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The hub of Australia's Celtic piping community

In this first edition of our newsletter for 2017 you'll find the latest news and reports about all that's happening in the world of Celtic piping in Australia and further afield.


Support the Club - Join or Donate today!

The Celtic Piping Club is the hub for Australia's Celtic piping community. We provide a network for people who play or are interested in the various types of Celtic pipes, including uilleann pipes, Scottish smallpipes, Lowland/Border pipes, Northumbrian pipes and others.

Our Club activities include sessions, concerts and workshops, learning and tuition opportunities, providing pipers for performances, and providing a social hub for pipers to gather, share tunes and learn from each other.
As a paid member of the Celtic Piping Club, you are entitled to numerous benefits. Head to our website to find out more.
Show your support by becoming a member or donating today!

NOTE: Donations to the Celtic Piping Club Inc. are not tax deductible.


Lake School - Koroit (Vic)

Report by Anna Graham

Photo: Jack Brennan (right) leading the Lake School pipers (photo - J Brennan)

“Did you get up to anything over the Christmas/New Year break?”

It’s the question which keeps popping up as we get back into the working world.

I was one of the privileged pipers who joined Jack Brennan and his clan at the Lake School in Koroit during the first week of 2017 for tunes, reed making and quality banter. In piping classes, Jack demonstrated ornamentation techniques and massaged a couple of great tunes from the group (including Bucks of Oranmore – such a cool tune which one day I hope to play too!) Later in the day we moved to the Lions Shed to work on reed making and manipulation, occasionally accompanied by Aya the dog.

I’m so very impressed by the standard of playing displayed by my fellow pipers, as well as the fiddle-folk, whistlers, banjinos and so forth. Sessions were aplenty and full of great characters - including Louie, another lovely doggie!

Connor Hoy not dancing (photo - V Brophy)

What a great week. I certainly learned more than my little head can carry, met so many amazing people, played in a couple of fabulous sessions and witnessed the piping/dancing flair of the great Connor Hoy (#ConnorHoyThatBoyCanDance).

If you haven’t been before, I recommend that you get yourself along to the Lake School at Koroit in 2018.

Lost Trades Fair - Kyneton (Vic)

Report by Sarah Wade & Andrew Teusner
Photo: Sarah and Andrew on stage at the Lost Trades Fair (photo - K Nicholson)
In it's third year, The Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton (central Victoria) is more popular than ever, with thousands streaming into the Kyneton Racecourse on 11-12 March to watch demonstrations of traditional trades, rare crafts, and the art of skilled manual work. The Fair was started to showcase the talents of craftspeople whose trades have diminished in the modern world, leaving it up to only a few individuals to carry on with hand made, made to order items, such as musical instruments, knives, weaving and spinning, leather work, blacksmithing and furniture making.
Piping can be called somewhat of a lost trade, as there was once a time when the town piper in the boroughs of Scotland would signal the start and end of the day, as well as perform for entertainment.
We celebrated the work of Geoff Wooff who, beginning in Australia in the late 1970s, resurrected the almost-extinct art of making bellows-blown pipes. The Celtic Piping Club was represented by Pat Lyons, Andrew Teusner, David Cretney and Sarah Wade, showcasing uilleann pipes, Scottish smallpipes, and tin whistles at a stage performance.

If you're keen to join us on stage at the Lost Trades Fair next time, please email us.


Irish Australian doco to premiere on SBS

The Rise of Irish in Australia

Documentary on SBS - Sat 18 Mar

Not specifically piping-related, but may be of interest. A new documentary Michael, They've Shot Them charts the impact of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising in Australia, and the birth of an Irish Australian Catholic force in Australian society.

Produced by Melbourne-based Irish-Australian production company Michael1916, the program goes to air on SBS on Sat 18 March at 5.30 pm (AEST) and will be available to watch on SBS On Demand for one month after broadcast.

Trioc recording a new album

Successfully funded through Pozible
Trioc have recently spent two exciting days recording their new album with the phenomenal Myles Mumford. The album should be ready for launch at the National Folk Festival in April with other launch dates currently in the pipeline.

Information about the album can be found on their Pozible page http://pozible.com/project/trioc-album-recording-1

Master Class at the National Folk Festival

Easter 2017 - Canberra

"Michael 'Blackie' O’Connell is a highly respected uilleann piper with his own very distinctive style and with Cyril O’Donohue (bouzouki and guitar) released the highly acclaimed album Friars Green. Blackie is a sought after teacher throughout Ireland.

A “musicians’ musician” Blackie’s class will focus on technique and applying it to some new tunes taught during the class. Whistle players will be welcome if space permits." - NFF website

Further details are on the National Folk Festival website folkfestival.org.au/master-classes.


