The next Pipers Rendezvous will be held on 4th to 6th October 2019. I will be updating the website after December 31st with more information. Please email me to register an interest at <email@example.com>.
The Piper's Rendezvous 2018
Orford Music,3165 Chemin du Parc, Orford, Quebec, J1X7A2
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th October.
Supported by:'The Lowland and Border Pipers Society'
The 2018 Piper's Rendezvous
The Piper's Rendezvous is a weekend retreat at the beautiful Orford Music School featuring classes, workshops, mini-concerts, sessions and tutorials primarily for a variety of Scottish and Border bellows blown bagpipes but other 'piper friendly' instruments such as whistles, flute, fiddle etc will be welcome to participate.
The Piper's Rendezvous will offer 2 hour long classes at a variety of levels in Scottish Smallpipes, Border bagpipes, Northumbrian smallpipes and whistle – with a focus on Scottish and Border music. We also expect to hold classes on the music of Cape Breton and Quebec.
The Friday night introductory session will be an opportunity to meet and greet and play some tunes. On Saturday there will be classes and workshops and on Saturday evening there will be a illustrated presentation "Bagpipeology" with Alan Jones and Gordon Mooney followed by a session. On Sunday there will be more classes, workshops and a concert of tutors and participants. The event ending by 18.00pm on Sunday.
The Tutors Confirmed so far are:-
We are very excited to be holding a Piper's Rendezvous in Canada at the beautiful Orford Music School, Orford, Quebec near Magog on the weekend of 12th to 14th October. The event is supported by the Lowland and Border Pipers Society. If you are coming from the USA you will need a passport and the Canadian Border is very friendly as are the Quebec people who, beside their natural French, usually have good English.
All participants will stay at the Orford Music School and can check in after 4.00pm on Friday 12th October and will vacate their rooms by 11.00am on Sunday 14th October.
Orford Music facility offers plenty of room for us to play music
together and participate in group lessons, workshops and private
lessons. Meals are served buffet-style and there are choices to suit
various diets. A bar is open during meals. Accommodation is in single
or shared double room. Each room in the reserved building has a queen
bed and a single bed. WiFi is available throughout the site and the
grounds are open and give access to the walks and trails of the Mount
Orford National Park. In October the area will be decked
in Fall colours. Bring a friend or partner, there is so much to see
and do in this beautiful area. Map of the National Park
Fees and Registration
Fees for accommodation, food and tuition are as follows. A deposit of $100Ca will hold a place for you.
Accommodation, meals, tuition and access to all events are offered at the following prices, per person:-
(1 Canadian dollar = 0.77 US dollars – April exchange rate.)
Fees must be paid in full by 10th September 2018
The rates are kept as low as possible and offers excellent value for money. Places are limited to 20 participants this first year, therefore please book early to avoid disappointment.
Instructors can give individual lessons by arrangement at the
Please make a reservation by filling in the reservation form or email your name and address,and specify the type of accommodation you want to <Pipersrendezvous@gmail.com> then, either:-
Use the drop down menu to select the appropriate fee.
Use this button to pay the $100 deposit
Should your plans change after making a reservation please contact us as soon as possible. We rely on attendance money and donations to run this event. If you cancel before 1st August we will provide a full refund by cheque (less PayPal fees if you paid online). If you cancel after 2nd August and before 1st September we will refund 50% of your fee by cheque (less PayPal fees if you paid online). After 1st September there will be no refunds as we will have committed funds to Orford Music and others. Thank you for your understanding.
Donations and Sponsorships
The event has been generously supported by The Lowland and Border Pipers Society. Other donations, sponsorship or volunteering is welcomed and would enable the range of the event to be extended.
Alan's wonderful and distinctive music has delighted many a listener on both sides of the Atlantic. Engineer by profession, but a musician by passion, he is a player of (and lecturer on) various forms of the more unusual types of bellows and mouth blown bagpipes. His knowledge of the bagpipe, its makers, and the history of the instrument, is also extensive.
Although having played and studied other forms of music and instruments (including classical guitar and percussion), it is from exposure to traditional Celtic music over the last thirty years or so that he finds his greatest love and interest; performing mainly Northumbrian, Breton, Welsh, Scottish and Irish music on numerous varieties of bagpipe – including: Northumbrian Small and Half Long pipes, various forms of Scottish Lowland pipes, Breton Veuze and Biniou Koz, French Bechonnet and Grande Bourbonnaise bagpipes, Flemish Cornemuse, and the Irish Uilleann pipes, in addition to the Great Highland pipes of Scotland etc. He is also an accomplished player on the whistle.
