Save the date! 2017 ACPBA AGM will be held October 28

The ACPBA invites its members to join the executive for the  2017 Annual General Meeting. The 2017 AGM will be held on October 28th, 2017 at the North Magazine of Citadel Hill National Historic Site located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Parking will be available. 

The AGM and elections will start at 12:00 p.m., followed by a lunch and the official awards ceremony. 

Champion Supreme winners are invited to attend to receive their awards and perform, however this is not mandatory. 

All are encouraged to attend. 



Upcoming Concert: Clan Thompson Pipe Band and Friends

The Clan Thompson Pipe Band and Friends In Concert

2:30 PM, Sunday, July 2nd,

St. James United Church, Main Street, Antigonish

The Clan Thompson Pipe Band, under the leadership of Pipe Major Scott Williams of Antigonish, Pipe Sergeant Madelyn Evans-Langlois of Stellarton, Drumming Instructor Ray Halliday of Shubenacadie, and Lead Drummer Judy MacMullin-Smith of Antigonish, will be staging their second major indoor concert of the season at 2:30 PM on Sunday, July 2nd at   St. James United Church, Main Street, Antigonish. Adult tickets are $10 and $5 for Seniors and children under 12. The proceeds from the concert will go to the St. James United Church Music Bursary Fund. Tickets are available from local band members and from the church office. They may also be purchased at the door on the day of the performance.

The concert will feature selections by the pipe band and individuals or small groups of band members on Highland pipes, Scottish small pipes, violin, chanter and trumpet, as well as selections by well-known local musicians and singers.

The Guests:

M.C.: Jack Langlois, Stellarton Town Crier

Organ: Sheila Davison is the organist at St. James United Church and has taught piano to numerous young people over the years.

Vocals: Margaret MacDonald has taught music locally for many years. She is the assistant organist at St. Ninian's Cathedral, and has performed in both English and Gaelic in concert programs throughout the region. James MacPherson started his musical training with the Marian Boy Choir, and attended St. F.X. University where he majored in piano with a double minor in voice and organ. He was a member of Winnie Chafe and Friends for over 20 years, and was a former member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He was a member of the Antigonish Highland Society's Gaelic Choir which performed in the first Nova Scotia International Tattoo in 1979. Jimmy served as the Principle Cantor at the Papal Mass in Halifax on September 14th, 1984 during Pope John Paul II's official visit to Canada. He is currently the organist, Senior Choir Director and vocalist at St. Ninian's Cathedral.

Flutist: Emery van de Wiel recently graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelors of Music in Performance with a minor in composition. During his time in Newfoundland, he studied under the guidance of Michelle Cheramy. He is working as the music director for the series of Keppoch shows which are performed during the Antigonish Highland Games. After placing first in the Newfoundland Provincial Kiwanis Competition, Emery played at the National Kiwanis Competition in Edmonton last year. While attending Domain Forget, Panoramic Flutist and Beyond the Masterclass last summer, he had Master classes with many well known Flautists including, Dennis Bouriakov, James Walker and Christina Jennings.
Smith Highland Dancers: Kylie England, Lydia MacPherson, Brenna MacPherson and Jillian Vink are all dancers from the Smith School of Highland Dance under the instruction of Janet Smith. All are competitive dancers with different levels of experience. Kylie has been dancing for 7 years and has reached the Premier level of competitive dance. Lydia has been dancing for 7 years and Brenna for 6 years and both are at the Novice level of competitive dance. Jillian has been dancing for 2 years and is at the Beginner level of competitive dance. Their instructor Janet Smith was both a competitive and performance dancer. She has been teaching both types of dance for over 20 years and instructs dancers in Antigonish, Havre Boucher and Guysborough.


Union Fire Club Pipes and Drums

The photos below are of the Union Fire Club Pipes and Drums in Halifax, led by Pipe Major Scott Baker. This is a non-competitive band that is new to the ACPBA. Welcome to the club! Photos are courtesy of Sean Dewitt,

Photo courtesy of  

Photo courtesy of  

Photo courtesy of Sean Dewitt,  

Photo courtesy of Sean Dewitt,  

Call for Musicians: 2017 Barbados Celtic Festival

Pipe bands and individual players are invited to join the 2017 Barbados Celtic Festival taking place from May 26-29th. This a great opportunity to bring your pipes or drums and enjoy a pipe band holiday in Barbados next May! The event aims to be the biggest pipe band gathering ever to take place in the Caribbean. The specific events will be launched on the festival website soon and will include massed-band performances and ceilidhs. 
 Here is what you need to know to start planning this trip today:

