Activities, History & People
National Celtic Festival including performances, sessions & come-and-try
Goldfields Piping Weekends held annually including workshops, sessions, meals, public concerts & schools presentations
International Uilleann Piping Day celebrations held annually in November
Workshops & Recital weekends held in South Australia & Tasmania
Regular pipers sessions held at The Last Jar in Melbourne and private homes in Adelaide
Newsletters, Website, Social media forum
Demonstrations, displays & workshops at various festivals including Lost Trades Fair, Maldon Folk Festival, Turning Wave Festival, National Folk Festival, National Celtic Festival, Newstead Live!, Robert Burns Festival, Scots Day Out
Online classes, workshops, concerts and gatherings
Pipes Loan scheme
Launch of Celtic Piping Club at National Celtic Festival 2013
Returning to Australia in 1999 after a year in Scotland, Geelong-based bagpipe player and teacher Geoff Jones held a vision for a piping community; and, new to playing smallpipes in the mid-2000s, Sarah Wade wished for greater support and local opportunities with the instrument. In 2008, they arranged a few workshops, sessions and gatherings for pipers at Geoff’s home and, in October 2012, they held a very successful weekend gathering of pipers in Castlemaine, Victoria.
As interest for a support-network for pipers was gaining momentum, a “Meeting of pipers to discuss ‘Piping Club’ proposal” was held in 2013 at The Celtic Club on La Trobe Street in Melbourne. Some weeks later the name was decided in a moment of urgency at a South West Coast Piper Drummer Dancer Weekend when a piping ensemble was about to perform at a blackboard concert at Warrnambool RSL. Celtic Piping Club was thus launched at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington, Victoria, in June 2013 and a group of pipers presented a concert and session to mark the occasion.
In 2016, the Club was incorporated, a committee of management formed, and financial members accepted. It has enjoyed session ‘homes’ at The Lord Newry Hotel in Fitzroy North, the Exford Hotel in Melbourne’s Chinatown, and The Last Jar in Parkville. A highlight of its activities is the annual residential weekend in the Victorian goldfields and outreach activities at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington.
Celtic Piping Club is a network for pipers, pipe makers and people interested in piping across Australia and New Zealand. Each piper is on their own journey with their instrument and their music, and the sense of community through the Club supports, nurtures and celebrates a diversity of piping interests, levels and approaches.
The most popular instruments played by club pipers include the Scottish smallpipes and uilleann pipes in concert pitch (D) and flat pitches (C, B, B-flat). Other instruments such as border and other lowland pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes, sackpipa, experimental bagpipes, flutes and whistles are also popular.
Pipers reside across Australia and New Zealand in metropolitan, regional and rural areas... a number of pipers even like to harvest cane for reed-making locally.
For professionals and hobbyists alike, pipers engage with their own musical journey within a community of supportive fellow pipers.