Alan has performed in many festivals and prestigious events in North America and Europe including performances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and has played on film, TV and computer game soundtracks. He founded the North Hero Pipers Convention in 1985. He has a music degree from Concordia University.
Piper's Rendezvous – Schedule of Events
Friday, October 12, 2018
4:00 p.m onwards: Access available to accommodation and orientation
8:00-11:00 pm: Pipers welcome and play around with snacks and drinks. A “Show & Tell” Introduction followed by Session
Saturday, October 13, 2018
8.00 - 9:30 am: Buffet Breakfast
10:00-12:00 am: Class 1 – see below for details
Class 2 - see below for details
Private lessons available.
2:00 - 5:00 pm: Class 3 - see below for details
Class 4 - see below for details
5:00-6:00 pm: Discussions & Tutorials
6:00-8:00 pm: Dinner
8:00-10:30 pm: Illustrated Talk -Bagpipeology - open to public by prior reservation. Followed by Session until late.
Sunday, October 14, 2018
8.00 – 9.30am Buffet Breakfast (vacate rooms by 11.00am)
10:00-12:00 am: Class 5 -see below
Class 6 - see below
12:00-2:00 pm:: Buffet Lunch
2:00-5:00 pm Concert of tutors and participants - open to public by prior reservation
Class 1 – Saturday 10am -12 pm (The classes will be in one hour sessions with breaks) The Foundations of Good Bagpiping (1 hour) (Gordon Mooney, Ben Miller) The cornerstones of good piping, comfortable playing, adjusting the instrument, good posture, bellows technique, tuning, rhythm. Reading music and the importance of written music. Good practice from the performers perspective. Grace notes for articulation and ornamentation, learning by ear, learning from music and long term strategy for improving. The aim of the weekend will be to have everyone play on Sunday afternoon both individually and/or as duets, group etc. according to ability.
The Lowland and Border Piping
Tunes – old and new (1 hour)
Hornpipes, Rants, Reels and Jigs – printed music will be sent out in August and we will work on these tunes for arrangement and performance on Sunday afternoon.
Class 2 - Saturday 10am - 12 pm Cape Breton Scottish fiddle (Anita MacDonald)
Personal Journeys -The Northumbrian Smallpipes, (Alan Jones, Gordon Mooney)
The whistle - A discussion and demonstration (Gordon, Nancy Lyon, Alan Jones)
Class 3 – Saturday 2pm -
5 pm -The Lowland and Border Piping
Tunes – old and new (continued )
Hornpipes, Rants, Reels and Jigs – we will work on these for arrangement and performance on Sunday and will include mastering the Slow Air for pipes and playing pipes and other instruments together in harmony.
Class 4 - Saturday 2pm - 5 pm
Scottish and Cape Breton Repertoire (Ben and Anita) Aimed at newer players, this class will give you some interesting pieces that fit well on the pipes and fiddle to add to your repertoire.
Advanced Tunes and Techniques for SSP and Border Pipes
Class 5 – Sunday 10am -
12 pm - The Lowland
and Border Piping Tunes – old and new (continued)
Hornpipes, Rants, Reels and Jigs – we will continue to work on these for arrangement and performance on Sunday afternoon.
Class 6 – Sunday 10am – 12 pm
Theory for Pipers
Techniques to get better at tuning, reading, harmony writing, and adapting tunes to fit Scottish bagpipes – an interactive performance. Session Repertoire on the SSP
Aimed at more advanced players, this interactive performance will take on a few challenging pieces that are frequently played in Irish sessions and give some ideas about how to 'compress' a tune to fit a nine note scale..
An interactive performance of some Quebec and French
Repertoire Alan Jones, Tim Cummings and Alex Kehler
2pm to 5pm Concert of Teachers and Attendees.
Smallpipes classes are open to mouth-blown reel pipes if they have the correct bore and are tuned in A. Less skilled players are welcome to listen in all classes to master what they can and record the rest for future work.
Lessons: Teachers will allow time for up to 4 half hour private lessons during the weekend (schedule has breaks to accommodate this). These will be on a first-come, first-served basis to students, who will pay their teacher directly ($35/half hour lesson) at the lesson.
Orford Music - the restaurant looking at the practice rooms
“One of the most important folk acts on Cape Breton Island today.”