Date: The festival is from May 26-29th - quotes are available for these date, as well as for longer stays (e.g., 1 week from May 24-31st)

Packages: GOwithHIPPO, the official Canadian travel agent for the Barbados Celtic Festival, has group packages available for bands as well as individual packages. For inquiries contact Maryanne Wagstaff at GOwithHIPPO –

Toll Free 1-844-469-4844 ext. 722, or

Visit the festival website also -

Once you have made your final decision, musicians are asked to go to the following website and register:

ACPBA Annual General Meeting - October 22nd, 2016

The ACPBA will hold its Annual General Meeting on October 22nd, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Magazine Building, Citadel Hill, Halifax. Parking is available and food and refreshments will be provided. 

Champion Supreme Winners are encouraged to bring their instruments and play a tune. Champion Supreme Pipe Bands are also encouraged to perform, including mini-bands. Pipe Bands that wish to perform are asked to RSVP to Kevin Dugas at 

We hope to see you there!

- ACPBA Executive.  

ACPBA Champion Supreme Winners Announced

The ACPBA executive would like to congratulate the 2016 ACPBA Champion Supreme winners. The champions are invited to accept their awards at the ACPBA Annual General Meeting in Halifax on October 22nd. Venue to be confirmed. 

Solo Piping Champion Supreme Winners:

Practice Chanter: Reilly Green, Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew

Grade 5 Piping: Dalton Faulkner, 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel

Grade 5 Piobaireachd (Ground): Dalton Faulkner, 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel

Grade 4 Piping: Calum MacKinnon, 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel

Grade 4 Piobaireachd: James Gendron, Dartmouth and District

Grade 3 Piping: Clare Henderson, Clan Thompson

Grade 3 Piobaireachd: Chris MacKnight, 36th Service Battalion

Junior Amateur Hornpipe and Jig (Piping): Clare Henderson, Clan Thompson

Grade 2 Piping: Brady Webb, Clan Thompson

Grade 2 Piobaireachd: Calum Brydon, College of Piping

Grade 1 Piping NSPPBA Champion Supreme: Sarah Simpson, College of Piping

Grade 1 Piobaireachd: Sarah Simpson, College of Piping

Senior Amateur Hornpipe and Jig: Brandon Gardner, Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew 

Solo Drumming Champion Supreme Winners:

Drum Pad: Carter Green, Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew Pipe Band

Grade 5 Drumming: Stephen MacKinnon, College of Piping

Grade 4 Drumming: Jenna-Marie Gallant, College of Piping

Grade 3 Drumming: Austin Trenholm, College of Piping

Grade 2 Drumming: Alex Marr, Dartmouth and District

Grade 1 Drumming: Chris Griffin, Dartmouth and District

Senior Amateur Hornpipe and Jig: Chris Griffin, Dartmouth and District

Pipe Band Champion Supreme Winners:

Grade 5: Dartmouth and District

Grade 4: College of Piping

Grade 3: Dartmouth and District

Grade 2: College of Piping

Grade 1: 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel


Piping Champion Supreme: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel

Drumming Champion Supreme: Sam Ramsay, College of Piping


78th Highlanders SPRING CONCERT & SOCIAL

To all supporters of the 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel competition bands and instructional program - we invite you to an evening concert and social taking place on Saturday May 7th, 2016.

Details are as follows:

Date: Saturday 7 May 2016

What: 78th "Friends and Family" Spring Concert featuring performances from all instructional classes and competition bands

Location: Sea King Club, Canadian Forces Base Shearwater

Tickets: $5 at the door

Time: Doors open @ 7 pm and the concert begins @ 7:30 pm

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.

We look forward to seeing you on May 7th and please spread the word!

Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge and Workshop

The most fun weekend of the entire year is almost upon us! It’s Piobaireachd Challenge time! This year it takes place on April 23rd with the workshop being held on April 24th at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside. The deadline to enter is this Friday, April 8th. New to this year is that we have added a march contest for Grade 4 and Grade 5 and an MSR contest for Grade 3 to Professional (please see the entry form for tune requirements). You can register for the workshop up until the day of (which is April 24th) AND you do not have to have competed to sign up for the workshop.  All are welcome!  The more the merrier!  You also don't have to be a member of the Atlantic Pipe Band Association to attend the workshop.  To find the contest and workshop form, please follow this link:  This year we have Alan Bevan as our judge and workshop facilitator. Alan is a double gold medalist and pipe major of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. We hope to see you in Summerside for this fun piobaireachd and MSR filled weekend!

Summer Job Opportunities

A note from the HCRA regarding some great summer job opportunities!

