Good Bagpiping is in Season This February
No more do pipers hibernate like bears in the winter months of the eastern USA. These days there is no end to the opportunities to warm the ears with good live bagpiping. In addition, there are more educational opportunities to hone your skills and competition events to showcase those skills than ever before. The month of February alone maps out like a Piping Live! festival west. Here is a cool sampling of events that should attract pipers at any level, enthusiast spectators, competitors, or learners.
February 4 to 6, Baltimore, Maryland – The Mid-Atlantic branch of the EUSPBA hosts their annual winter “Delco” workshop. A weekend of tuition topped by the prestigious Robert Gilchrist Challenge competition for solo pipers under the age of 22 and the John Murray Challenge snare competition for drummers under the age of 22. The weekend will also feature a “Piobaireachd Enclave” with June Hanley where tunes will be presented and demonstrated and all matters of ceol mor will be discussed.
February 12, Charleston, South Carolina – The EUSPBA calendar kicks into gear with one of the earliest competitions on the calendar at the Charleston Indoor Games. The competition also features the Sandy Jones Invitational, a premier solo contest for many of the area’s top amateur players.
February 18, Wharton, New Jersey – The Rory O’Moore Pipe Band hosts a recital by the renowned Bruce Gandy and his son Alex at the Irish American Association hall in Wharton, New Jersey. Gandy’s multiple solo awards, four books of original music as well as CDs precede the treat this performance holds.
February 18, Brooklyn, New York – The Martin Duffy Memorial Pipe Band hosts and show cases the piping talents of world class solo players at 7 pm at the Baile Na Gael hall 2750 Gerristen Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Players Stuart Liddell, Willie McCallum, Gordon Walker, John Patrick, and Alen Tully will be all in one place for an evening of unmatchable solo performances. Updated link: click here.
February 19, Newark, New Jersey – The Metro Cup championship has a roster that makes it look like the Clasp at the Northern Meeting. 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, Alastair Dunn, Glenn Brown, and others in one place but this is one of them. The morning brings top amateur Grade 1 pipers together for the George M. Bell memorial piobaireachd and the Thomas Brancella MSR.
February 20 to 25, Babylon, New York – The National Piping Centre brings its New York School to St. Joseph’s School and the Hibernian Hall for a week of piping and drumming classes and personal tuition. Ryan Canning, Chris Armstrong, and Margaret Dunn are just a few of the instructors on hand for the Centre’s excellent tutoring.
February 26, Babylon, New York – The Saffron United Pipe Band hosts its You Be the Judge competition at the AOH Hall in Babylon, New York. Competitors play a free-style performance that is judged by the audience. Here is where heavy duty competitors such as Glenn Brown, Graham Brown, Tyler Fry and others cut loose.
February 26, Albany, New York – The second Oran Mor Indoor competition continues its early season start to the EUSPBA competition calendar. Pipers and drummers of all levels can start their competitive momentum in a comfortable indoor setting among friends and peers.