Jarlath Henderson back for more

Easter 2017 - Canberra

Also in the line-up for the 2017 National Folk Festival is Jarlath Henderson. "The youngest ever winner of the BBC Young Folk Award in 2003, Tyrone-born multi-instrumentalist and singer Jarlath Henderson has created a sound that defies convention, juxtaposing the traditional with the modern to dazzling effect, joined by members of Treacherous Orchestra and the Kate Rusby band."
- NFF website

If you haven't heard it already, Jarlath's first solo album 'Hearts Broken, Heads Turned' is a great listen. Get it here www.jarlathhenderson.co.uk.

Details of other Jarlath gigs coming soon...

Goldfields Piping Weekend (Vic)

11 - 13 August (tbc)

Preliminary information for the time being...the date is pending securing suitable accommodation. However, we've excited to have Matt Manchester as our tutor for 2017.

Originally from Orange, NSW, Matthew Manchester holds a Bachelor of Music (Music Education) with Honors and a Master of Music (Performance). He is a specialistearly wind and brass player, focussing on the cornetto and the baroque trumpet.Living in London from 2008-2012, Matthew performed with numerous early music ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort, His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts, London Early Opera, Little Baroque Company, Manchester Baroque, Charivari Agreable, Oxford Baroque, and the Brandenburg Sinfonia.Whilst in the UK Matthew also trained as an instrument builder, making cornetts for Christopher Monk Instruments.

Matt is also a player of various bagpipes, is the custodian of the English great pipe and Lancashire smallpipe that the Club passed on last year. Matt has recently performed with the Evergreen Ensemble in Melbourne.

More details coming soon...



LBPS Annual Competition 2017

Overseas entries close Mon 4 Apr

"The 2017 annual competition will be held in the Royal Scottish Pipers' Society rooms in Rose Street, Edinburgh, with the usual range of classes. This is a unique occasion in the world of piping; it is welcoming, friendly and exists to encourage pipers, young, seasoned, novice and accomplished to hone their performance and present their music.

Entries for the 'Overseas' Class are invited from LBPS members unable to attend the competition in Glasgow.

Entries should be of one member playing any Scottish bellows-blown bagpipe; any number of tunes in one track lasting between 3 and 4 mins (A variation set from one source may be longer than 4 mins). Tunes should be representative of the Lowland and Border tradition.

Entries in MP3 format should be submitted to Colin Macaldowie to arrive by Monday 4th April." - LBPS

Hamish Moore - Barga School, Italy

2 - 9 Sep 2017

"Learn and share Scots and Gaelic traditional song, music and dance in a beautiful hill town in Tuscany. Join us for a week-long School with world class tutors from Scotland and Cape Breton. Next year’s School will be held in Barga, Italy, from 2-9th September 2017. Organised by Càirdeas nam Piobairean,  Hamish Moore’s fellowship of pipers." - Hamish Moore's website

Government response to African Blackwood CITES listing

source: Pipe Bands Australia

Pipe Bands Australia has received the following advice from the Federal Government on the import/export of musical instruments following the listing on CITES of Dalbergia species including African Blackwood

“Most international imports and exports of items containing Dalbergia species must now be accompanied by relevant CITES documentation. Non-commercial export of rosewood items weighing a total of less than 10 kilograms does not require a CITES permit. This permit exemption was introduced specifically with travelling musicians in mind.

“A musician travelling with an instrument(s) containing Dalbergia species that weighs less than 10 kilograms in total does not require a CITES permit. Imports and exports of items containing Daibergia species weighing more than 10 kilograms must be accompanied by relevant CITES documentation regardless of the purpose of the export or import. CITES documentation must be obtained prior to the movement of the item.

“Implementation of CITES requirements may differ internationally. Requirements for both the importing and exporting countries should be confirmed with the relevant CITES Management Authority prior to travel."

Department of Environment and Energy also provided the following key contact information

Contact details for international CITES Management Authorities are available at: https://cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp

Australian CITES requirements are described in detail at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/trading

Australia's application form for CITES permits is available at: https/forms.businessgov.au/smartforms/servletISmartForrn.pdf?forrnCode=WTPH

You may wish to make any further queries about requirements for trade in CITES listed species, including rosewood, directly to the Wildlife Trade Regulation team on 02 6274 1900 (option '3') or by emailing wildIifetrade@environment.gov.au

Uilleann Pipes UNESCO submission

source: Irish Dept. of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
"In December 2015, following a Government Decision, Ireland ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As a first step, the [Irish] Department [of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht] convened an interim advisory group to advise on the implementation of the Convention in Ireland. This group, comprising of representatives from the Arts Council, the Heritage Council, together with the National Monuments Service and Arts Division of the Department met to provide initial advice on the drawing up of an interim National Inventory, as required by the Convention.

