Published: April 26, 2020

Piping Hot Summer Drummer goes online worldwide with July summer school

Piping Hot Summer Drummer – the most prominent summer school for pipers, drummers and Highland dancers – won’t let the global pandemic get in the way, and is determined to go ahead in an all-online version of the program.

Using Zoom as a platform for instruction, the twenty-seventh school will go from July 12-17, and feature instructors like Callum Beaumont, Jack Lee, Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, and a cadre of teachers from the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band organization. The school this year is even adding Marielle Lesperance, the 2019 World Highland Dancing Champion.

“This year, the coronavirus has impacted us all in negative ways,” says Lee, who has managed Piping Hot Summer Drummer since the beginning. “Social-distancing, no large groups, no international flights at the moment. So, we are taking our school virtual on Zoom. As much as we can, it will be a virtual version of Piping Hot Summer Drummer on SilverStar Mountain: classes, workshops, recitals and tons of excellent instruction.”

With students potentially logging in from all over the world, Lee is taking time zones into account as much as possible, “planning on doing a few things earlier in the day so that pipers/drummers/dancers in other time zones can participate.”

A group from a previous Piping Hit Summer Drummer at SilverStar ski resort in British Columbia.

With an all-online version, the price of one-week enrollment has dropped to CAD$395 from the usual CAD$600. The week will include daily group classes, private lessons, an instructor recital, daily mini-recitals, daily piobaireachd/canntaireachd with Lee, and unique “massed band” events at the beginning and end of the week.

“Piping Hot Summer Drummer is a very engaged and animated school,” Lee adds. “We have always tried to combine really solid instruction with a dash of fun. As much as possible, we are replicating the teaching, fun and energy on Zoom.”

The school usually attracts more than 300 pipers, drummers and Highland dancers who spend the week in the scenic mountains of inland British Columbia.

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