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Northumbrian Smallpipes Weekend

Friday 4 Mar 4pm — Sunday 6 Mar 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.


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

Stay an extra night! Sunday supper, B&B:

  • £45

Hosted by Christine Corkett this popular workshop weekend will be led by a great teaching team of pipers, Andy May, Pauline Cato, Alice Robinson and Rob Say. We’ll also be running a Beginners’ Taster Day – details to follow.

The weekend offers a enjoyable opportunity to develop ability, technique and repertoire with a variety of workshops, sessions, and a performance from the weekend tutors.

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.

You’ll work in groups according to ability level, with the opportunity to work with all tutors over the course of the weekend. 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 has 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 Tom 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 was surrounded from childhood by music, he started playing concertina at the age of sixteen and picked up the pipes soon after. His repertoire and musicality is firmly grounded in the vibrant traditional music of the North East of England. Rob can be found playing solo or with the Wall Star Village Band at numerous local dances, village suppers or evening entertainments in Northumberland. In addition to music, his day job involves explaining how to solve problems with ‘computers and stuff’. Occasionally computers and music get mixed up – and the Northumbrian Smallpipes Simulator got built as a result.