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.”
“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.