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"Come & Try" Tent a Booming Success @Georgetown!

The first Highland games of the season sanctioned by The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario is, of course, Georgetown Highland Games. Yesterday’s games was by all accounts a great success with games’ organizers pulling out all stops to ensure a great festival of music, dance and sport.

A feature of the games this year was the PPBSO’s “Come & Try” the pipes or drums (or both!) tent. Open to the public and free of charge the tent was staffed by volunteer PPBSO pipers and drummers who worked shifts to present a welcome introductory face to our music. The initiative is run by the PPBSO’s Education Committee and chair, Malcolm Bow couldn’t be happier with how the day turned out. “The response from the games-going public has been fantastic and it was great to see lots of kids,” he said, adding, “a shout-out to our volunteers, they were completely engaged and I think had as much fun as those who came to try!”.

Pipes, drums, sticks and pad, as well as practice chanters - with sanitary precautions all in place - were all on offer to those many interested games attendees who were keen to have have a close-up look at the things that make the music everyone loves.

Drew Duthart, leading drummer of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band took a shift at the tent and said, “It was great to see so many kids interested it the drums, I’m looking forward to doing it again!”.

PPBSO Music Committee member and a piper in the Hamilton Police Pipe Band, Trish Kirkwood offers her take on the “Come & Try” experience:

“The Georgetown games presented me with a new opportunity, this year: to be a host in the PPBSO’s Come and Try tent. And what an opportunity it was! Curious participants of all ages stopped by, eyes scanning the 3 instruments. Holding a set a bagpipes and making an actual sound was a highlight of many, and as a host, I was just as excited for these individuals!

Many loved the experience of tapping a snare or tenor drum, and despite the caution displayed by participants, I encouraged “noise”! How great it is to be able to experience a musical instrument than through trial!

In an age where there is a noticeable decline in the amount of new learners in this art form, being a host of the Come and Try gave me a small sense of pay-it-forward. How great to be able to connect with future learners in order to create future sustainability of something near and dear to me! I’m all in, and I look forward to being a host again!”

Anyone dropping by the tent was also given a card with a QR code that would quickly connect them with the PPBSO’s new - and growing - database of province-wide teachers.

Future "Come & Try" tents will be hosted at Kingsville, Cambridge, Maxville and Fergus games.


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