Invermark now has a history of 50 years of summer programs. From its inception, we have kept piobaireachd and individual piping as the primary focus of our curriculum, with small class sizes a priority for the teaching of individual piping skills. In recent years, we have widened the scope of the workshops to include areas critical to the success of pipe bands: snare, bass and tenor drumming, and the skills necessary for the Drum Major. With the addition of the program at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, we are deepening our commitment to a broader understanding of the culture.
In years past, we have endeavored to provide instruction from leading performers and composers: Thomas Pearston, John MacFadyen, Dr. John MacAskill, Robert Brown, Robert Nicol, Norman Gillies, Alasdair Gillies, Andrew Wright, Jack Taylor, and Angus MacColl. Our current faculty list includes Jack Lee, Willie McCallum, and Patrick Molard.
Drumming, under the direction of J. Reid Maxwell and Eric MacNeill, has developed into an excellent school for snare, bass and tenor drummers and Drum Majors. In addition to Reid and Eric, this year’s instructors include John Fisher and Jon Quigg on snare; and Catherine Hanks on Bass and Tenor. The Drum Major’s course will again be taught by Eric MacNeill.
All of this is for you, the student. You may choose the nature of your educational experience at the workshop. All piping students will be placed in at least two classes based on their level and educational preferences. All piping students will be given opportunities to perform for various instructors for comments on how to better their performance. Some additional large group sessions and extra help sessions, ranging from private, semi-private and groups will be available to everyone. Group and extra help sessions will be available on a daily basis, so that students can ask for clarification and reinforcement on any points which concern them from the day’s classes. As always the major theme for students of all levels, will be to emphasize clean, correct embellishments.
We realize that some students will prefer a “lighter” class load, some are attending largely to get feedback on their performances, while others would prefer to take on as many classes and as much new material as possible. Should, for any reason, the classes not be meeting your expectation, please let me know early in the session, and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes.
I will look forward to seeing and hearing you at the workshop!
Donald F. Lindsay, Director
Invermark Piping and Drumming Workshops