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Northumbrian Small Pipes Weekend

Friday 5 Mar 4pm — Sunday 7 Mar 4pm, 2021

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.


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

  • £262– single ensuite room
  • £225– sharing an ensuite room
  • £225– single non-ensuite room
  • £180 – sharing non-ensuite room

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

  • £170

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

  • £160

Hosted by Christine Corkett with a great team of tutors – Andy May, Pauline Cato, Rob Say and Alice Robinson – this popular workshop weekend gives everyone from absolute beginners to intermediate and more advanced players a thoroughly enjoyable opportunity to develop their abilities, technique and repertoire. There’s introductions and sessions on Friday evening, followed by a full programme of workshops, sessions, and informal performances, with the option to take a bit of time out on the Saturday afternoon should you want to.

Music will be available in advance of the weekend.

Who’s it For?

This popular workshop weekend is designed to give everyone from beginners to intermediate and advanced level players a thoroughly enjoyable opportunity to develop their abilities, technique and repertoire.

“If you work at something with guidance, as you have to on a course like this, there is always a benefit. Thanks to excellent tutors.” 2017 Participant

We’ll divide the group into ability-level groups, and you’ll have opportunities to work with four different tutors over the weekend, as well as being able to choose for a variety of optional workshops / sessions on the Saturday afternoon. Music will be available in advance.

 The Team

Andy May was introduced to the smallpipes by his father Stan, later learning from Roland Lofthouse and Adrian Schofield, and from studying the recordings of Billy Pigg and Tom Clough. Through the 90s Andy entered many piping competitions and studied music at the University of York with the pipes as his chosen instrument. Andy has been a full-time musician since 2002, with the Andy May Trio, UK/Finnish/Danish ensemble Baltic Crossing, and with North-East band Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies. Andy is a notable pipemaker, learning much from his father, and also Colin Ross, and teaches on the folk music degree course at Newcastle University.

Pauline Cato with her extremely accurate staccato approach, has brought a fresh and exciting sound to the Northumbrian bagpipe tradition. While she’s has shown a mastery of the traditional repertoire of Billy Pigg and Tom Clough, Cato become known for her unique bagpipe renditions of songs by such folk-like songwriters as Richard Thompson and Jay Ungar. In addition to performing as a soloist and in a duo with McConville, Cato has worked with Alistair Anderson and the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra in the opera Cullecoates Tommy. Cato has become a highly respected instructor and has taught courses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.

Alice Robinson (nee Burn) began Northumbrian smallpipes lessons at the age of 8 and won her first Northumbrian Smallpipes open competition at the age of 11, the youngest ever to do so. In 2002 Alice was offered a place at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, as a first study Northumbrian piper, a unique opportunity for a piper and folk instrumentalist. Dr. Anthony Robb has been Alice’s tutor and great friend. He has imparted to Alice his passion for Northumbrian music and a deep knowledge of our folk heritage. Alice belongs to Dr. Robb’s Windy Gyle Band and has recorded with the group. In 2007 Alice was Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Folk Musician of the Year and she is currently Piper to the Mayor of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Rob Say is also a regular tutor on these courses at Halsway Manor and an experienced tutor.