The 2023 retreat will begin Thursday morning, Sept. 21, and run to Sunday at noon, Sept. 24. Classes will take place at 126 E Garland St, La Veta (GPS coordinates: 37.50472, -105.00809).

Here’s a draft schedule (subject to change):

9-9:30 a.m.Welcome, introductions, and announcements
9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.Uilleann pipes — Jerry O’Sullivan
Scottish smallpipes — Barry Shears
12-1 p.m.Lunch break*
1-4 p.m.Uilleann pipes — Seán Gavin
Scottish smallpipes — Jerry O’Sullivan
7 p.m. onwardsWelcome gathering and ceilidh in Cuchara with the Oklahomans: Everyone’s invited, including partners. If you feel like it, bring something to drink or a snack to share plus your instrument so we can enjoy making some fun music together.
9 a.m.-12 p.m.Uilleann pipes — Seán Gavin
Scottish smallpipes — Barry Shears
12-1 p.m.Lunch break*
1-2 p.m.Uilleann pipes & Scottish smallpipes: Let’s play some common tunes together — Barry Shears & Jerry O’Sullivan (Note: Depending on when Barry, Jerry, and Seán need to get up to Walsenburg for their sound check, the timing on lunch and this session might change a bit.)
During the rest of Friday afternoon, we’ll take a break so everyone has some free time to explore La Veta’s quaint shops, hike around in the beautiful countryside, or take one of the Festival’s terrific workshops.**
7 p.m.Concert at the Fox Theater in Walsenburg. Barry, Jerry, and Seán will be among the many outstanding performers. Complimentary tickets will be provided courtesy of the Festival for all registered retreat participants.
9 a.m.-12 p.m.Uilleann pipers and Scottish smallpipers together for a class photo
Uilleann pipes — Jerry O’Sullivan
Scottish smallpipes — Barry Shears
12-1 p.m.Lunch break*
1-4 p.m.Uilleann pipes reed-making workshop — Dirk Mewes
1-2 p.m.Scottish smallpipes option 1 — Head on up to Walsenburg with Barry Shears for a session with harpists (Walsenburg is an approximately 30-minute drive from La Veta). Afterwards, either return to La Veta and join the class with Jerry O’Sullivan (see below) or take some time to relax and explore on your own.
1-4 p.m.Scottish smallpipes option 2 — Jerry O’Sullivan
9 a.m.-12 p.m.Retreat wrap-up — Some folks need to hit the road back home, but if you’re able to stick around, let’s gather together to go over some of the tunes we’ve learned, ask questions of our instructors, and brainstorm ideas for next year’s retreat.
*Lunch is not provided; however, there are several cafés, restaurants, and a grocery store within a short walk of the retreat location.
**Festival workshops are not included in the cost of the retreat. You can register and pay for workshops via the Festival’s website or in person at the Festival office in the heart of La Veta.

Private lessons

Depending on their schedules, Seán Gavin, Jerry O’Sullivan, and Barry Shears are available to hire for private lessons outside of class time. If you are interested in arranging a private lesson, please speak with one of the instructors to arrange a date, time, and payment.

Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival

You’re always assured of a friendly welcome and uplifting music at the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival. Check out the festival’s program and buy your tickets for concerts, demos, and workshops (as well as the pipe retreat).

Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival HQ in downtown La Veta