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Turlach Ur Survives Winter Storm!

No fewer than 22 Turlach Ur members and students participated in the big piping and drumming workshops in Kansas City on January 16 and 17.  We created a bit of stir … lots of questions about what we have going on here in Iowa.  Our whole group worked hard through more than six hours of instruction from some of the very best in the world.  Gold medalists Stuart Liddell and Angus McColl were favorites among our pipers, and the snares gave highest marks of the day to J. Reid Maxwell, lead tip of 2008 World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.  Haggis and Emily MacLeod worked over the tenor and bass drummers … ice packs for all!


Saturday night dinner was a blast at P.F. Chang’s.  Hat’s off to Todd Armstrong for his masterful organization of that event.  The next stop was the big Winter Storm concert.  We were all there, including participants’ families and friends, witnessing what has become perhaps the world’s foremost soloist and ensemble performance. 


Look at that photo again!  Look at all those Turlach Urchins!  Of those participating in workshops, 12 were between the ages of 9 and 18.  Half of those were newcomers to Winter Storm and, for meeting certain goals (minutes of practice and band practice attendance) over the 10 weeks leading up to Winter Storm, eight of our young players qualified for Turlach Ur mini-grants toward program tuition.  Congratulations to Mecca Morrison, winner of the Tulach Ur MinuteMaster prize for most minutes practiced.  Mecca logged 1850 minutes … more than three hours per week!  She took home a pink Winter Storm T-shirt and, at dinner Saturday night, was awarded the coveted ceremonial “Turlach Ur MinuteMaster Shirley McTemple”.


See you next January in Kansas City!


Turlach   (TUR – lock)-a large fire

            Ur (ur)-beautiful, flourishing, fresh, new, vigorous

The Turlach Ur Pipe Band sprang to life in Grinnell, Iowa in the summer of 2007.  Increasingly true to its name, it’s burning brightly now, boasting some 25 pipers and drummers at various levels.  About half are junior players, ranging in age from eight to seventeen.

We hold weekly band practices and monthly group lessons at which all levels come together for instruction in small groups (and lunch in a big group!)  We pride ourselves on playing great music and having a great time.  The two come together in our concerts, which easily are among the most fun and imaginative pipe band shows anywhere.  In 2009, we’ll be testing the pipe band competition waters for the first time!

In partnership with the Anne Stapleton School of Highland Dance, Turlach Ur now is bringing Highland dance instruction to east-central Iowa.  Contact Rob Clower at 641-990-6820 for more information about this latest addition to Turlach Ur’s Highland arts instructional programs.