Organisers of the European Pipe Band Championships ‘Piping at Forres’ are creating a short film featuring young pipers and drummers. The film will include interviews with the under 25s explaining how and why they got involved in a band. The documentary will be used to promote the European Pipe Band Championships which will be held in Forres for the last time in June 2018 after a six-year run in the Moray town.
Joanna Taylor of ‘Piping At Forres’, said: ‘We want to hear from bands, pipe majors or individuals who have something to say about young people, piping and its future. We know that there is a huge youth element within the piping community. At ‘Piping At Forres’ in 2017, we had more than 1,000 competitors under the age of 18. This documentary will not only explore why young people have joined bands and hopefully enthuse others to do the same.’
Gordon Hamill (pictured), chairman of the RSPBA, said: ‘We are more than happy to support this documentary. The Association is very proud of the fact that our biggest growth area in recent years is in Novice Juvenile and Juvenile bands. At the World Pipe Band Championships in 2017 a record number of 33 youth pipe bands competed. In addition, at the recent World Solo Drumming Championships a total of 130 Juvenile snare and tenor drummers competed. These young people are the future lifeline of pipe bands and the continuation of our promotion of our national music heritage.
‘In addition to our five major championships we organise and promote a further 45 local contests which encourages Juvenile bands to participate in their local area. We also encourage our juvenile members to test their ability and knowledge through our education programme that is approved by the SQA. We are delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.’
If you are in a pipe band and want to get involved with the documentary contact Claire at Chit Chat PR & Digital, the company who will be creating the film, on 01309 641354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 7.
Professional grade piper Jack Williamson has joined the teaching faculty at the fully subscribed South Florida Pipe and Drum Academy. The school takes place in Boca Raton next week from February 26 till March 2. Noah Morrissette, SFPDA organiser, said: ‘Such were our numbers that we had to bring another piping instructor on board and are very grateful to Jack for joining us at such short notice.’ Jack played with Bleary & District and is currently Pipe Major of the Kansas City St Andrew Pipes & Drums.
The US’s Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming report: This summer, 2018, the Balmoral School will run an intensive summer program for pipers and drummers, in Indiana and Pennsylvania, over four separate weeks. Both beginners and accomplished musicians will immerse themselves in weeklong sessions with some of the best pipers and drummers in the world. During the fourth session, the school will offer ensemble music for students who play other instruments. Program Director Colin Bell will compose custom arrangements of Celtic traditional music and participating students in various ensembles will unveil their work in performances throughout the week.
June 14-June19: University of Indianapolis; Piping: Jimmy Bell, Duncan Bell; Drumming: Gordon Bell
July 8-13: Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel, PA (5 minutes north of Pittsburgh); Piping: Robert Mathieson, Terry Tully; Drumming: Gordon Bell
July 15-20, East Stroudsburg University; Piping: Jimmy Bell, Robert Mathieson; Drumming: Gordon Bell
July 22-27, East Stroudsburg University; Piping: Jimmy Bell, Robert Mathieson; Drumming: Gordon Bell; Director of ensemble music: Colin Bell
Terry Tully: Former P/M of 2010 World Champion St Laurence O’Toole; Rob Mathieson: Led Shotts & Dykehead to over 30 major Grade One championships; five wins of the World Pipe Band Championships; published three books of his compositions. Jimmy Bell: Professional grade piper, EUSPBA, SUSPBA judges panels, director and principal instructor of the Scottish Heritage Program, P/M of Lyon College Pipe Band; Duncan Bell: Professional grade piper; Judges panel EUSPBA; P/S for Parlin and District. Founder of ’51 Ash’ Celtic Rock band; Gordon Bell: EUSPBA Overall Champion 1979-1987, over 30 years experience instructing, veteran of many top Grade One bands; Colin Bell: Music educator, percussionist and composer. The Balmoral Schools say: ‘Students, both individuals and pipe bands, will receive instruction on the great Highland pipes, smallpipes, snare, tenor drum and bass drum, in small classes of five or less, while making friendships that last a lifetime.’