PP Ed’s Blog: South Florida/ Duncan Jonstone Contest/ RSPBA AGM/ Steven’s Drum/ SSPDT Easter School

Splendid school; splendid weather. Never more than 80 degrees, a cool breeze hovered around all week in Boca Raton. The 48 students were mostly local though some had travelled from as far as Connecticut to be there, drawn as much by our reputation for excellence in teaching as for the weather.

The South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy is housed in the HQ of the Boca Fire Department and at the closing concert I was able to thank the Fire Chief Mr Tom Wood, who was in attendance, for the use of his excellent facility once more. We are advancing on all fronts at this school with a year on year improvement in every aspect of piping and drumming. Soon we will have a critical mass of well taught individuals who will be able to spread the word furth of this part of the US. The teaching is sorely needed and participants in the Academy soak it up.

Our most promising student awards –
Piping: Thomas Reyes, Runner-up: Paul Manriquez; Drumming: Valentin Srbovan, Runner-up: Kelly Yaves; Tenor: Yammy Diaz, Runner-up: Alex Grey; Bass: Bobby Fraelich. Thomas received a practice chanter courtesy David Naill & Co, Paul a set of reeds courtesy G1 Reeds, Valentin and Kelly, drumsticks courtesy Pipe Dreams and Yammy, Alex and Bobby vouchers courtesy Andrew Elliot.

Tom Reyes receives his award

Once the concert formalities were over I was able to thank the other teachers personally for a rewarding week. They were: Barry Donaldson, Donald McBride, Matt Pantaleoni, Jack Williamson, Tommy Johnston and Andrew Elliot. Plans are already under way for 2019. I cannot close without commending the hard work and enterprise of our main organisers Noah Morrissette and Jason Sekula. A lot of work put in by these two genrtlemen and very much appreciated.

Some students had to leave early but most are in the picture up top. Check out this gallery for more shots:

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Tomorrow sees the annual Duncan Johnstone Memorial competition at the Piping Centre from 9am. It is confined to C & B grades but there is always some good playing, so get along if you can. Results when we get them. Read about Duncan here.


Also on tomorrow is the AGM of the RSPBA. Stay tuned to PP for the latest news from the Trades House in Glasgow. Not sure if there will be any major legislation but we will see the inauguration, barring unforeseen circumstances, of a new Chairman, John Hughes of the Lothian and Borders Branch.



John Kelly: Steven Bready, a snare drummer with Lisnamulligan Pipe Band is pictured after winning an Andante Snare Drum at the ‘Kids with Cancer’ charity event at the Royal Hotel, Cookstown, on 17th February.  Included is his cousin Craig Rogers a drummer with Ravara Pipe Band (left) who travelled with Steven to attend the concert. Both of them live about two to three miles from the Andante factory. Craig said: ‘I take Steven to the concert; he buys the next raffle ticket after me and wins the Andante drum!’

Craig and Steven



Lee Moore: SSPDT are holding a five day piping and drumming workshop from Mon 9th to Friday 13th April 10 am – 3pm each day. The Easter school is open to all young pipers/chanter players, snare drummers and bass and tenor drummers in East Lothian. The venue is Port Seton Community Centre.The cost of the Easter school is £75 for the week.

Tutors for the workshop will be the Preston Lodge team of tutors, Lee Moore and Eddie Seaman (Pipes), Simon Grant and Hannah Yorkston (Snare Drum) and Jordan Bailie (Tenor and Bass Drums). SSPDT will consider helping those in financial need and applications for help will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Please contact Lee Moore lee.moore@sspdt.org.uk to enquire about financial help.

There will be a short performance on the Friday at 4pm for friends and family when the pupils will be able to show off their skills. Refreshments will be provided for break times and pupils should bring a packed lunch. Please return both the booking slip and permissions slip with a deposit of £15, cheques made payable to Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust to: Lee Moore, PLHS Pipe Band, Preston Lodge High School, Park View, Prestonpans, EH32 9QJ. Early booking is advised as places are limited. Closing Date – 23rd March 2017; L. Moore T. 07720261306; E. lee.moore@sspdt.org.uk. Form: SSPDT Easter School 2018


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