The Halifax Citadel Regimental Association (HCRA) is seeking pipers for it's Military Interpretation program. If you are a piper, looking for full time employment in the spring, summer, and fall of 2016, and want to learn more about what the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association has to offer, click on the following link for the job description, contact information, and general information.…/military-interpreter-piper-a-dr…

Please send resume to

Two upcoming events at the College of Piping

The College of Piping will be hosting two events in the coming months. See details below.

The Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge and workshops with Alan Bevan

Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24, 2016

The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada presents the 2016 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association. The event will take place at The College on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

We are pleased to introduce Alan Bevan, Gold Medalist and Pipe Major of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, as our judge. Alan will also be running piobaireachd and light music workshops at The College on Sunday, April 24. 

New for 2016: The College is adding March competitions for grades 5 and 4, and MSR events for grades 3 through professional. 

Entry forms are now available. 

The National Piping Centre and The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada

Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4, 2016

The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada and the National Piping Centre from Glasgow are continuing a partnership to offer the 2nd Summerside Piping and Drumming School, a festival of piping and drumming dedicated to education and performance.

Finlay Johnston from the National Piping Centre will join the College of Piping faculty in Summerside from Saturday July 2 through Monday July 4. In 2015 Finlay achieved the rare feat of winning both the Gold Medal and the A-Grade MSR at the Northern Meeting.

Students will receive hands-on class time per day, with a rotation of instructors through the school. Classes will be kept small so each student received appropriate attention. In addition, workshops and other events will be offered.

All registrations are taken through the National Piping Centre. Registration information and details should be available soon. Interested parties can contact College of Piping Director of Education James MacHattie to reserve a space by emailing

Member Profile: Devin Paynter

Devin Paynter is looking forward to his first summer competing as a professional drummer after a very successful run in Grade 1 solo competitions this past summer.

In the past year, the snare drummer from Summerside, PEI has won the North American Championships with first place in both the Grade 1 MSR and Senior/Amateur Hornpipe Jig competitions, travelled to Scotland to compete in the World Solo Drumming Championships and took home several other first place awards as well. He is spending this winter on Prince Edward Island preparing for another summer of competitions.

Six years ago, Devin started his time at the College of Piping as a bass drummer in the organization’s Grade 5 band. He was already a drummer at that point, but took an interest in pipe band drumming after seeing the College of Piping bands marching in a parade. He eventually picked up snare drumming and quickly progressed to the organization’s Grade 2 band under the instruction of Chris Coleman and Sam Ramsay.

He says the community at the College of Piping is what keeps him coming back each year.

“It’s the people, honestly” he said. “Everyone is so supportive.”

One of the highlights of Devin’s drumming career so far happened this past October when he earned an invitation to compete at the World Solo Drumming Competition in Scotland.

“It was unbelievable,” he said of the experience.

One of his favourite moments of the trip was watching some of his drumming idols compete.

“You see them play in videos all the time, but it’s nothing like the real thing. Being in the same room as them and hearing them play - that was amazing,” he said. “It’s one of those moments where you look back on it and think, ‘that really happened.’”

Devin plans to return to Scotland for the Worlds again this year and is preparing busy preparing for it. He added that while he was in Scotland, he received messages of support and encouragement from his College of Piping family and fellow competitors back home.

Devin says the drummers he competes against in solo competitions throughout Atlantic Canada are a supportive group that encourages one another.

“It’s a very friendly group,” he said. “We have fun with it and we watch each other play. They were messaging me while I was in Scotland to see how it went.”

Solo drumming has offered Devin incredible opportunities and he encourages other drummers to also think about signing up solo competitions. He was encouraged to start competing in solos by his instructor Chris Coleman, and says he stuck with it because of the value of getting feedback from various judges.

“You get very constructive criticism and it really makes you think in different ways,” he said. “It presents new ways of looking at things."

Devin’s advice for drummers who are thinking about entering the solo competition scene is to take it as an opportunity to improve.

“It’s about being open minded to what people have to say. To progress and get better, I had to be open to what people had to say about my drumming,” he said. “The main thing though, is to have fun with it.”

Dr. Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod

We said farewell to a true stalwart of Scottish traditional culture this week, Dr. Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod. Among her many achievements, she helped found the very first girls' pipe band in Nova Scotia back in the late 1940s, taught highland dancing, was a school teacher, and was a champion at The Gaelic College in St. Ann's Cape Breton for more than 60 years as the resident weaver. On behalf of the ACPBA we offer most sincere condolences to Eveline's family.

Listen to an interview Eveline did with the Gaelic College, just a few years ago.