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A community hub for Celtic piping in Australia

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

International Uilleann Piping Day 2015

17 October
Na Píobairí Uilleann's International Uilleann Piping Day is a worldwide celebration of the uilleann pipes with events hosted across the globe. A number of events were held around Australia to celebrate IUPD. Here's a little of what we were treated to...

IUPD Melbourne

Report by Pat Lyons
Celebration of this year's International Uilleann Piping Day in Melbourne was held at the Exford Hotel, in Russell Street. The venue was chosen because two noted pipers of the nineteenth century, John Coughlan and Owen Cunningham, both written into O'Neill's Irish Minstrels and Musicians, had regular gigs there in the 1860s. The proprietors and staff at the Exford were most welcoming and they were keenly interested in the occasion, for it gave them a slice of the pub's history they did not know.
Drawing of John Coughlan from O'Neil's 'Irish Minstrels and Musicians'
(Source: Irish Traditional Music Archive)

The afternoon's proceedings began with a workshop for beginners, conducted by Dundalk piper Conal Duffy, currently visiting Australia. Pat Lyons gave an excellent run down on the history of uilleann pipering in Victoria, in which Coughlan and Cunningham were prominent players (pardon the pun). Matt Horsley ran an interesting discussion about the ins-and-outs of playing the pipes and approaches to the music. One participant commented that, having played the Highland pipes for years, the uilleann pipes have given her permission to play tunes with latitude, not in a rigid, enforced manner. A good handful of players of Scottish small pipes also attended. Geoff Jones took them through their paces in a workshop. The small pipes are bellows blown, so they were deemed uilleann for the day (which indeed they are, as uilleann means 'of the elbow').

Matt Horsley playing the Rolling Wave

The climax was a concert featuring Matt Horsley (Gleeson C), Alan Parker (McNicholl D), Brendan Lewis (Lambe D), Andrew Teusner (Wooff B), Pat Lyons (Wooff B-flat), and the delightful duo 'Duck, Duck, Goose', Sarah Wade (Hamish Moore small pipes) and Jess Foot (oboe), treating us to duets of Swedish and Breton music. Conal Duffy (Mullaly-Curran D) closed the concert with The Fox Chase, a fitting choice, as Coughlan used to play it for the finale to his performances.

Duck, Duck, Goose performing at the concert
(Photo courtesy G. Jones)

Some twenty pipers turned out for the event (one from across from Tasmania). The concert was attended by about 50 people. In all, it was a great afternoon of pipes and pipering. Its four hours passing way too quickly. And I'm sure a couple of other pipers were with us in spirit. It felt like they were.

Conal Duffy playing the Fox Chase

Keep an eye on the new Celtic Piping Club YouTube channel.
More videos coming soon...


IUPD Adelaide

Report by Jack Brennan
We were very fortunate this year in Adelaide, as Na Píobairí Uilleann sent out a brilliant young piper from Waterford, Mark Redmond. Mark is a lovely young man and an amazing piper. He brought a D set with him made by Benedict Koehler, which was modelled on a Willie Rowsome set, and had the sweetest sound. Mark had put in much work to ensure the tuning of this instrument was just spot on, and a joy to hear.

After picking Mark up at the airport, we took him to the Belair National Park, where we were able to find a couple of Koalas lazing around in some Gum trees, and Mark also managed to find a stumpy-tail lizard, and a bearded dragon, quite a nature walk for Mark’s first day. The second day we took Mark to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens - Elley’s and my favourite place in the world. Mark was amazed by the colour the gardens put on for us.

On the Friday night we headed into the Irish Hall in the City for a session, and it was great to see Kathy and Craig Fischer there, and I took a video of Craig and Mark playing together. The session was well attended by pipers, unfortunately Connor Hoy couldn't be there as he was overseas for dancing championships.

Pipers at the Adelaide Irish Club
(Photo courtesy M. Redmond)

Saturday morning saw us at the Adelaide Central Market, where we played to the passing crowd. We took video’s of our performance as they would become some of the first videos the Irish would see when they awoke. In the evening of Saturday we held a concert in the Cabra College Chapel, where we played a selection of tunes, and Mark played a selection by himself. The music was well received, with a somewhat disappointing crowd.
Mark Redmond performing at Cabra College Chapel

On the Sunday we held a workshop again at Cabra College Dance studio. This was well attended by the Adelaide Pipers, and Mark talked about current piping tends in Ireland and other information that was well worth hearing. He also taught a lovely tune, before we called it a day and headed to Sally Morris’s house where Sally and her lovely family put on tea for all of us. I later drove Mark to John Murphy’s house, where we watch Ireland lose to Argentina, Mark wasn't happy.

On Monday morning  I sadly drove Mark to the Airport where he headed back to Ireland. It was lovely to spend time with Mark and chat about Piping and my aspirations to make the instrument. Mark loved Adelaide and was very lucky with the weather experiencing a 37 degree day. He did say he would love to come back one day.

Mark & Jack in 'the bush'
(Photo courtesy J. Brennan)


IUPD Warrnambool

Report by Merran Moir
After the success of Likely Celts IUPD concert in 2014,  they recently hosted the free event for a second time, at Warrnambool Art Gallery.

On Sunday October 18th, to an audience of over 150 (standing room only!) the 'Likelies' performed some Irish and original music, and were thrilled to be joined by guest pipers Matthew Horsely from Melbourne,  and Nick Martin from Adelaide.

