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Pipers Weekend Classes 2023

Class 1 Saturday 9:30-11:30 AM 


One Octave Tunes (Jerry O'Sullivan)  Build you skills with on the Uilleann Pipes with tunes in a variety of rhythms that live in a single Octave,  working to form the cornerstones of good piping, including ornamentation, rhythm, with basic and intermediate repertoire.  

Northumbrian Smallpipe Basics (Dick Hensold) Review basic technique and assess the class level by enjoyably playing a few standard tunes and working on some tools refining technique.  New players will be welcomed into the fold. 


Squeeze the Bag! (Bob Mitchell) A super basic class for all new players of bellows pipes to help get control of the different elements of air control and getting an even tone.


Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s POLKA TIME! (Iain MacHarg) The Polka is a dance originating in 19th century Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic.  Although polkas are associated with Czech culture, they have become popular the world over.  

* Nordic Tunes (Rosalind Buda) For all instruments. Explore the unique and captivating rhythms and tune styles of Sweden. 

Class 2  Saturday 1:30-3:30 PM 


Bag of Tricks (Jerry O'Sullivan)  Tunes, techniques and exercises to build your strength as a player. 

Staccato and Gracing: Maintaining a Musical Balance (Dick Hensold)  With a few more challenging tunes, Dick will introduce techniques and methods for making your playing cleaner and more precise as well as giving it lift and fluidity to make the melody flow.


Slow Airs from the Isles (Rosalind Buda)  For those who are newer to the pipes, come learn a sweet collection of slow airs from Ireland and Scotland. These beautiful, haunting tunes are accessible to all and will be taught in a wholistic, heartfelt way. 

* Tunes from the mighty north! (Iain MacHarg) We are going to focus on some tunes from Cape North and Dingwall in the Victoria County area of Cape Breton.  Because of the isolation and remoteness of this place, these tunes survived in a very pure form.  Come and enjoy!

Saturday Mini- Classes (do not sign up for these on application)

Irish tunes for both Uilleann Pipes and Scottish Pipes (Jerry O'Sullivan)

Lets learn a big 6-er!   (Iain MacHarg)   We’re going to tackle one of the big jigs.  The Gold Ring is a classic 6 part jig, and a real challenge!

Lend Your Voice - Work Songs (Rosalind Buda)   Join in with your voices and instruments to make the work light and enjoyable! This class will explore traditional work songs from the Celtic lands.

Class 3 Sunday 10-12 AM

Dancing with Your Regulators (Jerry O'Sullivan)  Lively tunes to work on making the best use of your regulators, and enhancing the rhythmic aspects of your playing.

* Repertoire from Northumberland (Dick Hensold)  Exploration of the distinctive repertoire which grew in conjunction with the smallpipes including 3/2 hornpipes and other regional favorites.  Open for mixed instruments in NSP friendly keys.

Tunes As Old As Dirt (Iain MacHarg)    Iain has found some of the oldest smallpipe friendly tunes from Gaelic, and Viking culture.  Come explore some of our very earliest music.

Modern Scottish Music (Rosalind Buda)    Tackle today's new traditional tunes in an exciting exploration of modern Scottish music. We will explore some of the differences between old and new tunes and how new music becomes a part of the tradition. 

Class 4  Sunday 2-4 PM  


* Music from County Mayo (Jerry O'Sullivan)  Explore the distinctive music from this region of Ireland and the stylistic character that makes it special.  Open to all instruments. 


Making Medleys: Ground Rules and Traditions (Dick Hensold)  Build your repertoire and learn better ways to link tunes into medleys that enhance each piece and build excitement in a musical performance or session.


The Mental Game of Music  (Rosalind Buda)  How to increase your musical flow, meet your goals, and tackle technical challenges. Are you ready to break into the next level of your playing but are struggling with how to make it happen? This class will be an encouraging and inspiring dive into tips and strategies that will enliven and elevate your playing. 

Explore C and F naturals on the Scottish Smallpipes (Iain MacHarg)    Lots of early Gaelic and English music use these notes.  With the help of a bit of tape, we can retune our chanters so we can play them too and add a haunting and wonderful sound to our repertoire. 

* Classes most suitable for mixed-instruments in pipe-friendly keys. Others may be possible.

 Smallpipes classes are open to mouth-blown reel pipes if they have the correct bore and are tuned in A.

 Less skilled players are welcome to listen in all classes; to master what they can, and record the rest for future work. 

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