March 19, 2021

After 74 years, PPBSO offers first summer school

The late piping legend Seumas MacNeill is credited with inventing the concept of a focused piping and drumming summer school when he staged events in Nova Scotia and Ontario in the 1960s. Perhaps ironically, it has taken 74 years for the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario to hold its own weeklong “educational opportunity” with the formal announcement of Summer Blast!, an online “summer school in piping, drumming, bass and tenor drumming tuition for all abilities and ages.”

From Monday, July 5th, to Friday, July 9th, Summer Blast! will provide tuition from PPBSO members Music Committee member John Cairns, Ken Eller, PPBSO President Michael Grey, Reagan Jones, Music Committee Chair Jim McGillivray, Doug Stronach and Bob Worrall, each a leader in their particular domain and each a member of the organization’s judging panel.

“It took us 74 years, but our Summer Blast! school is worth the wait,” Grey promised in a statement. “In the tradition of all great summer schools, it’s shaping up to present an epic and memorable experience for attendees.”

As the organization promised at a recent “town hall” for members, PPBSO members will receive a 20% discount to the base $350 registration fee for the five days of instruction. That’s a $70 discount, which makes a $50.85 PPBSO membership cost-effective by $20 for anyone who enrolls in the school.

The summer will take place entirely on the Zoom video conferencing platform. In addition to the 20 hours of tuition, the organization will include various “extracurricular” activities, starting with “Scotch Rocks!, a whisky and piping appreciation event” with Stuart Cassells of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and general manager of the Macallan Whisky Estate in Speyside, Scotland. Cassells was a member of the Ontario-based Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders for a few seasons in the 2000s.

The PPBSO’s Summer Blast! will have to compete with numerous other Canadian online summer schools already scheduled, including “Sound Advice,” run by the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association and the British Columbia Pipe Association’s Piping Hot Summer Drummer.



Eller and Stronach providing an unforgettable experience for PPBSO branch
March 12, 2021

First PPBSO ‘Town Hall’ reveals ambitious new approach for Ontario piping and drumming
February 27, 2021

Jim McGillivray joins PPBSO Music Committee as chair
February 13, 2021

PPBSO assumes no games in 2021
January 30, 2021





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