The last blast of Springtime… April, into May

Oops! Missed blogging about our lovely April dance with Abigail Hobart calling to Amberwing!  It was a fine dance!

Coming up soon…



Callum Armstrong is an experimental piper who enjoys exploring the possibilities of the pipes. He studied recorder at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where for three consecutive years he won the Beryl Maggs Award for recorder and, in his final year, was awarded the Silver Medal for Early Music. He subsequently won the solo prize in 2014 and the ‘Petite Formation’ Prize in 2015 with Cellist George Pasca at the ‘Son Continu’ Festival in France.

Callum started experimenting with the aulos (ancient Greek shepherd’s pipe in 2015. His work developing reeds in an historically informed manner while collaborating with scholars has enabled him to forge his own playing technique and to break new ground reviving the aulos.  He is currently in the US to perform with Columbia University’s production of Euripides’ Herakles, but when I learned that he would be in this country, I encourage him to come to our area to perform and teach a workshop for our local pipers.

Callum’s other recent projects include developing a polyphonic technique for double and triple smallpipes, collaborating with pipe maker Julian Goodacre to develop a chanter with a 3-octave range, and taking part in ‘Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band’ with Concerto Caledonia. He has played as a soloist with the London Philharmonic orchestra and appeared as the piper in Steven Speilberg’s filmWarhorse. In 2014, Callum won the Château d’Ars solo piping competition and returned in 2015 to win the ‘Petite Formation’ competition with the cellist George Pasca.

He plays multiple kinds of pipes including Cornish pipes, Scottish Smallpipes both Single and Double by Julian Goodacre, Great Highland Bagpipes by Peter Henderson, and Borderpipes in A and D by Jon Swayne.  His concert will be a combination of many things… aulos, recorders and pipes.

Callum will be teaching an afternoon workshop from 3-5pm on melodic ornamentation and techniques for becoming more relaxed as you play.  Pre-registration is advisable, workshop is $25, or $40 for both workshop and concert.

Concert admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMaD members, and $10 students.  Advance Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets.

Mayday Celebration… a smaller event than year’s past… a May Day cannot be fully appreciated without weaving the Maypole… On the McMurran Lawn at 12:00 noon on Saturday May 4.  Singing, dancing and other celebratory revelry.

May Contra Dance
Saturday, May 4, 8pm 

Come join us for this high energy dance at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building as Brian Hamshar calls an amazing round of contras and squares to high-energy band from the Shenandoah Valley, The Bouncers with Jim Harrington (accordion), T. J. crow (mandolin), Richard Adams (horns and bass), and Bill Wellington (guitar and banjo).  Beginners workshop at 7:30, the dance starts at 8pm. No experience necessary, no partner needed.  Potluck snacks at the break.  Wear soft-soled shoes to protect our nice floor!
New Admission prices $12 adults, $8 members, $10 students and $5 under 12. New student membership price!  $10/yr.

Our last Monthly Contra Dance until September… we will have a concert or two coming up… including a concert with Piper Barry Shears from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in August!




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