Cobourg Games going all-in with May workshop and concert

Published: February 11, 2014
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Under new direction the Cobourg Highland Games returned in 2013 to the Ontario competition circuit in a big way by flying in Scotland’s Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia to perform and compete at the June contest. This year the organizers are taking things a big step further by putting on an ambitious weekend workshop with several of the world’s premier instructors.
Boghall Lead-Drummer Gordon Brown and Bass-section lead Stevie McQuillan will join Simon Fraser University Lead-Drummer Reid Maxwell, 78th Fraser Highlanders Lead-Drummer Drew Duthart and bass-drummer Johnny Rowe and Ontario-based piping instructors Ken Eller and Bob Worrall for the one-day, $70, 9 am to 4 pm workshop on May 3rd at the Trinity United Church in Cobourg.
The Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders will also perform in concert in the evening, with tickets priced at $20.
Organizer Robin Lee said, “We are hoping to attract any piper and drummer, competitive or not, who wants to learn from the champions. They don’t see Gordon and Stevie over here much. At the conclusion of the workshop there will be an open question and answer from the instructors. In between the workshop and the 78th Frasers concert . . . there will be a time to mingle and have a few drinks. Yes the bar will be open at the church.”
After being a staple on the Ontario circuit, the Cobourg Highland Games on the shores of Lake Ontario took a piping and drumming and pipe band competition hiatus for more than 15 years until returning in 2013. Fortunate to have perfect sunny weather, the 2013 event drew a very large crowd and was named by many as the best event of the year on the Ontario circuit.
Boghall & Bathgate’s “Forte” concert on June 14, 2013, was well attended and reviewed, and the band went on to take straight firsts in the Grade 1 competition on the Saturday.
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Pipers: Need to manipulate your pipe chanter reed? – use a pen knife or Xacto knife instead of sandpaper. You have much more control on the amount of cane you take off with a knife vs. sandpaper. And it is much better for the cane itself; other woodworkers call this technique “feathering.”
Donald MacPhee, reedmaker, Alexandria, Scotland