Smallpiping, Border piping, fiddling, piano, step and social dancing, all by the beach in beautiful (and cool for the summer!) Prince Edward Island, where the locals do these things growing up and are happy to share their talents. Beginners and more advanced players welcome and accommodated. All ages and families very welcome. See a PEI Fiddle Camp review here. And see a video of a typical night at camp.
Vermont Bellows Pipes and Fiddle School July 30-August 3
Now in its 23rd year, this school celebrates the step dance music traditions of Scotland as played on Scottish small pipes, Border pipes, fiddle and whistles. Musicality and rhythm are the focus, as opposed to technicality and ornamentation (although these are not ignored).
This has been the place to go and learn from the best bellows pipers from Scotland (and the US and Canada) from the beginning of the revival. A relaxed and yet tunes packed week. The focus is definitely on pipes (fiddle and whistle only recently added). Students receive a CD and sheet music of all tunes taught during the week.
Here are two of the main instructors for the school.
The Piper’s Gathering August 3-6
Needing no introduction, the Piper’s Gathering has been holding the alternative piping community together since 1985:
“The Pipers’ Gathering is a musical convention that features “alternative bagpipes” of all types. When you hear the word “bagpipe,” most folks automatically think of the Great Highland Bagpipe. You know, the guys with the kilts who play those wonderfully loud instruments. Our event features many of the other bagpipe types found in the British Isles and Europe, including Northumbrian Smallpipes, Scottish Smallpipes, Irish uilleann pipes, Border pipes and the many different varieties of English bagpipes. Participants are exposed to the broad range of these fascinating instruments and the people who play and make them.
The Pipers’ Gathering is frequented by some of the finest pipemakers in the world. It is the one place to go in North America if you want to try out and order one of these musical instruments. Nationally recognized music vendors offer hard-to-find items related to this type of piping, such as CD’s, music books and supplies.”
Come Take Part in Our Community
Attending one of these events, especially a week long event, can be just the thing to keep a piper motivated through the long winter. Direct contact with our most talented and gifted players, and those like-minded and more like-skilled as ourselves is just the thing to feel part of this tiny community. Your age or skill level doesn’t matter as all are represented at these events. So come take part and you’ll likely be a better, happier piper throughout the year, and probably make some life long friends as well.