Annual weekend events have taken place in Melrose and Bridge of Allan featuring well known tutors such as Gary West, Gordon Mooney, Fin Moore, Annie Grace, Allan MacDonald, Barnaby Brown, Matt Seattle, Mike Katz, Finlay MacDonald, Iain MacInnes, Brighde Caimbeul, Malcolm Robertson and many more. 

Over the years these weekends have covered many different aspects of playing within the instrument’s capability, looking outwards from Scotland to embrace a range of European/ World traditions. We have made no attempt to impose a standard “border” repertoire through the teaching offered - our aim has been to expand participants’ exposure to the many possibilities offered by this wonderful instrument and allow them to make their own decisions about what they want to play.

Our classes have offered tunes for dancing; Cape Breton style strathspeys and reels; tunes from the Dixon Manuscript (border repertoire); playing and singing;  Irish, Galician, Northumbrian and Breton tunes; puirt a beul; freeform slow air playing; duets and harmonies; new compositions and, most recently, piobaireachd on smallpipes. 

Dates for the next teaching event are featured on the news section of the website in good time. 

Booking is essential.

The Piobaireachd Weekend 2022 – a Review by Rona Dawson

Having booked up for the Society’s piobaireachd weekend fairly late, it came as little surprise to find that accommodation was a bit hard to find – the local hotel seemed to be closed for refurbishment and B&Bs were full. So it was that we ended up in a “panoramic pod”!  Having some experience of the basic wooden structures available on some campsites, we weren’t sure what we were getting. But despite the satnav’s best efforts to take us up hill and down dale we got there, and we were introduced by the owners to a beautiful little house in miniature, complete with full kitchen, comfortable lounge area with log fire, shower room and hot tub all heated and ready to go.  This proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend – a tub with, as promised, a panoramic view was just the ticket after a hard day grafting at the tunes!

Chris and Anne Bacon were, as always, perfect hosts and had ordered a fab selection of Indian dishes from the local takeaway for the first night which disappeared pretty quickly.  A few tunes were struck up – it’s not usual to hear even a piobaireachd ground at a session but we managed a few of the more accessible tunes.

The first day’s teaching was all about the Bells of Perth – even played at a sprightly tempo it was hard to find much to recommend this tune in my opinion – a couple of the variations might be worth reprising but I wasn’t really feeling the love. We also looked at two Nameless tunes in Kilberry (hio tro tro and  Hi horodo hao).  These are not heard played much, probably because they don’t have taorluath or crunluath variations and yet have beautiful melodies that warrant much more public airing.

After a long day concentrating, Anne’s venison pie made a fantastic meal.  More instruments were brought out afterwards and the tunes fairly flowed.

The second day’s highlight, musically, was the Lament for the Laird of Annapool, a tune that focusses on the high G and has elements of keening in it according to our tutor Allan MacDonald.  His kind of piobaireachd is not what you’d hear at a Piobaireachd Society gathering (thankfully) and even those who don’t have the full range of technical dexterity could make a very adequate stab at reproducing the overall effect of the tune by the time we’d finished. 

We reprised the Unjust Incarceration which had been done at a previous weekend and altogether the weekend was a very enjoyable and chilled way of getting back into the swing of playing after an extended (at least for some of us) lay off over the last couple of years.

Hopefully more folk will be interested enough to come along in future and investigate the big music – those who did go have a mission to play the tunes at Society gatherings and sessions where people can get a sense of what they’re missing!

Thanks to Allan, Chris and Anne for making the event such a success.

Rona Dawson

Piobaireachd Weekend – Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April 2022.

 

Christopher Bacon has kindly offered to host another piobaireachd on smallpipes weekend in Allendale, Northumbria. This will be an in-person event.

The tutor will again be Allan MacDonald, who will upturn all your preconceptions about piobaireachd and provide a musical experience not to be missed – even if you’re not already familiar with this style of music.

The tunes will be The Bells of Perth, Lament for the Laird of Anapool, The Old Woman's Lullaby and 2 Nameless tunes (40 & 41 in Kilberry).

 

The booking form is available below. Anyone wishing to attend should book their own accommodation in or near Allendale in plenty of time. Shared transport to and from the venue can be arranged after booking.

 

Please note: We are aware there is interest in Allan's piobaireachd style from all airts and pairts so we will organise a separate online session event on another date to include as many folk as possible.

 

This year the group would like to encourage pipers who have not had any previous experience of playing piobaireachd to come and join the group. We will be playing smallpipes in A and even the new long practice chanters which work perfectly along with smallpipes. There is no requirement to be able to play a beautifully rippling crunluath but a good standard of playing will get the best from the weekend; at the moment the course is not for absolute beginners. 

LBPS online tune session 24th February 2022

 

We are delighted to invite members to an online tune session on Thursday 24th February at 7.30 pm.

 

Making the Graceless Gracefull (sic)

Fin Moore, well-known pipe maker and player from Perthshire, will lead the next online session on Thursday 24th February from 7.30 pm via Zoom.

He'll look at a couple of fairly well-known tunes, Hackey Honey (Dixon) and Brose & Butter (Blue Book), and also Catriona's Welcome by Gary West. He will explore what to do when faced with a manuscript that has no gracenotes, what kind of gracings would be most suitable/effective for making the tune musical, along with some observations about gracing in general.

 

All members will receive a Zoom link to the event by email.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

If you are not yet a member of the Society, you are very welcome to join. Membership subscription rates start at £9 per year. Once your subscription has been processed you will receive an email with the details of the Zoom link. Membership includes reduced rates at the LBPS shop, invitations to other Zoom social and tutorial sessions, and access to the latest issues of the Society’s journal Common Stock, either online or posted out to you. Choose the subscription rate you prefer.

