Piper's Gathering Music Camp

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Wisdom House Retreat Center, Litchfield, CT

Held at Wisdom House Retreat Center, 229 East Litchfield Road Litchfield, Connecticut 06759-3002

Intensive 2.5-day symposium for all types of bagpipes except Highland pipes. Jamie will teach fiddle, with a particular bent towards piping-style fiddling. Staff concerts in the evenings and community tune sessions throughout the weekend.

The course is open to players of all ages and all levels (participants should have a modicum of basic skills and be able to play a least a few simple tunes by memory). Participants may be bagpipers who also want to hone their skills on fiddle, or devoted fiddle players.

Classes will be taught by ear, with sheet music handed out at the end for home study.

Topics taught will include:

Mechanics of ergonomic, pain-free playing, developing good intonation (pitch), examining bowing patterns that produce a compelling rhythmic groove, and how to develop a beautiful tone. Two or three tunes will be taught with an emphasis on how to pick up new tunes quickly, how to improve one’s speed and fluency, and the best way to practice for maximum results.

Several new tunes will be taught (jig, hornpipe, reel, march, strathspey, etc.) while discussing the finer points of authentic traditional styles plus a range of appropriate individualisms. Both common ornamentation and advanced bagpipe-style ornamentation will be examined. Performance considerations such as the construction of imaginative tune sets, improvising backup accompaniment, and expounding upon the emotional character of a melody will be explored.