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Workshop - Curriculum and General Information





January 15 - 17, 2016








Watch a 5 minute video about why pipers and drummers like come to Winter Storm


Pipers, drummers, and drum majors, beginner to expert, will gain a meaningful and enjoyable educational and social experience at the Winter Storm Weekend Workshop. The faculty is comprised of a large international line-up of world-class pipers and drummers, the vast majority of whom are World Champions and/or Gold Medalists, from around the globe.


This All-Star faculty places Winter Storm as one of the largest and most prestigious workshops of its kind in the World.


Winter Storm students may pick and choose from a list of curriculum topics and instructors; customizing their educational experience. Students may also mix and match piping, drumming, and drum major classes. Winter Storm advisors will be available on site to answer student questions and to guide students as to their best curriculum options.



The Winter Storm Campus sits within a city block that is adjacent to the famous Country Club Plaza. The majority of the Winter Storm Piping and Drumming classes are held in the meeting spaces and ballrooms of the two Winter Storm hotels. In addition, a number of classes, as well as The Pipes and Drums Concert, are held at the Community Christian Church and annex, just one block from the hotels.


Students should plan to arrive on Thursday afternoon/evening, January 14, 2016, so as to be on-site to take advantage of watching Friday's solo piping and drumming competitions; ranked among the most prestigious in North America and the World. An excellent learning opportunity. Plus there are numerous amateur contests to enter.


Schedule of Events


Online Registration is easy and Winter Storm offers discounts for early registration.


Workshop Registration Includes:

  • Six workshop master class sessions over two days, January 16 & 17, 2016
  • Free ticket to the Saturday night Pipes & Drums Concert, January 16, 2016
  • Free workshop T-shirt
  • Free admission to Winter Steam, the after-concert party (Souvenir pint glass is $20- enjoy unlimited refills of Summit Brewing products) All are welcome, but must be 21 to consume alcohol. No exceptions.
  • Vendor booths and Manufacturer Representatives on-site. Talk with the experts. Check out the latest piping and drumming gear. Special Offers on-site.
  • Valuable coupons and special offers from nearby restaurants and Winter Storm vendors
  • Special rates at the Winter Storm hotels
  • Early registration is $150.00 if paid by December 31, 2015. Register on-line to take advantage of the $20.00 discount.
  • Online Registration paid after December 31, 2015 is $170.00

On-site Registration is also available for $170.00; 2nd floor of the Marriott Hotel. Cash, Checks, and Charge Cards accepted during Winter Storm weekend.

The Winter Storm Workshop, Competitions, Concert, and Winter Steam Party will take place on the Winter Storm Campus.

See Event Schedule.

What is more, the Winter Storm Competitions, to be held on Friday, January 15, 2016, have tremendous appeal to enthusiasts who enjoy the excitement of world-class piping and drumming contests, and are an excellent learning opportunity for students. The acclaimed Winter Storm Silver and Gold Medal piping and drumming contests attract many of the finest players in North America and the World. The contests will be held at the Winter Storm Hotel Complex. Spectator Tickets: $25.00 Allows spectator access to all of the days piping and drumming competition events. Spectator Tickets may be purchased as part of Workshop Registration, at Shop MHAF, or at the door.


Weekend Workshop Session topics will include, but are not limited to, the following outline with numerous curriculum options per session. A curriculum matrix with classroom topics, times, locations, and instructor assignments will be available upon arrival, along with a packet containing a free Winter Storm Workshop T-shirt, name badge, a free Pipes and Drums Concert ticket, free CD recording from a Winter Storm Concert, and other useful materials, valuable coupons, and information.


Click to Download Detailed Curriculum and Classroom Locations


General Overview

  • Amateur 2/4 March Selections what judges look for
  • Expression for MSR, HJ, 6/8s
  • Playing pipes with other instruments
  • Bellows pipe instruction
  • Instruction for beginning pipers on chanter and switching to pipes
  • Reed Manipulation, Pipe Setup and Tuning
  • Pipe Major Workshop (managing your band, creating a winning medley)
  • Arts Administration discussion
  • Memorizing music
  • Beginning Piobaireachd
  • Tune Composition
  • Amateur Grade Solo Tune Selection
  • Ensemble Class
  • Piobaireachd Master Class
  • Much More TBA


Snare Drumming
  • Basic stick control & advanced techniques
  • Fundamental and advanced rudiments
  • Applied rudiments and two bar phrasing
  • Applied dynamics and ensemble considerations
  • Roll and accented roll development
  • Being an effective corps member
  • Marches in compound time: 6/8 9/8 12/8
  • The strathspey idiom
  • Building a competition set
  • Interpreting Alex Duthart ‘s classic scores
  • Light music: hornpipes - jigs round reels
  • An ensemble approach to creating a unique drum corps sound
  • Care and maintenance
  • Fine tuning the drum corps


Drum Major
  • Basic to Advanced Flourishing for Parades and Competition

  • Massed Bands & Competitive Marching and Deportment/Drill
  • Effective & Strategic Construction of Competitive Routines
  • Uniform Dress


Tenor Drumming
  • Rhythmic phrasing for the MSR
  • Rhythmic phrasing for light music: hornpipes - jigs round reels
  • Interpreting compound time signatures: 6/8 9/8 12/8
  • Flourishing techniques, beginning through advanced
  • Applying flourishing techniques across the time signature spectrum
  • Applying flourishing to the melodic structure
  • Mallet control and hand independence
  • Roll development
  • Visual meter and creating scores
  • The tenor section and ensemble considerations
  • Effective solo techniques
  • Getting the best tone from your drum
  • Care and maintenance


Bass Drumming
  • Basic mallet control & advanced techniques
  • Fundamental and advanced rudiments
  • What do Judges look for?
  • Playing with heart and dynamics
  • Taking ownership of time
  • Visual meter and motion
  • Marches in simple, duple, triple and quadruple time
  • Marches in compound time
  • The strathspey idiom
  • Roll development
  • Creating bass drum scores
  • Subdivisions
  • Rhythmic phrasing for the MSR
  • Rhythmic phrasing for light music: hornpipes - jigs round reels
  • Getting the best tone from your drum
  • Care and maintenance


Curriculum is subject to change


Questions? Click here for Winter Storm contacts.