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In this newsletter you'll find the latest news and reports about all that's happening in the world of Celtic Piping in Australia.

Celtic Piping Sessions @ Lord Newry Hotel

Sunday 9 February 2pm-5pm

Yes, that's right, for all you keen pipers out there, the first monthly piping session will be on Sunday 9 February 2pm-5pm, upstairs at the Lord Newry Hotel - 543 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy.

Come along to get your fix of some great Celtic piping. Bring you uilleann pipes, smallpipes, Border pipes, other (indoor) pipes or instruments for a great afternoon of piping. All pipers are welcome, indeed, encouraged to come along and join in. We'll aim to begin the afternoon with a blackboard session for the first hour or so (depending on numbers), then we'll all get the chance to share some tunes together in an open jam session. For those not familiar with a blackboard session, players put their name down for a 5-10 minute solo (or small group) performance - first in, first served! This is a chance to show off some fancy fingering, publically air your own composition, or simply to pluck up the courage to play in a public. But don't worry, you won't be judged. The audience will be fellow, like-minded pipers who will warmly welcome and encourage you. As usual, there will be someone available to help you fix or tune your pipes if they're not quite sounding right. See you there!

For those unable to get to the regular session in Melbourne, don't worry - we've got plenty of sessions, workshops and other activities planned for regional areas of Victoria too.

...and for those interstate...

Smallpipe Sessions in Milton (Brisbane)
First Tuesday of each month

Australian pipe- and reed-maker, Malcolm McLaren, runs a monthly Smallpipe session in Milton (Brisbane). The session has been going for a few years now, with a solid core of players. They also play at other events such as Tartan Day and Burns' Night. If you're up that way, just contact Malcolm for details on (07) 3820-2902 or email mrmclaren@bigpond.com.


Irish Piping Session in Milton (Brisbane)
2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month

Malcolm (see above) also runs a fortnightly uilleann piping session at the same venue in Milton. In between piping sessions, Malcolm is kept quite busy with his reed-making business. He makes synthetic reeds for the Highland Pipes and Border Pipes. Malcolm supplies a number of pipe bands in Victoria and overseas. If you need a new reed for your Border pipes (or Highland pipes), you can order them from his website http://www.reedsmclaren.com.

Here are some more dates to remember. Details of events will be coming soon...

10 March - International Bagpipe Day
Easter - National Folk Festival, Canberra
19 October - International Uilleann Piping Day

The Lake School @ Koroit
2-7 January
by Merran Moir

Each January, straight after New Year, our family enjoys attending the Lake School in Koroit. There is a range of classes/instruments on offer - fiddle, guitar, whistle, mandolin...just to name a few. This year, as with last, I attended the uilleann pipe classes. The tutors, and terrific players, are Jack Brennan and Nick Martin from Adelaide.

The classes ran for 2 hours each afternoon for the five days of the school, and there were lots of opportunities to play outside of the classes as well. Participants ranged from beginner to quite accomplished, and having two tutors for this class is a distinct advantage. This year we learnt some new tunes - including Chanters Tune and a couple of jigs, and looked at some of the ornamentation that could be included. We also had a reed making demonstration. The culmination of our efforts went on stage at the Ceilidh.

It was great to meet and play with so many pipers - already there's talk of more for the piping class in next year's program - lets hope so!

Thanks Jack, Nick and The Lake School!


Music Under the Southern Cross
12-7 January
by Andrew Teusner

From January 12 to 17 the Celtic Summer School was held at Campaspe Downs Kyneton.

I attended the Irish Pipering class under the fine tutelage of Patrick Lyons, with fellow class mates David, Darri, Alan and John.

This year's pipering theme was jigs, with lessons on technique, embellishments and variations. Some music theory was also covered, as well as work on reeds, pipe maintenance and the stories of the tunes and characters of traditional Irish music.

At the finale concert, the D pitched pipes played South Wind together, whilst I played the Silver Spear on my solitary B set.

The camp was a great success.

Sessions at Newstead Live!
24-28 January
by Andrew Teusner

A week after Campaspe Downs was the Newstead Live Music Festival in the lovely town of Newstead. There were street sessions galore, workshops, a blackboard concert and singing sessions as well as the programmed concerts.

We held a smallpipe session in the main street sessions late Saturday afternoon with Merran, Martin, Sarah and myself with backing from David on accordion and Sarah on bodhran.

On Sunday we held a more formal gathering at the Uniting Church, where Sarah, Dave Bail and myself were joined by Patrick Lyons on his lovely Bb Irish pipes and Phil on his D set. The highlight being playing around, sorry that's playing the round the Austrian Children's' Round. Learn it everyone, for instant harmonies.

Altogether another great weekend of music.

I'll be at the Frances Folk Gathering at the end of February, if anyone wants to join me for a tune. 

All the best, Andrew.

PS: if anyone else knows of other rounds we could learn, I'd love to hear from you.

Matt Horsley awarded JUMP Mentoring Grant

Congratulations to uilleann piper & multi-instrumentalist, Matt Horsley who has recently been awarded a JUMP Mentoring grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to study the uilleann pipes in Ireland with one of his favourite pipers, Mikie Smyth. He’ll be playing a solo recital in Melbourne later in the year as the culmination of that project, including premieres of new music by Luke Paulding and Jeanette Little. Matt’s tremendously excited about this, so give him a pat on the back next time you see him. I'm sure Matt would love to chat more about this too. Well done, Matt!
Well, that's about all for this bumper newsletter. Please send us your news and notices so we can let your fellow Celtic pipers know what's happening in the world of Celtic piping.

Your friends in piping,
The Celtic Piping Club team

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