— CBC Mainstreet (Nova Scotia, CAN)
Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald have become renowned across Atlantic Canada and further afield for their synergistic, pipe and fiddle driven style of Gaelic dance-music. Joining together the musical traditions of Cape Breton and the Scottish Highlands, while incorporating influences from Ireland, Shetland and beyond, Ben and Anita have created a signature sound, described as "Fiery... Fresh, yet totally traditional." - Piping Today Magazine (Glasgow, UK)
Orford Music - bedroom with view of Mont Orford
Orford Music - accommodation building
Orford Music - view from room over grounds to Mont Orford
Orford Music - Practice/recital room
Ben is an American-born player of Scottish bagpipes, currently living in Halifax, NS. His interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the pipes at a young age, in his hometown of Queensbury, New York, as well as his family’s strong connections to its Scottish and Irish roots, through both his American mother and Canadian father.
studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he
began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes and
Border pipes. Ben is also an academic, holding an undergraduate
degree in Music, as well as a Master's degree in Scottish Ethnology,
from the University of Edinburgh's School of Scottish Studies. His
repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western
Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of
Irish tunes for good measure.
is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little
Narrows, Cape Breton. She
began step-dancing in the family kitchen at the tender age of four,
and picked up the fiddle a few short years later, at age eight.
She has been wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and
neatly choreographed steps ever since. Anita’s fiddle playing has a
distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical
family. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and
teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond. Anita is also the recipient
of the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award, nominated by the Celtic
Colours Festival Drive’ers Association. Following this award,
Anita released her debut album, “Stepping Stone,” during
the Celtic Colours International Festival in 2011.
Born in 1951, Gordon grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland and started bagpipes in 1958 with Hance Gates, who was a Pipe Major of Edinburgh City Police. After playing in Boys Brigade and Royal High School pipebands he went on to study Town Planning at Dundee Art School. While working in Edinburgh he was drawn to the folk revival scene, and at the Linlithgow Folk Club he met Jimmy Anderson of the Clutha and Rab Wallace of the Whistlebinkies who were also members of the world champions Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band. Encouraged to join the band, Gordon spent a year in intense tuition with Pipe Sergeant Davy Hutton. After Muirheads folded, Gordon played with Kinneil Colliery pipeband and was for several years Town Piper of Linlithgow.
During the late 1970's he began researching Lowland piping music and instruments and took up the Northumbrian smallpipes. In 1981 with Mike Rowan he formed the Lowland and Border Pipers Society and through contact with Northumbrian pipemaker Colin Ross, brought about the revival in playing and making of Scottish Smallpipes and Border pipes.
The revival has been a world- wide phenomenon giving work to pipe makers, and pleasure to thousands of players and lovers of Scottish music. Gordon gave Hamish Moore copies of the tunes he had researched and which Hamish used on his album Cauld Wind. In 1983-4 Gordon published his collections of music for the Lowland and Border Bagpipes, and a Tutor for the instruments in 1985. In 1989 he produced the ground-breaking and acclaimed album O'er the Border described as "Bordering on the sublime” by The Scotsman.
His tutor for Northumbrian smallpipes was Joe Hutton, who was an inspiration to Gordon and to so many others. Gordon's expressive and innovative playing has taken him to perform in Europe, North America and the UK with the band O'er the Border and with his famous fiddle-playing daughter Shona and as a duo with harpist and whistle player, Nancy Lyon. Now retired from a career in Town Planning and Conservation in Edinburgh, Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands he lives in Quebec and continues to perform, teach and make instruments.
His McGill University music training as a baroque violinist makes him a versatile traditional fiddle player. He plays with Soulwood, Les Siffleurs de Nuits, La Nef, Skye Consort, a La Mandragore and with Tim Cummings.
Over the past few years his passion for Scandinavian music has made him a rare bird in North America, playing the Swedish nyckelharpa. He has had the opportunity to study with two renowned Swedish teachers, Torbjörn Näsböm and David Eriksson. He also plays låtmandola, the Swedish equivalent to the Irish bouzouki.
Performer on Sunday
Timothy Cummings Piper
Timothy Cummings is a Vermont-based composer and multi-instrumentalist (chiefly a piper) who enjoys an uncommonly diverse repertoire. His music spans from the contemporary and sacred to the traditional melodies of the British Isles, Appalachia, Cape Breton, Brittany, and beyond. He is also a recording artist, writer, and publisher of piping music.