Following a recommendation of the advisory group, the Minister approved Uilleann Piping for inclusion on the interim National Intangible Cultural Inventory. Na P
íobairí Uilleann expressed an interest in having this elements of national intangible cultural heritage inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage and is working with the Department to prepare applications for submission to UNESCO.

Interim Submission [excerpt]
Description: Uilleann Piping is a form of bagpipe music. lt developed in Ireland and, since the early 1700s, has been, and continues to be, associated with the national music of Ireland. It has its own range of expression, technique and repertoire. These developed through a dialogue between the music and the capabilities of the instrument, and make available a wide range of expression on the instrument

Bearers and practitioners: There are very well -known practitioners of Uilleann Piping, some of whom are associated with high-profile public performance, for heads of State and visiting dignitaries, and some who are known to be leading practitioners only within the piping community. In this context, social status is irrelevant; all pipers interact on an equal basis.

Transmission of knowledge and skills: Transmission of Uilleann Piping has always been effected through oral and non-oral modes. As a vernacular music, it has its own 'accent' which differentiates it from art-music. In fact, as it is a musical practice with a variety of styles associated with influential exponents, it has many accents, and these can only be acquired by ear, through exposure to an experienced teacher's performance and tuition, or with the help of recordings. Repertoire is transmitted aurally as well, but sometimes with the support of printed scores as a form of aide memoire. Transmission can be in a formal setting such as a tion61 or class or workshop, and also in informal settings, as the performance of Uilleann Piping mostly takes place in a social context.

Safeguarding measures: Measures to safeguard Uilleann Piping for the future include the establishment of Na P
íobairí Uilleann and many other groups, in Ireland and around the world. In all cases these groups were established by practitioners themselves. They concern themselves with the fostering and sharing of all the knowledge, skills, and practices involved in Uilleann Piping, and with the collection, preservation and dissemination of supporting materials.
In the case of Ireland, the activities of Na P
íobairí Uilleann and other groups that support Uilleann Piping are supported by the Irish state through the Irish Arts Council, in the case of Na Píobairí Uilleann by means of a 'Regularly Funded Organisation' (RFO) grant-in-aid." - Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Further information about the status of this process can be found on the UNESCO website http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/files-2017-under-process-00859
Sound familiar?

"Not the Green Hills of Tyrol!"

The background to a classic pipe tune...or is it?
The "Green Hills" has been a popular bagpipe tune for more than a century and a half. It is one of the most recognised piping tunes in the repertoire, thanks to Andy Stewart's song A Scottish Soldier based on the pipe tune. BUT, all is not as it seems. The tune originated as a European folk tune, and Gioachino Rossini used it as a chorus in La tua danza si leggiera in the third act of his 1829 opera, William Tell.

Click the image above to hear the 'classic' version of this tune. Further information is on the piping website Dojo University http://learn.dojouniversity.com/its-an-opera-its-a-pop-tune-its-the-green-hills-of-tyrol/

Jillian 'Jill' McWilliam

3 Sep 1942 - 27 Jan 2017

Jill McWilliam, with Jill Findlay, were the two 'Jills from Maldon', well-known around the district for turning up at hospitals and old peoples' homes to play music for residents.

Jill McW had a few health issues over the years, but always seemed to soldier on. However, pancreatic cancer is notoriously aggressive and doesn't give much time once it's discovered. Jill was in palliative care in Bendigo from just after Christmas. Jill F and many other local friends got to visit her there, and Jill F even managed to get a few tunes from Jill McW on guitar by turning up with her harp. In the last few days Jill's four sons needed family time with her, and her beloved dogs were with her at the end.

Jill played trombone in the Maldon Brass Band in recent years, and had also explored the cello, the pipes, and the shakuhachi as well as the three instruments she often played in the harp group "Harpers Bizarre"; harp, flute, and guitar. She was truly interested in music and culture, and was not afraid to try new things. She also had many students on recorder, keyboards and various other instruments as well as music theory.

Jill put a huge amount of music and energy into the community, especially through organising Harp Days in Malmsbury, and the annual Harpers Bizarre residential harp camp in July. She was also a regular host of the monthly harp group rehearsal days.

Jill's funeral was held in the Maldon Anglican Church on Saturday 4th Feb and was followed by a musical wake.

Henry Blood's Reel

Composed by the late Corey Henderson

This tune was composed by Warrnambool uilleann piper, Corey Henderson for his grandfather. Sadly, Corey passed away in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Adding this gorgeously hypnotic slow reel to your repertoire would be a wonderful way to remember Corey.

