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News: Fred Morrison is coming back to Ottawa! Updates on Education Initiative and More


Scottish multi-instrumentalist and composer Fred Morrison is coming back to Ottawa on May 12th!

Fred Morrison was born and raised near Glasgow, but it’s the celebrated Gaelic piping tradition of his father’s native South Uist, in the outer Hebrides, that forms the bedrock of his intensely expressive, uniquely adventurous style.

It’s been a few years since Fred last dazzled a sold-out crowd in Ottawa. His outstanding technical prowess saw him winning many top competition prizes while still at school, meanwhile being inspired by pioneering acts like the Bothy Band and the Tannahill Weavers. Although his first-love instrument remains the great Highland bagpipes, over the years his mastery has expanded to encompass whistles, Scottish smallpipes, or reelpipes – Morrison being a pivotal populariser of this once-rare variety – and Irish uilleann pipes.

Back by popular demand! MACISAAC AND MACKENZIE will be opening for Fred!

MacIsaac and MacKenzie

Alexis MacIsaac and Calum MacKenzie are a wife and husband duo who have established a unique musical partnership that combines Cape Breton piano playing with a modern approach to Celtic fiddle. While Calum’s musical approach has been heavily influenced by his Hebridean roots and his native Cape Breton culture, Alexis’ playing is a multi-faceted harmonization of Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton styles.

Get your tickets for a great night of music that you don’t want to miss!

Show Starts: 7:30 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM

Tickets: $22 per person

All ages welcome. Cash bar.


Education Initiative: April PDQB Examinations and Teacher Database

We recently announced the latest developments in our Education Initiative. This includes two components: PDQB examinations and a new teacher database (details below).

The PDQB process is designed to help piping and drumming students have their performance and theory skills officially recognized.

How it works

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the material: Before moving forward, students (and their teachers) interested in certification should take the time to familiarize themselves with syllabi and test requirements (both theory and performance) for different levels.

Step 2: Express your interest in taking an exam: We will hold two piping examination dates per year (one in the fall, and one in the spring), and drumming examinations once per year and/or when the number of candidates is sufficient. To proceed, you must first complete an expression of interest.

The forms are available below. Expressions of interest are due by March 9th.

Want to know more? Full details can be view here.


Teacher Database

Alongside the PDQB exmination process, we are relaunching a regional Teacher Database to help piping and drumming students identify potential tutors in the area.

Looking for instruction?

For individual instruction, there are many tuition options in the Ottawa Branch region for both piping and drumming.

Those on this list have opted in and have self-identified their teaching areas. This list has not been vetted by the Branch, therefore it is the responsibility of students to confirm arrangements with a potential tutor. Individual fees are subject to instructor/student agreement.

Some bands also provide piping and drumming instruction to their members. Click here for a list of area pipe bands.


February 29th Contests: Piobaireachd, Bass & Tenor, and Knockout Finals!

A reminder that a big day is in store for this coming Saturday, February 29th. Things will get underway at 1:00 pm with the Branch’s 3rd annual Amateur Piobaireachd Contest. After that, the evening will start at 7:30 with our first Bass & Tenor Contest. This will be followed by the Knockout Finals, where the competitors with the top three point totals from each category will be invited to compete for overall titles. Read more.


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