June 05, 2020

Free PPBSO webinar series kicks off with Finlay MacDonald

Along with the organization’s announcement that it will hold various online solo competitions, the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario will launch a Webinar Series on Thursday, June 11th, with Finlay MacDonald, who began his tenure as Director of Piping at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow on June 1st.

“The PPBSO in Conversation . . .” promises to be a regular series of free interactive webinars that helps to move the organization from being a mostly competition-running association to one that brings educational services to its members and pipers, drummers and enthusiasts around the world.

The organization describes the series as “entertaining and educational,” helping to fill the void left by the worldwide coronavirus lockdown.

The June 11th session with MacDonald, who is also the new Artistic Director of the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival, starts at noon EDT. PPBSO Music Committee member and professional solo piper Andrea Boyd will moderate the conversation.

“The PPBSO thought that its members would be interested in learning more about Finlay and his aspirations for the future,” the organization said in a statement. “Since most members of the PPBSO have attended the Piping Live! Festival, or aspire to do so, it was thought that a conversation with Finlay would have appeal for pipers, drummers, and supporters of all aptitudes and abilities.”

Andrea Boyd

A few days after the first session, at 2 pm EDT on Saturday, June 13th, the series will feature a session with Tyler Bridge, a professional-grade piper and pipe-major of the Grade 3 Guelph Pipe Band. Bridge will be joined by a few guest panellists in a discussion on “virtual solo competition preparation.” The session promises to provide “tips and tricks for how to put your best performance forward.”

Registration is open via Eventbrite.

Finlay MacDonald is the successor in both of his roles to Roddy MacLeod, who resigned in January of this year.

“Right now, the schedule is ad-hoc, but Bill Livingstone has agreed to be the next guest, day and time to be determined, but before the end of June,” Boyd said. “I am hoping that the cadence might be every two weeks or so, but looking for input and ideas from other committee members, and members at large. Since the PPBSO has now bought a Zoom meeting and webinar software subscription, there is a lot more opportunity for digital engagement. Kyle Heaney is putting together a strategy for educational initiatives, for example PDQB syllabus and workshops, and masterclass sessions. More info to come on that soon.”

We all see this digital engagement as capacity building for the PPBSO – and something that will continue beyond COVID-19 restrictions. I think most organizations are considering now how digital engagement just becomes part of normal business, things have changed so much. In February, if you had asked me if we could use Zoom successfully to engage our members, I would have said there were a lot of barriers to success. Now, it’s part of most daily work and personal communication.”



Ontario association announces amateur competitions by uploaded video
May 31, 2020

Roddy MacLeod resigns as head of National Piping Centre
January 10, 2020

Piping Live! 2020 on solid ground, despite loss of MacLeod
January 13, 2020





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