Click the music to download a PDF version.
Please email your personal (not commercial) classified ad to us at email@celticpipingclub.com for your free listing.

Items will be delisted after 12 months unless you notify us to continue the ad. Please let us know if your item sells or is withdrawn from sale prior to this.
Wanted - Bellow-blown Scottish smallpipes for a beginner

Preferably in the key of A.
Contact the Club at email@celticpipingclub.com.
Scottish Smallpipe Chanter in C - Made by Seth Hamon

For sale - a Seth Hamon SSP chanter (reeded) in the key of 'C' (unused, as new) - African Blackwood, Cocuswood mount and brass ferrules. The chanter has a split stock, a brass key for high D and a bottom hand back thumb hole to obtain an Eb and comes with two spare reeds (also unused). Original cost was $750 AUD before postage costs, mainly due to the extras' (split stock etc.).

Price: $330 (inc. standard postage within Oz) / or will trade for MK Pro Low D whistle (pref. polished model)
Contact: David Wright
Ph: (03) 5236-6064
Email: gnarwright@gmail.com

Added: #31 Dec 2016 - Checked/updated: #42 Mar 2017
Scottish Smallpipes in C - Made by Ian Kinnear

African Blackwood, Cocobolo mounts and brass ferrules, the chanter has a split stock and two brass keys - 'Eb' and high 'D' , the set has a drone switch and comes with a case, four spare chanter reeds (new/unused), spare set of Ezeedrone drone reeds (new/unused) and a spare Jackie Boyce bag also new/unused and extra bag cover. The set is three years old and very lightly used and is in excellent condition.

Price: $1,500 + postage
Contact: David Wright
Ph: (03) 5236-6064
Email: gnarwright@gmail.com
Added: #31 Dec 2016 - Checked/updated: #42 Mar 2017
Miniature Pipes - Made by Kintail

Made by Kintail (Scotland) circa 1970s, they are plain turned in blackwood with real ivory mounts. The drones have a beautiful strong sound (though one tenor drone reed is currently missing). The chanter sound is similar to the smallpipes (or practice chanter), as opposed to a Highland pipe sound. The leather bag requires dressing, but is otherwise in good condition. A wooden carrying case is also included.

Price: $1,150 ono
Contact: Dave Bail (Vic)
Ph: 0407 817 031
Email: davobail@gmail.com

Added: #39 Oct 2016 - Checked/updated: #42 Mar 2017
Uilleann Pipes Full Set - Made by Adrian Jeffries

Blackwood, box mounts and chrome metal work. Set is totally airtight and reeds play fine. Located in Sydney.

Price: $6,000 ono
Contact: Andrew Mackay (NSW)
Ph: 0433 012 069
Email: andrew.n.mckay@gmail.com
Added: #38 Jul 2016 - Checked/updated: #42 Mar 2017
Uilleann Pipes Practice Set - Made by Ian Mackenzie

Great condition, but will need some TLC as they've not been played for 20+ years. Includes some tutorial & music books.

Price: $1,200
Contact: Kieran Sharp - Paddington, NSW
Ph: 0438 950 403

Added: #36 Apr 2016 - Checked/updated: #42 Mar 2017

Gig Guide

Solo pipers, bands and piping groups.
Email us about your upcoming Celtic piping gigs...listings are free.
Fri 17 Mar 2017 11.30am 
Bendigo Library for St Patrick's Day (Vic)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 midday 
Celtic Fusion
Harrigan's Drift Inn, Jacob's Well (near Beenleigh, Qld)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 midday 
The MunsterBucks

Finn McCools, Brisbane (Qld)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 1pm 
Connor Hoy

Metropolitan Hotel, Adelaide (SA)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 5pm 
Connor Hoy

55ml Bar, Adelaide (SA)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 5pm 
The MunsterBucks

Mount Tamborine (Qld)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 6pm 
Celtic Fusion

Darcy's Arms, Surfers Paradise (Qld)

Fru 17 Mar 2017 8pm 
The MunsterBucks
Southport Sharks, Southport (Qld)

Fri 17 Mar 2017 9.30pm 
Connor Hoy

Adelaide Oval, Telstra Plaza

Sat 18 Mar 2017 11am
Tom Kimmet
Darcy's Arms, Surfers Paradise (Qld)

Sat 18 Mar 2017 midday
The MunsterBucks

Cavill Mall Irish Festival, Gold Coast (Qld)

Sat 18 Mar 2017 4pm
Tom Kimmet
Harrigan's Drift Inn, Jacob's Well (near Beenleigh, Qld)

