Published: March 31, 2009

Invermark reacts to economic conditions

The Invermark School of Piping, started in 1962 and one of the world’s first and longest-running summer programs, has taken a step designed to help attendees deal with current economic constraints by taking the school away from college campuses where students staying on-site had to pay expensive accommodation and meal fees charged by the institutions.
 
The price-drop will amount to a savings of approximately 40 per cent for pipers and drummers enrolling in this year’s school, according to organizer Andrew Douglas, who described the previous accommodation prices as “outrageous.”
 
Andrew Douglas“This year’s challenge has been to provide the most affordable school we can in addition to the high quality of instruction,” Douglas said, “because it’s clear that dollars and cents will be a major factor when it comes to the decision of whether or not they can come to the school. Last year, Invermark cost about $900. This year, you could potentially go to the schools for as low as $500, depending on what sort of accommodation you book.”
 
The big change sees the school move away from college and university locations, opting instead for off-season ski resorts in New York and Vermont. While tuition fees remain essentially the same, students will be able to arrange their own accommodation, sharing self-catering ski chalets at a fraction of the cost.
 
The first Invermark session will be from June 28th to July 3rd at the Windham Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills region of New York, with bigger class sizes catering more to bands. The second session will be at Mount Snow Ski Resort in Vermont from July 19th to 24th, with smaller classes. 
 
The Invermark Schools were founded by Donald Lindsay and his father in 1962, bringing in such piping legends as Seumas MacNeill, John MacFadyen, Norman Gillies, Bob Brown and Bob Nicol often for the first time to North America. Headline instructors in 2009 include Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, Jack Lee and Reid Maxwell.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This seems like a good move considering the times…but why all instructors from the west coast? Seems to me there should be a little more diversity in the instruction…and there’s plenty of teachers in the northeast!

  2. I would like to add that there is a school in NC that I have been teaching at for the last few years that is $520.00 per week which includes room, board and tuition. The 5 week summer school is, and has always been very afforable. Sandy Jones, co-founder, has always been sentitive to the costs for the participants. I cannot think of anywhere you could go that is so beautiful a setting for a weeks holiday and study for that price! In addition, several memorial and honorary funds have been established by the school to help the families of young pipers and drummers with costs for the school. The program regularly brings new educators to the school to keep the yearly participants coming back for more. You can look at the program more thoroughly at the website. Tom Foote

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