Lyon College announces GHB bachelors or arts degree
Lyon College, the Batesville, Arkansas-based liberal arts school, announced today that it has added a bachelor of arts degree in Highland piping, starting with the 2010-11 academic year. Lyon becomes the third college of university in the United States to offer a piping BA, joining Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of California-Riverside.
The piping BA will be part of the Scottish Heritage program at Lyon College, which has been managed by the well known piper, Jim Bell. The organization offers scholarships for pipers, as well as those specializing in pipe band drumming and Highland dance.
Prerequisite for the piping degree will be a minimum of a Level 3 certification from the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, and non-United States-based pipers can also be accepted, but must hold a minimum Level 4 PDQB certificate and meet the school’s entrance requirements. Lyon College will continue to offer a minor in Scottish Arts.
The BA will be directly connected with the college’s music department, and students will have opportunities for internships while participating in the program. According to a statement from the college, students will graduate with “marketable skills.”
The school operates the Grade 3 Lyon College Pipe Band, which competes throughout the United States and, in 2006, in Scotland (shown in homepage photo). The band also performs at many events, and among those at which the band has played are Mardi Gras, the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas and the New York Tartan Day parade.
Carnegie-Mellon is currently searching for a director of its piping degree program after long-time director Alasdair Gillies departed in late 2009.
Several other post-secondary schools in North America, such as Monmouth College in Illinois, the College of Wooster in Ohio, Macalester College in Minnesota, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in North Carolina and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, have Highland piping programs, scholarships and bands, but do not offer a formal major in the instrument.
The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow also offers a degree course in Highland piping.