Sat 18 Mar 2017 6pm
The MunsterBucks
Harrigan's Drift Inn, Jacob's Well (near Beenleigh, Qld)

Sat 18 Mar 2017 8pm
Duck Duck Goose
The Boite, North Fitzroy (Vic.)
Tickets: trybooking.com/doub

Sun 19 Mar 2017 midday
The MunsterBucks

Cavill Mall Irish Festival, Gold Coast (Qld)

Sun 19 Mar 2017 1pm
Celtic Fusion
Brisbane Irish Festival Family Day - Gaelic Park, Willawong (Qld)

Sun 19 Mar 2017 4.30pm
The MunsterBucks

Finn McCools, Brisbane (Qld)

Sun 26 Mar 2017 4.30pm
The MunsterBucks

Finn McCools, Brisbane (Qld)

Fri 31 Mar 2017 5pm
The MunsterBucks

Finn McCools, Brisbane (Qld)

14-16 Apr 2017

National Folk Festival, Canberra (ACT)

Thu 20 Apr 2017 8pm
South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga (SA)

Fri 21 Apr 2017
Likely Celts

Whisky Tasting Afternoon - part of SWCPD, Warrnambool (Vic)

28-30 Apr 2017
Likely Celts

Koroit Irish Festival

4-7 May 2017
Australian Celtic Festival, Glen Innes (NSW)

19-21 May 2017
Duck Duck Goose & Likely Celts

Robert Burns Scottish Festival, Camperdown (Vic)

Thu 28 May 2017
South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga (SA)

Pop-up Sessions & Other Piping Events

13-17 Apr 2017
National Folk Festival, Canberra (ACT)
- Blackie O'Connell (inc. Master Class)
- Jarlath Henderson

19-21 May 2017
Robert Burns Scottish Festival, Camperdown (Vic)

Sun 21 May 2017
CPC Committee Meeting, Camperdown (Vic) - details tba

9-12 Jun 2017
National Celtic Festival, Portarlington (Vic)

11-13 (or 18-20) Aug 2017 - tbc
Goldfields Piping Weekend (Vic)

Sun 13 (or 20) Aug 2017
CPC Annual General Meeting, Goldfields (Vic) - details tba

15-17 Sep 2017
Turning Wave Festival, Yass (NSW)
CPC involvement tbc

Sat 4 Nov 2017
International Uilleann Piping Day / CPC Open Day

Sun 19 Nov 2017
CPC Committee Meeting, Melbourne (Vic) - details tba

Regular Piping Sessions

Adelaide - Pipers Gathering

When: 1st Monday of each month (usually)
Where: Contact Jack for details.
Contact: Jack Brennan via brennanjack@optusnet.com.au

Brisbane - Irish Piping Sessions

When: 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month
Where: Milton (Brisbane)
Contact: Malcolm McLaren on (07) 3820-2902 or email mrmclaren@bigpond.com

Brisbane - Smallpipe Sessions

When: First Tuesday of each month
Where: Milton (Brisbane)
Contact: Malcolm McLaren on (07) 3820-2902 or email mrmclaren@bigpond.com

Melbourne - Celtic Piping Club Sessions

When: 3rd Sunday of each most months in 2017 (see below) 2pm - 5pm.
Where: Upstairs at the Exford Hotel - 199 Russell Street (cnr Little Bourke), Melbourne.
Contact: us via email@celticpipingclub.com
Future session dates:
  • Sun 19 Mar
  • Sun 16 Apr *NO SESSION* - Easter & National Folk Festival (Canberra)
  • Sun 21 May *NO SESSION* - Robert Burns Scottish Festival (Camperdown) instead
  • Sun 18 Jun *NO SESSION* - National Celtic Festival at Portarlington 9-12 Jun instead
  • Sun 16 Jul
  • Sun 20 Aug *NO SESSION*- Goldfields Piping Weekend instead tbc
  • Sun 17 Sep
  • Sun 15 Oct
  • Sun 19 Nov
  • Sun 17 Dec

NESSIE - North East Scottish Strings including Elbow Pipes

When: 2nd Sunday of each month
Where: North East Victoria
Contact: Kristen on (03) 5766 6282
That's all for this newsletter Like Celtic Piping Club - Newsletter #42 on Facebook

Until next time...happy piping!

Your friends in piping,

Celtic Piping Club Inc.
Committee for 2016/17
President - Geoff Jones
Vice President - Sarah Wade
Treasurer - Pat Lyons
Secretary - Alan Parker
Committee Member - Colin MacDougall
Committee Member - Matt Horsley
Committee Member - Merran Moir

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