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Pipers Weekend Classes 2024


Class 1 Saturday 10-12:00 AM 


Uilleann Piping Fundamentals (Joey Abarta)  The foundation of melody, phrasing, and ornamentation in piping. 

Northumbrian Smallpipe Basics (Dick Hensold) Review basic technique, a little reed work, and assess the class level by enjoyably playing a few of Dick's favorite tunes and working on some tools refining technique.  New players will be welcomed into the fold. 

Bellows Pipe Ornamentation (Michael Roddy) Examining ornamentation for smallpipes and border pipes. Why do we use the ornaments we do, what ornaments might we want to change depending on our instrument? How can we adapt our ornamentation to playing with other instruments?


*The Power of Three: Mazurkas, Waltzes and Jigs for G pipes (Laura MacKenzie)  

English, French, Spanish, Belgian Repertoire for G pipes and other similarly tuned instruments.

Class 2  Saturday 1:30-3:30 PM 


King of the Pipers: A look at Leo Rowsome's Music (Joey Abarta)


* Baroque Music on Northumbrian Smallpipes (Dick Hensold) Back by popular demand, with more tunes.  Open to all instruments.


Airs and Pastorals: Uplifting Down-Tempo Tunes (Laura MacKenzie)  Accessible even 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. 

Reels! (Advanced Players- smallpipes & border pipes) (Michael Roddy) A slew of challenging reels, and how to approach them to achieve both musicality and speed.

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

TBA (Joey Abarta)

*Recorder workshop on early Scottish recorder music/repertoire (Dick Hensold) Open to other instruments.

Uilleann Pipes for Scottish Pipers  (Michael Roddy)   Many Scottish pipers venture into the world of uilleann pipes. While there are skills from the  Scottish piping world that can help in playing uilleann pipes there are also a number of pitfalls to watch out for. For pipers who have already begun their journey into uilleann pipes or are considering it.!

* Puirt & A Pibroch Song  (Laura MacKenzie)   Mainly for voices, but the tunes will be pipe tunes or piping friendly.

Class 3 Sunday 10:00-12:00 AM

The Practice of Practice (Joey Abarta)  A workshop on fine tuning music and techniques we're all working on.

* Northumbrian and Scottish Smallpipe Duets (Dick Hensold)  Exploration of how to put these together, how to deal with notation and transpositions, adapting existing arrangements for like instruments.

Composing Your Own Variations for Lowland and Border Tunes (Laura MacKenzie)  Starting with some traditional tunes, learn to make them yours by using techniques to create interesting and ear-pleasing variations.

&Building a set of tunes (Michael Roddy)    Ideas for building engaging sets of tunes for yourself, a session, or an ensemble.

Class 4  Sunday 2-4 PM  


* The Ancient Music of Ireland: ( Joey Abarta)  Pipe and Harp tunes from the 17-19th centuries.  Open to all instruments. 


Ornaments and Graces in Duet Playing (Dick Hensold)  Continuing work with duets, there will be a focus on ornaments and graces and further improving piping technique.


Plays Nicely with Others (smallpipes, border pipes, uilleann pipes  (Michael Roddy)  Incorporating bellows pipes with other instruments, from sessions to ensemble playing, with focus on different keys, tuning, ornamentation, phrasing, and instrument maintenance.

Singing with Scottish Smallpipes (Laura MacKenzie)   Irish Songs with your SSPs .  Using some gems of the Irish repertoire, we will explore techniques for Singing, Arranging and Delivery

* 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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