The MacLeod Highland Dance Studio, located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, established in 1993, specializes in nurturing the tradition of Scottish Highland Dancing. Catherine MacLeod, a fellow with the Scottish Dance Teacher’s Alliance and a member of the Judges Panel with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing is the founder and director of the studio . In 1998, Catherine & the MacLeod Highland Dance Studio put on their first Robert Burns Dinner & Ceilidh. On January 25th, 2016, the tradition will continue at the Canadian Bushplane Museum & Heritage Centre. Catherine has been working overtime to create the 2016 Robert Burns Dinner & Ceilidh with Toronto resident, Scott Perrier. Scott is a Grade 1 (highest level) competitive drummer, who also happens to be Catherine’s boyfriend.
“The tickets are going fast” shared Catherine MacLeod. “We’re well over three hundred right now. People are coming from far and wide to take in and/or participate, as part of a major collaboration, being coordinated with Scott.” Scott Perrier is the Musical Director for the evenings’ line-up.
“Air and Army cadet dancers together with the McLeod Highland Dancers , will be performing as part of a choreographed effort with a mass Pipes & Drums Band.” shared Catherine. “We are also an official ALS Canada event called Pipes & Drums for ALS.” While the event began in 1998 as a fundraiser for the Highland Dance Studio, “This year, net proceeds are also going to ALS Canada in honour of Sergeant Murray Brown.” said Catherine.
Scott Perrier, is a good friend of Sgt. Murray Brown, a Thunder Bay competitive Pipe Band Drummer and Police Officer, who was diagnosed with ALS. ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed .
‘Murray Brown is a sergeant in the Thunder Bay Police and has played with numerous pipe bands for more than 30 years, including the Peel Regional Police, Maple Ridge, the Abbotsford Police and, for more than 16 years, the McGillivray Pipe Band. He left the police force in January 2014 due to his condition.’ www.pipesdrums.com
Scott Perrier began a journey to bring people together in a way that, will feature a monumental tribute to Sgt. Murray Brown. “Folks are travelling from Vancouver, Houston Texas, New York, P.E.I. and from every part of the province of Ontario, including Thunder Bay. Police officers and other friends from within the pipes and drums community are coming together.”
“The evening will feature the Chamber Singers of Algoma, under the direction of Patty Gartshore, a Mass Pipe Band, comprised of members from the 155 Borden Grey (GC) Royal Air Cadet Squadron Pipes & Drums, The 49th Field Regiment Pipes & Drums, Royal Canadian Artillery, The McGillivray Pipes & Drums, Thunder Bay, The Thunder Bay Police Pipes & Drums, The Northern Sky Pipe Band, with Pipers and Drummers also coming from various other Bands.” shared Scott Perrier. “Some of these folks are former band mates of Murray Brown.”
An international drumming corps, will perform a magnificent drum salute to Sgt. Murray Brown, including Scott Perrier, and Scott’s long-time friends, Dan Weeks and Brad Fremlin.(originally from the Sault) Scott, who’s instrument is the Scottish Highland Snare Drum, has performed with Sir Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart, as well as The Queen of England. He performs in several Pipes & Drums Bands, and is also an instructor.
The evening will host a photography corner where “people can choose to sit for a professional photo, with donations raised going to ALS. We can all enjoy taking in the Bushplane Museum as part of the event as well.” said Catherine. “The doors open at 5:00 pm.”
Ian MacKenzie is offering the ‘Address to the Haggis’. The Haggis is coming from Allens Scottish Butcher in Toronto, Ontario.
There will be the Toast to the Lads, and Toast to the Lassies, and of course, a toast to the Bard himself , Rabbie Burns. God Save the Queen.
The deadline for purchasing a ticket to attend the Robert Burns Dinner & Ceilidh is Wednesday, January 20th, 2016. Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire was a Scottish poet and lyricist (1759-1796). He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated annually worldwide to mark his birthday, January 25, 1759 in Alloway, United Kingdom .
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”
― Robert Burns
To learn more about Robert Burns,(1759-1796) visit the University of Glasgow literary collections at: http://www.gla.ac.uk
ALS Canada has posted the event to their official website, and can be found here: http://www.als.ca.
Get tickets by calling: 705- 255-0139. AYE!