2021 Pipers Weekend Classes

Classes in red are most suitable for mixed-instruments. Other instruments may be welcome in other classes with permission of the instructor.

Zoom Discussion – Friday 3-5 PM  

  • Smallpipe Maintenance Tips and more for Uillean and Scottish pipes with Robert Felsburg, Nate Banton and Brian Bigley.

Class 1 – Saturday 10-12 AM

  • Uilleann Pipe Foundations (Jerry)                                                                            Working to form the cornerstones of good piping, including ornamentation, rhythm, with basic and intermediate repertoire.

  •  Exploring Pibroch and getting back to it's Roots  (Allan MacDonald )                 Open your ears to the melodies as they have not been heard before...  Pibroch today is much changed from it's traditional state.  Delve into new ways to interpret this powerful form enriched by Alan's research.    Adv. Beginning and up.

  • Optimal practice strategies for Northumbrian smallpipes    (Dick Hensold)      Improve your playing, and have more fun doing so by upping your game, and qualifying yourself to play with better players.   We will cover a variety of tried-and-true techniques for improving FAST.  

  • Celtic traditions from France and Spain  (Rosalind Buda)                              Expand your repertoire on the Scottish smallpipes with some wonderful tunes from Brittany and Galicia. Rosalind will take us across the water to the Celtic regions of France and Spain for a taste of how Celtic roots grew in the musical traditions of these regions. Tunes in this class will feature haunting modes, rollicking rhythms, and sheer enjoyment as we work through these tunes by ear. (Sheet music will be available) Rosalind will focus not only on the music at hand but also on techniques for learning music that is new to your ear.

Class 2 – Saturday 2-4 PM

  •  Rhythm is King! Dancing with your Regulators (Brian Bigley)CANCELLED             Lively slip jigs, hop jigs and reels to work on making the best use of your regulators, and enhancing the rhythmic of your playing.

  •  Exploring the Patrick MacDonald Collection (1784) (Nick Hudson)                        This early collection compiled by Joseph and Patrick MacDonald is a treasure trove of airs and dance music. We’ll look back in time a few hundred years to cover a few gems from this influential publication. 

  • Exploration of Central French Repertoire (Nicolas Gerardin)                                Learn some traditional repertoire from Central-France, including bourrée 3 temps,  bourrée 2 temps, mazurka and a waltz. (For G pipes mostly, but Low C or Low D pipes can be added, even if it will be a bit tricky to enjoy the harmonies by ZOOM)

Class 3 – Sunday 10-12 Noon

  • Making your Drones Sing  (Brian Bigley) CANCELLED                                                 Using slow airs and marches, learn techniques to make the most of your drones.

  • Light Music for the Scottish Smallpipes  (Allan MacDonald )                                     Alan will teach a number of his favorite tunes...jigs, reels, strathspeys and more.

  • Traditional vs. Historical playing styles (Dick Hensold)                                   What is traditional music anyways?  And how are we to assess and interpret what we are told is traditional from this remove? Traditional interpretation involves playing tunes like you’ve heard them played – historical interpretation integrates the above with evidence from historical sources, such as contemporary ornamentation treatises, iconographic evidence, and studies of old instruments, which may support, refute, or merely provide more info than exists otherwise.  We will discuss, explore, and interpret!

  • Scottish and Irish 9/8 Jigs (Nick Hudson)   CANCELLED                                          In this repertoire class, the focus is on compound triple time: three threes! We’ll go through a few excellent Scottish 9/8 jigs, both trad Gaelic and contemporary, and have a look at an Irish slip jig or two.  ​CANCELLED 

  • Contemporary Music from France and Quebec  (Nicolas Gerardin)                 Some French Canadian music fits well on the pipes, we'll work on  2 reels and a waltz. We will also discover very interesting tunes from different musicians from France, from Jean Blanchard to Lucien Pillot). Most suitable for Intermediate-Adv. players.

Class 4 – Sunday 2-4 PM

  •  Treasures from the O'Farrell Collection (Jerry O'Sullivan)  CANCELLED                  Explore tunes from this legendary collections of tunes from 1792. 

  •  Micro-Improvisation Techniques for Traditional Music (Nicholas  Hudson)           In this class, we’ll learn some practical, actionable methods to gain confidence “turning the tune.” Nuanced rhythmic and melodic twists are a characteristic of the repetitive music we play, creating interest and engagement for both the listener and the performer. We’ll discuss some modular improvisation strategies to create slight variations within the context of great trad tunes. You should come away with some new techniques and more confidence even if you don’t feel that you are a natural at it!                                                         .      

  • Time Traveler's repertoire (Rosalind Buda)                                                             Dive into the deep past to explore “European Classical Roots Music.” Tunes in this class will have the look and feel of folk music, but they are linked directly to the Baroque, Renaissance, and beyond. Pipers are frequently called to perform for historical dance groups and Renaissance fairs, and this repertoire will arm you with wonderful tunes for such occasions. Rosalind will teach primarily by ear with sheet music available.  Repertoire will have selections appropriate for borderpipes, Scottish smallpipes and whistle. Music theory, historical context, and other notes of interest will be interspersed with this enjoyable music. Huzzah!

CANCELLED classes are due to low enrollment (less than 3 students).

Scottish 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.  It's one of the great joys of the Zoom mute button!