The SPBA's annual Mini Gathering Program kicks off the season in Saskatoon at Wildwood School. [Google Map Link]
There will be solo events, band events, and a special "Open Performance Event" - 2-3 minutes from any combination of pipers/drummers.” The idea is to have players do a short performance for fun...show off a new tune, try another instrument, and in any combination of pipes/drums.
All entries for the Mini Gathering will be online, with an entry deadline for the week before the event, We hope to have as many soloists and bands as possible come to try their tunes. As before, these will be adjudicated performances, and not a competition with prizes. The idea is to encourage students to get their new tunes/scores out in the air, and to get some feedback.
Thanks to students and teaching staff for another outstanding summer camp experience at the University of Regina! We were very fortunate to have current World Champion St. Lawrence O'Toole L-D Stephen Creighton at this year's school—his first visit to Saskatchewan—as well as Alasdair Henderson (Inveraray & District Pipe Band), James P. Troy (Spirit of Scotland), Eilidh MacDonald (78th Highlanders, Halifax), Iain MacDonald, Alex Rasmussen, Meg Stade and Roland Reid.
A diverse group of students included members of: Conservatory Pipe Band (Regina), City of Regina Pipe Band, RCMP Pipes & Drums, Estevan PPCLI Army Cadets, the 96th Highlanders (Saskatoon), the Swift Current Green Braes, Lord Selkirk Boy Scouts (MB), Prairie Thistle Community Youth (MB), the 703 Air Cadets Pipe Band (Regina) and the Wa Wa Shrine Pipes & Drums, Regina.
At the conclusion of the school, several awards were made to outstanding students:
1. The Boys' Brigade (beginner piping) - Matt Celin and Tobyn Thompson (Regina)
2. The Clan MacRae (adult piping) - Wayne Rempel, Regina
3. The Renfrew Pipe Band - Paige Knisley, Saskatoon
4. The Red Hackle Pipe Band - Riel Lewer, Winnipeg
5. Muirhead & Sons - Duncan MacDonald, Regina
6. St. Joseph's Pipe Band (senior) - Fynley Calder-Rasmussen
7. St. Joseph's Pipe Band (junior) - Callum McGinn
8. Invergordon Distillery - Everett Dillman
The instructors selected Riel Lewer of the Lord Selkirk Robert Fraser Memorial Pipe Band to receive a $300 scholarship toward the 2017 school. The $300 was received as donations during the evening sessions at this year's school.
Thanks are also due to organizations and individuals who provided scholarships for students to attend this year's school:
The Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association
The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band
The Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba
The City of Regina Pipe Band
The Sons of Scotland, Camp Balmoral
The Wa Wa Shrine Pipes & Drums
Anonymous Regina Donor
The Danny Matheson Foundation
The following pipe bands were declared "Saskatchewan Champions" following the 2016 contests at Regina:
Grade 2 - The City of Regina Pipe Band
Grade 3 - The Saskatoon Police
Grade 4 - The Conservatory of Performing Arts
Grade 5 - The Conservatory of Performing Arts