Northern Winter School Piping Places Sell Out / Reminder on Piobaireachd Concert

The Northern Winter School, to be held at Lohheide in Germany in November, has announced that all places for pipers have been taken only four weeks after registrations opened.

The school has also intimated that they will be including drumming in this year’s curriculum, with top side drummer and RSPBA adjudicator Paul Turner leading the class.

The Northern Winter School runs from November 2 – 9, 2018, and is now in its fourth year. School Principal Ronnie Bromhead said: ‘I really don’t know what to say about the success of the Winter School to be honest. The response has been amazing. I think that the excellent and highly qualified instructors, coupled with the high standard of food and accommodation, has proved to be a winning combination.

‘It is reassuring that drummers are now taking a step forward and registering. At the time of writing there was room for four more. On that note it gives me great pleasure to announce that former World Solo Champion Paul Turner has now joined our instructor team and will no doubt put the drummers through their paces.

Piping instructors at the NWS: P/M Barry Donaldson, RSPBA adjudicator Jim Semple (Barry and Jim are multiple Worlds winners with Strathclyde Police), Principal Ronnie Bromhead ex-Scots Guards, Craig Munro of SLoT and Wallace Bagpipes, noted solo piper and reed maker Brian Lamont and our editor Robert Wallace

‘In previous years registration have been slow and drawn out, taking almost eight months to get decent sized classes. This year to be sold out in four weeks is just amazing and confirmation that the participants last year have gone home very happy and word has got out.

‘This year we have introduced a different fees and registration system. The first instalment covers all instructional costs: their fees, flights etc. The second goes directly to the youth hostel with students able to book their own room, be it single, double, with or without en suite, once again confirming that the NWS is not about making money but providing a service to all who want to become better musicians.

Instructors Barry Donaldson, Craig Munro and Brian Lamont have an impromptu session at the 2017 NWS

‘Last year we started our first exams (completely optional) and I’m happy to say a 100% pass rate was achieved and our youngest participant (Nicklas aged nine) went onto win two first places in the Beginners’ section at Peine Highland Gathering solos this year, so big congratulations to him.  We are now getting ready for NWS 2018.’

For more information on the school click here. Last year the former Principal of the now defunct College of Piping, Colin MacLellan, commented adversely about the quality of instructors at the school.



The editor has asked us to remind everyone that tickets for the Piobaireachd Society’s ‘Classical Pipe Music – Scotland’s Hidden Treasure’ concert are now on sale via the Edinburgh Fringe box office. Given that the Aug 12 concert will feature two modern tunes he should have mentioned the fact in his blog yesterday. Click here for tickets (£10/ £8).

The front cover of the concert programme

Pipers performing on what will be a unique occasion in the beautiful St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, are: Callum Beaumont, Glenn Brown, Jamie Forrester and Ian K MacDonald. Each will play two tunes in continuous fashion, no tuning, with an interval half way through the concert. This format was pioneered successfully at a concert run by Allan MacDonald at the Edinburgh Festival in 1999.

The tunes to be played are: Phantom Piper of the Corrieyairick, Flame of Wrath for Squinting Patrick, the Desperate Battle of the Birds, Beloved Scotland, Lament for the Children, MacLeod’s Controversy, Cabar Feidh Gu Bragh and the Prince’s Salute. The entrance fee includes a comprehensive concert programme detailing the history of the music and the tunes played.

There will be a small reception hosted by the Society at the conclusion of the performance circa 9.30pm.


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