Both of these accomplished pipers showcased their individual instruments to the appreciative audience. The crowd were very taken with the amazing harmonics and regulators accompanying tunes on Matt's beautiful set of flat pipes; the lively, energetic tunes from Nick's bright concert set; and the duets with uilleann and smallpipes together.

The concert finale included all pipers, Likely Celts, and a young, local whistle student- playing a set together.

During afternoon tea, many audience members took the opportunity to chat to the pipers after the concert. Such was the interest the date has been locked in again for next year!


The Likely Celts with guest pipers Nick Martin & Matt Horsley,
and whistle player
(Photo courtesy M. Moir)

Chris Norman & David Greenberg
Boxwood Festival Australia

For the first time, Chris Norman (small pipes & flute) and David Greenberg (Cape Breton fiddle & baroque violin) visit Australia, mounting their renowned music school, Boxwood Festival. Of Nova Scotia Canada, Chris and David are artists and teachers of the highest calibre. Last month, Chris was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution in the field of traditional and early music. As a duo, they explore music of the Scottish Borders and Highlands, Canadian Maritimes and traditional Ireland. Celtic Piping Club is proud to support Chris and David's concerts and workshops in Victoria 2015; for all smallpipers, whistle players, flautists and fiddlers, these opportunities are not to be missed.
Chris NORMAN – traditional & early flutes, small pipes, song
David GREENBERG – Cape Breton fiddle, Baroque violin

Chris Norman, although known primarily as a flute player, is also a fine player of the Scottish smallpipes. Chris' desire to learn the smallpipes was to help him discover new bagpipe-style ornaments for his flute playing. On his smallpipes plays not only Scottish highland-style and Cape Breton favourites, but also French songs and wild gypsy music of the Scottish borders. Together with David Greenberg, he brings to life some of the lost bagpipe music of Scotland, including that which has been found in the Dixon manuscript and others.

Chris & David will be performing at concerts in Melbourne, Warrnambool and Queenscliff.

Boxwood Festival
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 November
A weekend of immersion in traditional music with world-class tutors. Classes, sessions, evening performance, ceilidh, private lessons, great meals and accommodation are all on offer. Day registration or single night participation is also an option.
Further details and booking information are available on the Boxwood Australia website. Places are limited, so book your place now to ensure you don't miss out on this wonderful weekend of music.

This month's tune, like many others, has numerous variations. Here are a couple of relatively traditional settings. One in the Irish style, suitable for the uilleann pipes, and the other arranged to better suit the range of the smallpipes. Maybe you could try playing them together on both instruments at your next session and see if they work together or what alterations may be required. Enjoy!
Click music for a printable version

Try adding triplets for some variation. For example, the 1st line (of the Irish setting) becomes:
Tunes are also available on the our website on the Tunes page under Resources & Links.

Remember, if you've got any suggestions, please email them to us at 
email@celticpipingclub.com. We can't guarantee we'll be able to include them all in this TOTM, but you can always bring them along to share at a session.

Is anyone missing this connecting tube cover? It was left at the Exford Hotel on IUPD.

Pop-up Piping Sessions & Other Events

Sat 31 October
Maldon Folk Festival - pop-up piping session.
10 am to midday at the Maldon Band Rotunda on Fountain Street

7-8 November
SORRY - there will not be a piping session at Beechworth Celtic Festival this year.

8-13 November

Boxwood New Zealand, Waipu.

Tue 17 November - 7.30 pm
Chris Norman & David Greenberg Concert
Oratory, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne

Thu 19 November - 4 pm to 5.30 pm
Flute and Violin Workshop
with Chris Norman & David Greenberg
Mozart Hall, 2 Gillies St Warrnambool
Bookings essential

Thu 19 November - 7.30 pm
Chris Norman & David Greenberg Concert
Mozart Hall, 2 Gillies St Warrnambool

Fri-Sun 20-22 November
Boxwood Festival Australia, Queenscliff (Vic) - details above.
A weekend of immersion in traditional music with world-class tutors. Classes, sessions, evening performance, ceilidh, private lessons, great meals and accommodation are all on offer.
Bookings essentialhttp://www.boxwood.org/australia

Sat 21 November - 7.30 pm
Chris Norman & David Greenberg Concert
Boat Building Shed, Queenscliffe Maritime Museum
www.trybooking.com/162166 or cash at Queenscliffe Maritime Museum

Sun 22 November - 2 pm
Ceilidh (traditional Scottish / Irish dance)
with Chris Norman & David Greenberg
Masonic Centre, 60 Learmonth Street Queenscliffe


Regular Piping Sessions

Adelaide - Pipers Gathering

When: 1st Monday of each month (usually)
Where: Contact Jack for details.
Contact: Jack Brennan via 

Brisbane - Irish Piping Sessions

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

Brisbane - Smallpipe Sessions

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

Melbourne - Celtic Piping Sessions

When: 2nd Sunday of each most months (see below) 2pm - 5pm.
Where: Upstairs at the 
Lord Newry Hotel - 543 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy.
Contact: us via
Future session dates:
  • Saturday 14 Nov - at the Exford Hotel, Russell Street, Melbourne
  • Sun 13 Dec (focus: Traditional Scottish & Irish Christmas tunes)

NESSIE - North East Scottish Strings including Elbow Pipes

When: 2nd Sunday of each month
Where: North East Victoria
Contact: Kristen on (03) 5766 6282
Do you run a piping session or get to any folk sessions where pipers are welcome, or would like to write about a piping-related event? Click here to send us an email...we'd love to hear from you.

That's all for this newsletter Like Celtic Piping Club newsletter #30 on Facebook

Until next time...

Your friends in piping,

The Celtic Piping Club crew

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