The ‘new normal’ way for pipers to compete and consume piping will undoubtedly include online competitions and concerts live streamed to every corner of the world. The online offering brings a lot of positives.

However, everyone wants the ‘old normal’ to be reinstated ASAP. Children have been playing organised football games and tournaments in the UK since May 2021, football crowds are back in stadiums in the tens of thousands, and large scale outdoor music events have been held…. even in Glasgow Green. 2022 must be the year piping re-takes its place in the cultural calendar.

The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario made a welcome announcement in mid-January that is set to offer a full, outdoor Highland Games season in the open air. The dates are: Georgetown – June 11; Cobourg – June 18; Kingsville – June 25; Embro – July 1; Kincardine – July 2; Cambridge – July 16; Maxville – July 29-30; Fergus – August 13; Almonte – August 27.

The Cobourg Highland Games 2021 marchpast by scenic Lake Ontario • Photo:  Liam McGlashon (of PPBSO)

In recognition of the value of online tuition, the PPBSO announced on February 5, that its Summerblast! annual school will be held online from July 4 – 8, 2022. Bob Worrall, Director of Summerblast! said: “At last year’s school we welcomed students from all over North America and even one from Europe and their feedback was strongly in favour of the convenience that the online format gives participants.”

Piping instructors include John Cairns, Ken Eller, Michael Grey, Jim McGillivray, Bob Worrall and Bruce Gandy. Paul Brown, of the RSPBA’s Pipe Band College, and Jake Jorgensen, lead drummer of ScottishPower Pipe Band will teach snare drum. Kahlil Cappunccino, 78th Highlanders Pipe Band, will teach bass and tenor.

Find out more about Summerblast! here