New England Piping Academy Principal Robert Wallace writes: ‘Well here we are in the deep woods of Massachusetts and the birds are singing and the pipes playing. It is quite an idyllic surrounding in which to study the great highland bagpipe.
‘The students are all responding well to treatment, crossing noises diminishing and breathing improving every day. There is the occasional increase in blood pressure when playing in public but most are learning to control this.
‘The need for good tuition in this part of the US continues and plans for NEPA 2016 are well underway to continue what we have started here. The work has mostly been on the basics, but each morning we sing Struan Robertson’s Salute and the ceol mor class has started on Sir James MacDonald of Isles’ Lament. Last night at the ceilidh three piobaireachd were heard, the Big Spree (RW), the Earl of Seaforth’s Salute by Matt Pantaleoni, and the Lament for the Little Supper from student Bruce Landay – so the big music is getting a fair airing.
‘But the emphasis is still on the basics: accuracy of technique and quality sound production. The lessons are all going well in a very friendly atmosphere, the comfortable facility making classes a pleasure for all concerned.’
The school, sponsored by D Naill & Co and Pipe Dreams, will hold a short parade in the lovely town of Newburyport tomorrow. In the evening there will be a concert and certificate presentation in the chapel at the Adelynrood Retreat, admission free. The top picture shows the students on parade with D/M W Bullard.
Mike Rogers of the United States Piping Foundation is asking for feedback from all those who were involved or attended last weekend’s championship held at the University of Delaware:
‘Thanks for your participation in the USPF last weekend, and congratulations to everyone for a fine day of piping!
‘We wanted to ask one last thing of each of you, if you could spare a few minutes to give us some feedback on the day. We’re really interested in continuing to improve the event, and would value your constructive ideas and feedback about what went well and what could be improved.The survey is at this URL, and consists of 7 questions that invite your freeform comment responses. Thanks again!’
The standard of piping was high as I said in my report, and, by way of emphasising this, here is the march Allan Dodd’s Farewell to Scotland played by professional grade piper Dan Lyden. Unfortunately Dan’s pipes let him down but you can hear the quality of his playing from this clip:
The annual ‘Piobaireachd at the Seaside’ event will be held in Brittany, France, on September 20th. Preceding it (Sept 19), will be a class given by Piobaireachd Society President Jack Taylor. For details of what is always a very well attended and enjoyable weekend, click here.
Two new letters today, one from a Danish piping comedian and another from Roddy Livingstone re the John MacDougall Gillies MS. Roddy makes some interesting points regarding Gillies and his association with Archibald Campbell. Read the letters here.
Good luck to all bands playing at Forres tomorrow. First results on the RSPBA Twitter feed and summaries here.