Celtic Arts Winter School adds smallpipes
While Highland piping and pipe band drumming schools are common throughout North America, the Winter School of the Celtic Arts Foundation (CAF) held from January 30 to February 10, 2010, in Seabeck, Washington, will introduce formal classes on smallpiping, importing experts in the field.
“Smallpipes are an interesting beast,” says Executive Director Skye Richendrfer. “Many, many Highland pipers may have a set lying around, but what do they do with them? I think the answer is having the opportunity for musical performances outside of our ‘classic’ competitive model.”
The smallpiping classes will work to teach pipers to accompany more than the familiar fiddle, exploring musical concepts and theory with 12-string guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and other instruments.
“I think bringing the smallpipers up to speed musically, along with the other musicians is sort of like having the boat raised on the same tide, as it were,” Richendrfer added. “It helps to bring more people into the genre, and also exposes more people to the music in the way of performances.”
Smallpiping at the CAF Winter School joins Highland piping instructors Bruce Gandy, Alasdair Gillies, Murray Henderson, Stuart Liddell, Roddy MacLeod, Niall Matheson and Fred Morrison, and pipe band drumming instructors Blair Brown, Gordon Brown, Michael Cole, Tyler Fry and John Scullion.
The school also offers instruction in fiddle, with Nova Scotia-based Andrea Beaton and Troy MacGillivray running classes.