Our popular Bagpipe Weekend returns in 2023, 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.
Andrea Hotzko (Germany) will be joining us to lead a course for Intermediate / Advanced level bagpipe players, while Anne-Marie Summers will 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 £45, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.
Who’s it For?
Beginners’ Course with Anne-Marie: 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. Let us know when booking if you’ll require a loan instrument.
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.
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 …
Anne Marie Summers is a player of the English bagpipes and general multi instrumentalist best known for her work with long time musical collaborator and gurdy player Steve Tyler with whom she formed the early music ensemble Misericordia and the French/Bretton inspired group The Wendigo which also featured melodeon player Julian Sutton. In the late 90s The Wendigo produced two albums ‘This Fiery Height’ and ‘Dancing on the Sea’, original dance tunes written by the group, many of which have found there way into the ‘traditional’ repertoire of sessions and dances around Europe. Anne Marie has played in many other early music and folk ensembles over the years most notably Jon Swayne’s English bagpipe ensemble Zephyrus which raised the bar for English piping with their performances and recordings of Jon’s masterful compositions The Half Hannikin Variations and English Folksong Suite. These days she works with her voice more often than her bagpipes leading various choirs, teaching music to children with special needs and working for the charity Music in Hospitals and Care. She has recently formed a Jazz trio to perform flapper songs from the 1920s.
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