No More Frozen Pipes: Good Bagpiping Warms It Up 2013

No more do pipers hibernate like bears in the winter months of the eastern USA. As winter wanes and spring waxes anew, there are a slew of opportunities to warm the ears with great live bagpiping, warm the fingers and start off your 2013 competition season, or warm your brain with workshops and lessons. Here is a cool sampling of events that should attract pipers at any level, enthusiast spectators, competitors, or learners.

January 11–13, Kansas City, MissouriWinter Storm. The Winter Storm weekend has fast become the event of the “off-season” with a full weekend of workshops, recitals, and competitions. The US Gold Medal competition draws many of the world’s top soloists and the evening recital features bands and the event’s instructors in performance. This year’s competitions will be streamed live by the Piper’s Dojo.

February 13–17, Newark, New JerseyThe Metro Cup Express and Metro Cup championship . The Metro Cup competition has a roster that is rivaled only by the Glenfiddich. Many of the world’s top solo pipers will be competing in piobaireachd and a medley of choice. Very few chances exist on this continent to see the likes of Gordon Walker, Willie McCallum, Stuart Liddell, Roddy MacLeod and others in one place in competitive action, but this is one of them. Many eastern piping folk take advantage of so many elite pipers in one place and host a variety of local recitals and informal gatherings throughout the days and nights before and after the event. The morning competitions bring top amateur Grade 1 pipers together for the George M. Bell memorial piobaireachd and the Thomas Brancella MSR. This year, the National Piping Centre presents a weekend of workshops hosted by the Metro Cup featuring a series of amateur piping competitions in Grades 2 through 4.

April 5–7, Saratoga Springs, NYOran Mor’s Spring Training workshop is what the label says: a weekend of intense training to get your piping and drumming game on for the coming year. Learn from the members of the Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band on topics that are sure to get you motivated and inspired for the coming season. Come to the ceilidh and watch Oran Mor perform with the Erin Harkes Band at the Parting Glass.

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