Back to the future at Carbisdale Castle piping school
Fifty-five years after Seumas MacNeill and the College of Piping in Glasgow dreamed up the idea of a piping school, the College has joined with the Ross and Cromarty Pipes & Drums School to hold a new one-week school at Carbisdale Castle in Sutherland in northern Scotland from March 23 to March 29, 2008.
Carbisdale Castle was the first known modern school of piping for civilian pipers, where MacNeill and College co-founder Tommy Pearston led day-long classes for eager pipers. The formula started in 1953 was then developed into summer schools in Canada and the United States, and are now an annual part of virtually every country in the world where Highland bagpipes are played.
The school will take the usual form of classes in light music and piobaireachd, but additional workshops on reedmaking, pipe band techniques, and bagpipe and drum maintenance will also be offered. As with most schools, evening lectures and recitals by instructors will take place, all within the premises of the historic castle.
“Fifty years ago the College of Piping pioneered the idea of outreach summer schools beginning in the Highlands of Scotland, running a course at Carbisdale Castle in 1953,” said Robert Wallace, principal of the College of Piping in Glasgow. “[The College] then moved to running outreach schools in North America . . . Now things have come full circle with the establishment of the College at Carbisdale.”
Paul Turner, business manager of the Ross and Cromarty Pipes & Drums School, is handling registrations.
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