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Annual fundraising event at College of Piping in Summerside

January 20
Credit Union Place

On January 20 The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada will host a celebration of the life and works of Robbie Burns at their annual Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala. 

The funds raised from this event will go towards the operational expenses of The College and directly supporting the operational mission statement of “Empowering students to realize their full potential through Celtic Performing Arts.” The College of Piping has three competition pipe bands and a dance company. There are step dancing, highland dancing, piping and drumming classes every week as an after school program. As well, there are summer programs, weekend workshops, ceilidhs, concerts and recitals through the year. Students and faculty of The College are involved in the community on a regular basis doing parades, piping, drumming and dancing at events. Students spend lots of time traveling to pipe band competitions, highland and step dance competitions and highland gatherings in the summer.

The seventh annual Robbie Burns Fundraising Gala will take place at Credit Union Place in Summerside starting at 6:30 pm featuring a Scottish Ceilidh with students and faculty performing traditional and contemporary choreographies. Come enjoy the music of Robbie Burns along with piping, drumming, fiddling and dancing. A three course roast beef dinner, with haggis, will be served. Tables will be set for 8 and will be eloquently decorated by Prestige Flower Shop. A complimentary shuttle, is offered from Charlottetown to Summerside (and return) for the event.

Robbie Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, in 1759 to William Burness, a poor tenant farmer, and Agnes Broun. The eldest of seven, spent his youth working his father’s farm, but in spite of his poverty he was extremely well read. At 15 Robert was the principal worker on the farm and this prompted him to start writing in an attempt to find “some kind of counterpoise for his circumstances.” It was at this age that Burns penned his first verse, “My Handsome Nell,” which was an ode to the other subjects that dominated his life, namely scotch and women.

Burns contributed songs to the likes of James Johnston’s Scot’s Musical Museum and George Thomson’s Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs. In all, more than 400 of Burns’ songs are still in existence.

The last years of Burns’ life were devoted to penning poetic masterpieces such as “The Lea Rig,” “Tam O’Shanter” and “A Red, Red Rose.” He died aged 37 of heart disease. On the day of his burial, more than 10,000 people came to watch and pay their respects. 

On the anniversary of his birth, Scots both at home and abroad celebrate Robert Burns with a supper, where they address the haggis, enjoy music and dance and perhaps some whisky.

For information on The College of Piping’s events, call 902-436-5377 or 1-877-BAG-PIPE.

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