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Old 07-06-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
Tim | Birchen
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vermont, USA
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Default The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

Dear all,

Here's another call for attendees for the 2014 Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School: July 28-August 1 (Huntington, VT). This is a week that I personally look forward to perhaps more than any in a given year a relaxed, intimate week of sharing choice tunes with fellow enthusiasts. All this in a gorgeous setting of a small, family-owned horse farm and craft brewery nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

This year's instructors will include Fin Moore and Iain MacInnes (both among Scotland's finest pipers), Alasdair White (teaching fiddle), Laura MacKenzie (flute/whistle), and myself filling in the gaps with piping and whistle workshops.

Morning and early-afternoon workshops at the VBFS tend to focus on teaching tunes by ear, with some historical context where applicable, and with an emphasis on solid, driving rhythms particularly for dance tunes. (Sheet music is typically made available after the week is finished.) Fin Moore has also led step-dancing workshops in the past, and may well do the same this year. It's a wonderful thing to connect the dance tunes we play to actual dancing! It all makes so much more sense...

Additional information
  • Scholarships and part-time options may still be available: please contact the school director, Bret Hamilton, for more information < bret@gmavt.net > 802.434.6318
  • Have mouth-blown smallpipes or shuttle pipes? You're also welcome to join us. Nate Banton may even have a loaner set of bellows-blown smallpipes for you to try out.
  • Accommodation: attendees either commute locally, stay in nearby B&Bs, or pitch tents on the farm itself (my preference!).
  • Meals: attendees are generally on their own for breakfast (folks often store and share cereal, eggs, etc. in the kitchen) and lunch (many of us make a quick dash into the village), and most of us chip in $$, ingredients, or actual cooking for communal dinners of surprisingly good quality.
  • Evening sessions: most evenings involve casual jam sessions as well as conversation, card games, etc. Often we enjoy the company of area musicians dropping in to join our sessions (including the likes of Pete Sutherland, Benedict Kohler and Hilari Farrington, Dominique Dodge, and many others)
  • Other activities: there is a great little swimming pond, some folks enjoy going doing yoga or going for a run, several of us are frisbee enthusiasts, and for those of you of age, Bret runs a superb craft brewery on the farm: http://www.stonecorral.com/

More questions? Please visit the website and/or contact Bret Hamilton: bret@gmavt.net | 802.434.6318

Hope to see you there! Please feel free to share this post with those who may also be interested.

~Tim Cummings
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:41 AM   #2
Matt Buckley
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

As a follow-up to Tim's post, I thought I'd point out that the fiddle instructor this year is Alasdair White, of Battlefield Band fame. It simply doesn't get better than Alasdair.

So, for those of you who play fiddle, pipes and fiddle, or who have a spouse who plays fiddle, this is an incredible and rare opportunity to study for a week in the US with some of the finest Scottish traditional musicians on the planet.


Matt
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

Any report(s) from the participants?

Best wishes.

Steve
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:20 AM   #4
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

Evidently nobody wants us to know, Steve. ( did anyone show you the secret handshake? Me neither)
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

They may still be in recovery mode....

Best wishes.

Steve
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
Nate Banton
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

I managed to make it to most of the week. My wife and 1 year old came with me. I have to say, it was a very fun event to bring a one year old to. I think we need to try to get more kids involved... The low keyness of this event works well for this sort of thing.

A great week as always. Fin Moore and Iain MacInnes were top notch. The tunes learned were great and the tunes played in the evening were even better. We had a few new faces who fit right in with the normal crowd. The three young gentlemen who were there for the first time brought with them there young energy and enthusiasm. And we had a first time attendee from Prince Edward Island who was equally energetic (though slightly less young).

And having the best fiddler from Scotland, Alistair White, didn't hurt any. What a great addition. That man has chops. And Tim Cummings... the guy is like hot sauce. Add him to any meal and he spices things right up!

Oh, and Laura MacKenzie was there! Dang, I barely got a chance to talk to her. She's such a lovely person and musician. What a crowd of talent!

Our host had recently started a brewery, right on the farm. The great beer flowing out of taps in the kitchen didn't hurt things any...

We have plans to start a Facebook page. So there should be lots of photos to be seen soon.
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Last edited by Nate Banton; 08-12-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: The 26th-annual Vermont Bellowspipe & Fiddle School

Thanks, Nate!
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