Balmoral School Expands its Reach with Celtic Ensemble Music at ESU
For two, 1-week sessions, July 16-21 and July 22-27, 2017, at East Stroudsburg University, the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming will run its intensive summer school program for pipers and drummers of all ages. During the second week at ESU, students who play Celtic music on other instruments will join pipers and drummers to take part in Balmoral’s new ensemble music program.
A composer of pipe music, as well as award-winning Pipe Major, instructor Robert Mathieson served as pipe major of the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band of North Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1986-2010. The band won 30 major championships under Mathieson’s leadership and was a 5-time winner of the World Pipe Band Championships.
Duncan Bell, a Professional grade piper, judges panel EUSPBA, is Pipe Sergeant for Parlin and District. He is a founding member of Celtic Rock group 51 Ash, for which he plays guitar, and keyboards.
“Robert Mathieson, Duncan Bell and Gordon Bell are world class musicians who put heart and soul into teaching pipes and drums,” says George Balderose, Executive Director of the Balmoral School. “And Colin Bell’s new ensemble music program will allow musicians who play mandolin, guitar and fiddle, for example, to play with some of the best pipers and drummers in the world.”
For week two at ESU, ensemble director Colin Bell will compose custom arrangements of Celtic traditional music, tailor-made to fit the instrumentation and ability level of each musician. Participating students in various ensembles will unveil their work in performances throughout the week.
“It’s very exciting to have this new Celtic music ensemble as part of the Balmoral Summer School,” says ensemble director Colin Bell. “Many Balmoral students play other instruments, as well as pipes and drums. Offering them an opportunity to perform with these instruments gives us more musical possibilities. I am excited to put the notes on paper and bring this music to life. Join us!”
Students, both individuals and pipe bands, will receive instruction on the Great Highland pipes, Scottish smallpipes, snare, tenor drum and bass drum, in small classes of four or less, while making friendships that last a lifetime. There will be a free instructors’ concert on Thursday evening.