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Bagpipe Weekend

Friday 18 Feb 4pm — Sunday 20 Feb 4pm, 2022

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.


We anticipate that accommodation will be at a premium for this event; 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 party!

Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

  • £270– single ensuite room
  • £232– sharing an ensuite room
  • £232– single non-ensuite room
  • £185– sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):

  • £175

Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):

  • £165

Our popular Bagpipe Weekend returns in 2021, running alongside the Hurdy Gurdy Weekend, in a frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Our thanks to the Bagpipe Society for their support of this event.

We’re delighted to announce that Andrea Hotzko (Germany) will be joining us to teach a weekend course for Intermediate / Advanced level bagpipe players, while Halsway-favourite David Faulkner will return to lead a course to introduce complete beginners to the bagpipes.

“I enjoyed the mixture of teaching, socialising, and playing with friends from all over the UK and Europe. This is my fourth year and I intend to come back” Participant

You’ll need to select your level and will be working with the tutor for that level during the weekend. Though there will be plenty of opportunity to socialise with the tutors and participants over the weekend.

For an extra £40, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.

Who’s it For?

Beginners’ Course with David: For complete beginners, we will be looking at how to make the instrument work, posture, tuning, basic techniques, simple repertoire to enjoy when learning to play. Most of the learning will  be by ear with music scores provided to support our learning. We will aim to have a bit of fun too!

Instruments – loaned by the Bagpipe Society – will be available for course participants to borrow. Please contact us if you require a loan instrument, or if you have any special requirements:  david.eelgrinders@gmail.com

Intermediate / Advanced Course with Andrea: “The subtle distinctions”

Traditional music gives us a lot of scope for our own interpretations and there is not really a right or wrong. Today most pipers have a wide range of European repertoire. They play what they like. But many of the tunes are played in the personal comfort zone and they always sound the same.

Each piping tradition has developed its own style to play, which depends on the construction of the instruments, the fingering but also on the dances. What is it, what makes the music typical? And how we can make that a melody sounds more French, Swedish, Spanish, Scottish etc? So, our repertoire will be very diverse and come from various regions. We will analyse the play and experience how ornamentation, articulation, rhythms effect the sound. We will also work on the ‘aesthetic of our play’ – the intonation, posture and the precise, well-placed playing. With the knowledge and the skills of this ‘subtle distinctions’ you can review your own repertoire and also get a new perspective on the piping of others.

This workshop is for intermediate and advanced level players of bagpipes in G/C (16p). You can also bring pipes in other keys. The work will mainly be by ear, so a recording device is very useful. I will also bring the sheet music with me.

“Thank you for a brilliant weekend. The tutors were stimulating and informative, the atmosphere was great, the food was excellent and I switched off email and facebook for two whole days. Absolute heaven. Oh and I played and played and played” Participant

The Team

Andrea Hotzko has been teaching bagpipes for 20 years and is highly experienced in all levels of playing.  She has founded her own piping school in Berlin and is also the founder and director of the German workshop festival “Spielkurs”.

At the age of 8 she started her career in the world of music with a classical clarinet education. Andrea has an MA in musicology with a focus on French baroque opera and is still researching about the music landscape in the time of Michael Praetorius.

In 2016 Andrea received the RUTH Award (German folk music award) for her work in the German folk scene, her commitment to promoting young talent and networking with international artists. In 2019 she was the first German bagpipe player who was invited to be a member of the jury of the renowned “Maîtres Sonneures” competition at the Le Son Continu Festival. Andrea has been playing at the Societé Fraternelle des Cornemuses du Center for many years, currently in duo with melodeon player Benoît Vignaud, in the Berlin trio Juli And Jan, and she has been a studio and guest musician with various bands, including: Blowzabella, Naragonia, Carlos Nunez, German indie-rock band Madsen.

David Faulkner has been playing pipes for over 25 years with groups such as the Eel Grinders and Jon Swayne’s Zephyrus, and performs regularly as a duet with accordionist Steve Turner. He has toured in Europe, Canada and America. He has led many pipe courses in the UK and abroad and has worked as a community musician for nearly 20 years.

The Bagpipe Society was formed in 1986 to bring together players, makers, researchers and people who love the bagpipes. They’ve been a great support to Halsway in running this event over the years – that you! It’s a great resource for pipers everywhere – check out their website here: www.bagpipesociety.org.uk