The College of Piping Pipe Band dates back to the Summerside Presbyterian Pipe Band, which was founded in 1963 by Don Groom and the late Reverend Donald MacKay
Inspiring excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educational programming continues to be the core mission of The College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada. Beginning with only 30 students in 1990 The College’s student body has grown to over 350 year-round students and 200 summer school and workshop participants!
Today, The College of Piping is also a premiere cultural tourism destination on Prince Edward Island, attracting a lion’s share of travelers to the summer-long Celtic Festival.
A 600-seat outdoor amphitheatre has become an extension of the classroom, giving aspiring performers the opportunity to perform with faculty and other Island talent.
In 2002 Attractions Canada named the Festival as the top cultural event on PEI, as well as the “Event of National or International Interest”. The following year, Festival and Events PEI named it the “Top Festival and Event”. In 2008 The College was designated as one of only two Signature Attractions on PEI.
Throughout The College’s history, students have also been consistent winners in their respective disciplines:
- 1994 1995 2006 - North American Pipe Band Champions for Grade 3
- 1994 – Michael Linkletter, North American Champion for Amateur Piping
- 1997 1998 – North American Amateur Piobaireachd Champion and YTV’s “Instrumentalist of the Year”
- 1997 – Silver Medal Winner at Oban and top under-18 player at Cowal, Scotland for MSR and Piobaireachd
- 2006 - Sam Ramsay, North American Champion for Grade 2 Drumming
- 2006 - Nick vanOuwerkerk, Atlantic Champion for Senior Amateur Piping
- 2007 - 4th place at World Pipe Band Championships for Grade 3
- 2008 - Lacey Fischer, Junior Finalist at the World Highland Dancing Championships
Over the years, The College of Piping has also produced a number of recordings; one of which was so impressive that it led to a sold-out production of “Celtic Christmas”, featuring the best of Canada’s Celtic performers at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
In 2003 The College of Piping also had the privilege of performing on the Tomorrowland Stage at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida.