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Bagpipe Ensemble Weekend

Friday 25 Oct 4pm — Sunday 27 Oct 4pm, 2019

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


This weekend course runs alongside a melodeon building course run by Emmanuel Pariselle; we anticipate that accommodation will be at a premium, so please consider sharing a room with friends, booking a bed in a shared dorm, or bringing a campervan/camping if you're an outdoor type. Not only will you save yourself some cash, but it will mean that more people can join the adventure!

Full board per person (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals & accommodation):

  • £240 – single ensuite room
  • £210– sharing an ensuite room
  • £210– single non-ensuite room
  • £165 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals):

  • £155

Non Resident (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals except breakfast):

  • £145

Stay an extra night! Please note this MUST be booked in advance. Sunday evening light supper, B&B:

  • £35

Callum Armstrong and Matthias Branschke are two of Europe’s most innovative and accomplished bagpipers. We are delighted to invite them to Halsway to lead this intensive weekend focused on playing bagpipes in an ensemble setting. The course will cover writing counter melodies and harmonies, groove, and tips on how to play in a group.

Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced players of pipes in G and D.

Featuring a solo-duo concert from the tutors on the Saturday evening, there will also be time to relax, play informally, and socialise.

Who’s it For?

The weekend is intended for Intermediate / Advanced level pipers, with pipes – of all varieties – in  the keys of G & D. Please tell us about your pipes when booking a place; we can check compatibility and confirm your place.

The course is limited to a maximum of 20 pipers.

The Tutors

Callum Armstrong is an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilities of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into new musical areas.

Some of Callum’s recent projects have been to develop a polyphonic technique for double smallpipes, collaborating with pipe maker Julian Goodacre to develop a chanter with 3 octaves worth of range and developing reeds and music for the ancient greek ‘Louvre’ aulos.

Callum graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2014, where he won the ‘Beryl Maggs’ Prize for recorder playing 3 years in a row as well as winning the Silver Medal in 2014.

Callum has played as a soloist with the London Philharmonic orchestra, as well as appearing in Steven Spielberg’s film Warhorse as the piper. In 2014 he won ‘Le Son Continu’ solo piping competition and returned in 2015 to win the ‘Petite Formation prize’ with his band the Savage Prunes.

Matthias Branschke plays bagpipes with half closed fingering for 20 years. His groovy play is delicate and full of expression.

He’s currently playing with T.K.P. (duo with the violinist Vivien Zeller), Sunday Jam (trio with Vivien Zeller and harpist Merit Zloch), Solid Ghost (duo with  Merit Zloch) and Duo Branschke/Armstrong (together with Callum Armstrong).

He was member of Kwart and with them won the World Music Award of TFF Rudolstadt in 2010. Together with his brother he won the Youth folk musicians award of TFF Rudolstadt in 2001.
Matthias Branschke took classical education for flute for 10 years.

Searching for the “perfect bagpipe” Matthias Branschke decided to become an instrument maker. Since 2010 – besides his musical activities – he runs his own bagpipe making workshop in Berlin (www.dudelsackmanufaktur.de).