COVID-19: we have the technology

Margaret Dunn conducting a lesson today via Skype.
The NPC's Margaret Dunn conducting a lesson today via Skype.
Margaret Dunn conducting a lesson today via Skype.
The NPC’s Margaret Dunn conducting a lesson today via Skype.

With Britons being urged to avoid all non-essential travel and social contact in the latest attempts to slow the spread of coronavirus, more piping and pipe band events are being cancelled by organisers. However, technology is now being used more than ever in an effort to maintain practice schedules.

For example, for the time being, one-to-one lessons will cease to be conducted face to face at the National Piping Centre (NPC). Instead, all lessons will be conducted via Skype/FaceTime.

A spokesman said that the NPC’s seasonal schools have been postponed for the time being but that other technology solutions are being further considered for group lessons.

PipingLive! meanwhile, is still planned to go ahead as scheduled. The popular annual festival is due to take place from August 8-16.

Many pipe bands are postponing practices until early summer, although we learn of some that are adopting Skype/FaceTime and TeamApp to maintain some semblance of practice routine.

Elsewhere, the RSPBA’s Dundee, Perth & Angus branch has cancelled its indoor Trios, Mini-bands and Full Bands contest scheduled for April 18 as well as the Dundee Outdoor Contest on May 17.

Ceres Highland Games has been cancelled. A spokesman said: “It is only right to follow the recent government guidelines although a tough decision as we have been running continuously since 1314 (outside of the war years) … we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.”

Ceres, is the oldest free games in Scotland, had been due to take place on June 27.

Callum Beaumont’s recital for the Ipswich Piping Society has been cancelled. Callum was due to play in the south of England town on Friday night. The Ipswich Piping Society will not meet for the next six weeks.

The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said analysis by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) indicates that the UK is “approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve” in the number of cases.