Editor’s Notebook: North Lanarkshire/ NPC Schools/ Florida Academy/ 20th Cent Piob Book/ SPA Entry

Some promising news on the North Lanarkshire music provision front. It would appear that all of the bands and orchestras in the local authority’s schools are to remain, and that includes their award winning pipe bands. The downside I hear is that they are looking for cuts of £186,000 from ‘management and tuition’ in schools.

That sounds to me like a few big jobs are going to be axed and provision curtailed. Teachers might have to spread their efforts ever thinner. It is nothing more than a temporary reprieve. Why can’t the Scottish Government declare all music teaching part of the educational entitlement of every youngster?

It says much about our attitude to the arts that the first port of call for the cost cutters is the very thing that helps define and promote the country and gives these children such a good start in life. And music means they do better in all their subjects: evidence in every survey.

NPC Seasonal Schools

The National Piping Centre report: Our Seasonal Schools are back with our Spring editions coming up soon. The Young Stars school for learners aged 17 and Under and will run from 6th – 9th April, then our NPC Adult Gatherings for pipers aged 18+ will run from 20th – 23rd April! Our Summer and Autumn dates are also confirmed and available to book, so head over to our website and register today and make plans for a piping hot 2020!

The Young Stars piping schools are specifically targeted towards young pipers aged 17 and under.
Dates for 2020 are now confirmed as: 
Spring School – 6 – 9 April 
Summer School 1 –  6 – 9 July
Summer School 2 –  13 – 16 July
Autumn School –  12 – 15 October

The adult schools have been designed to give a social learning experience. As well as themed workshops, practice time and small group lessons there will be social events planned for you to relax, enjoy the music and discuss your playing with other players, improving your playing through this shared learning experience.

Dates for 2020 are: 
NPC Adult Spring Gathering – 20 – 23 April 
NPC Adult Summer Gathering – 20 – 23 July 
NPC Autumn Gathering – 26 – 29 October 
Get more info here.

Florida School

The journey over to the Florida Academy went a lot smoother than last year and we met up with drumming tutor Stephen Creighton in Newark before heading down to Jacksonville. Stephen says the SLOT machine is purring along well, all set for the 2020 season. They have new recruits in both drum and pipe sections and these include his own daughter Hannah.

Lessons are at the historic firehouse in JAX and in the picture below Stephen poses with piping tutor Barry Donaldson with their new friend.

New Book

The Piobaireachd Society’s book of 20th Century tunes has been re-edited and reprinted in A4. The book first appeared in 1980 but had numerous errors.

It contains 20 tunes, some already well known such as the Phantom Piper of the Corrieyairick and Farewell to the Queen’s Ferry by Captain John MacLellan, Queen Elizabeth II’s Salute and Lament for John MacDonald, Inverness, by P/M Donald MacLeod, and William Barrie’s Lament for P/M Robert Reid. The latter appeared in the first edition of the book in its original form but appears now in the composer’s updated setting. Get it from the Piobaireachd Society’s own online shop here.

SPA Entry

Entry forms for the SPA Adult Amateur (March 27) and P&A/B&C Professional contests are available here. Entries for the latter close March 27.

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