LBPS online tune session on 1st February 2022

 

We are delighted to invite members to an online tune session on Tuesday 1st Feb at 7pm GMT

Our series of members’ sessions continues on Tuesday 1st Feb at 7pm GMT led this month by pipe maker from Lochalsh Ross Calderwood who is going to focus on a few tunes from Playford’s Country Dance Master which is music and instructions for English country dances, first published in 1651. Ross has transposed these for playing on an A chanter.  Some of the tunes need an F or C natural so you may need a bit of tape handy to get those notes! He can also transpose them to suit D or any other key if required.  Ross is also happy to answer questions (as a pipe maker he's well qualified to answer any instrument questions) and have some general piper chat on the night to catch up with what everyone has been doing.

Members can download the music from which the session tunes will be chosen here

If you are not yet a member of the Society, you are very welcome to join. Membership subscription rates start at £9 per year. Once your subscription has been processed you will receive an email with the details of the Zoom link. Membership includes reduced rates at the LBPS shop, invitations to other Zoom social and tutorial sessions, and access to the latest issues of the Society’s journal Common Stock, either online or posted out to you. Choose the subscription rate you prefer.

LBPS online tune session on 8th December 2021

 

We are delighted to invite members to an online tune session on Wednesday 8th December at 7.00 pm.

This winter we intend to hold some online sessions again and the first one will be on the evening of Wednesday 8th December at 7.00 pm and will be led by Gary West.

The tunes Gary will introduce us to are as follows:

Catriona's Welcome - Gary West
Atom of Delight - Derek Hoy
Uist Reel - Trad (from Eliza Ross collection)

All members will receive a Zoom link to the event by email. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

If you are not yet a member of the Society, you are very welcome to join. Membership subscription rates start at £9 per year. Once your subscription has been processed you will receive an email with the details of the Zoom link. Membership includes reduced rates at the LBPS shop, invitations to other Zoom social and tutorial sessions, and access to the latest issues of the Society’s journal Common Stock, either online or posted out to you. Choose the subscription rate you prefer.

Pibroch Teaching Weekend 24th and 25th April 2021

This is the fourth year that the LBPS is sponsoring a weekend teaching event to help promote a greater understanding of this special musical form.

This event is now FULLY BOOKED! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BOOKED, SEE YOU AT THE WEEKEND!

Hosted by committee member Christopher Bacon, and once again with Allan MacDonald as our tutor, the weekend will explore the grounds of selected pibroch with the aim of unlocking the great beauty in this music. Pipers will work together with smallpipes in A and look back to the earliest sources and explore the music outside the usual genre of competition.

Pipers who have not had any previous experience of playing pibroch are encouraged to join the group. We will be playing smallpipes in A and even the new long practice chanters which work perfectly along with smallpipes. There is no requirement to be able to play a beautifully rippling crunluath but a good standard of playing will get the best from the weekend; at the moment the course is not for absolute beginners.

The course will be held virtually by Zoom and the teaching will take place each afternoon from 3 pm to 7 pm.

The event is open to all members and non-members with smallpipes in A or the new long practice chanters also in A.

allendale 2019 c 36f2d

Participants and tutor at the LBPS Pibroch Weekend, April 2019, at Wooley High Hall, Allendale. Many thanks to Ian MacKay for the photo.

For reviews of the LBPS Pibroch Teaching Weekend in 2019 please click here.

 For the tune list, please see Read more.

LBPS tune session "Dixon's Highland Laddie" 7th December 2020

 

We are delighted to announce the second LBPS Zoom teaching session for members. 

This will be held on Monday 7th December at 7.00 for 7.15 pm

 

For this session, Matt Seattle will guide us through "Dixon's Highland Laddie", which he sees as the most accessible entry point into the Dixon collection.

He will talk about some of the characteristics of the Dixon "genre" and its relationship with neighbouring traditions.

If there is a demand to delve deeper, he will explore one or more of the more challenging Dixon pieces in a subsequent session, taking you through the wheechs, lowps and crinches which together form such an idiomatic part of the repertoire.

 

All members will receive a Zoom link to the event by email. 

If you are not yet a member of the Society, you are very welcome to join. Membership subscription rates start at £9 per year. Once your subscription has been processed you will receive an email with the details of the Zoom link. Membership includes reduced rates at the LBPS shop, invitations to other Zoom social and tutorial sessions, and access to the latest issues of the Society’s journal Common Stock, either online or posted out to you. Choose the subscription rate you prefer.

LBPS online teaching sessions on Zoom

We are delighted to invite you to a Zoom teaching session on Thursday 25th February at 7.00 for 7.15 pm

The tune will be announced nearer the time.

All members will receive a Zoom link to the event by email. 

If you are not yet a member of the Society, you are very welcome to join. Membership subscription rates start at £9 per year. Once your subscription has been processed you will receive an email with the details of the Zoom link. Membership includes reduced rates at the LBPS shop, invitations to other Zoom social and tutorial sessions, and access to the latest issues of the Society’s journal Common Stock, either online or posted out to you. Choose the subscription rate you prefer.

 

Save the dates: 

The Pibroch Teaching Weekend will run this year by Zoom on 24th and 25th of April.

Once again we have Allan MacDonald as our tutor and the teaching will take place each day between 3 pm and 7 pm. A tune list will be published shortly which will include "The Unjust Incarceration". The event is open to all members with small pipes in A or the new long practise chanters also in A. More details to follow.

Piobaireachd teaching weekend 24-26 April 2020

 

The Piobaireachd teaching weekend will not be going ahead as planned on 24-26 April 2020. 

It is with great regret, but due to the current guidelines and in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of our members we have cancelled this weekend. We plan to consider future possible dates for this event, but obviously this will depend on the length of time it takes to restore normal activity in the country.

Please keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and website for further updates.