May 8th, 2012
Let me start off by saying it’s a long time since I’ve been to Astoria. I absolutely adore the quaint little town. It reminds me of the movie “Goonies”, which was filmed there. The town is set on a hill and overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, just before it empties out into the Pacific Ocean. It is filled with antique shops, cafes and one of my new favorites – Fort George Brewery.
Initially I was contacted by the family of the lovely young couple I was going to bagpipe in Astoria for. This would be my first Astoria Bagpiper gig. But hopefully not my last. The family inquired about availability and cost. I told them I was available and quoted them a competitive rate. After listening to my bagpipe music samples on my website, they were more than ecstatic to have me come perform.
Because the bride and groom were located in Astoria, we weren’t able to meet and select bagpipe wedding tunes in person. Instead, they selected from my website, choosing “Scotland the Brave” for the bridesmaids/groomsmen, “Skye Boat Song” for the the processional and finally, “Sgt. James Barclay” for the processional. All very lovely choices.
elks lodge astoria bagpiper
The wedding was to begin at 3PM, so I arrived 30 minutes prior in case of any kinks to work out. However, there were no kinks to work out. It was very straight forward, both were I was to stand and when I would be qued to pipe. I stood near the entry way door for the first song, standing in place. The second tune, I lead the bride and father in front. At the conclusion of the ceremony, I led both the bride and groom out, piping them out from the front. Very traditional and classy.
Both families and all the guests were very complimentary of my piping and I even joined them in several photo shoots afterward. Thanks again to the bride and groom and thank you Astoria for hosting me for the afternoon.
January 9th, 2012
The family of fallen marine inquired about a bagpiper in Warrenton OR. Warrenton OR is just north of Seaside. It is a bit of a commute from Portland but I am willing and able to commute most any places. Additionally, I feel truly honored to bagpiper at a military wake. My step dad is a retired military professional and I am forever grateful to the men and women serving in the US military.
This particular service was held at the Ocean View Cemetery. I arrived 30 minutes prior to the start of the graveside service. As usual, I found a spot approximately 30 yards from the people were gathering. This is the ideal distance because it’s not to overpowering but yet can the full effect can be felt. The family requested Scotland the Brave and Amazing Grace, two of the usual favorites both asked for and suggested by on my end.
In all the Service was less than 30 minutes because the full service took place earlier that day. Scotland the Brave was played to open the service and Amazing Grace was played to complete the service. Thank you for inviting me to perform bagpipes in Warrenton.
bagpiper warrenton or
May 16th, 2011
Hector at Affordable Burial and Cremation in Newport OR recommended me to a family looking for a bagpiper to make the trip to bagpipe at a funeral service in Waldport OR. They were planning a funeral for a friend who had recently passed. It turned out, their friend owned a set of bagpipes which had never been played. They inquired about the possibility of me playing his bagpipes at his service. I thought that would be quite a tribute.
We scheduled a time to meet in Portland several weeks before the bagpipe Waldport OR service in order to test the bagpipe set out and make sure they were still playable. Often times, a bag will leak air or the drones will crack, making it nearly impossible to play. However, we lucked out. After 40 minutes of swapping in some new reeds, adjusting the drones and checking for loss air, I determined they were still playable. Albeit temperamental, with a little tlc surely I would be able to play them at the service.
On Saturday I made the trek from Portland down to the beautiful Oregon coast to bagpipe at the funeral in Waldport OR. I took I-5 South through Salem, then headed to Corvallis and then rode Hwy 34 to Waldport. It’s an incredible drive through the Siuslaw National Forest but incredibly curvy.
The Waldport OR bagpipe service started at 1:30PM, so I arrived 30 minutes early to test the recently revived set of bagpipes. They still worked! At the service, I played Amazing Grace at the beginning and Scotland the Brave to finish the service off. The guests were surprised to learn from the pastor the pipes being played were not mine but his.
Read more blog postings or other OR Coast Bagpiper postings.
January 18th, 2011
Lately, I have performed for several Vancouver WA bagpipes gigs. Yesterday, I bagpiped at Evergreen Memorial Gardens just off Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver WA. It was a simple, quaint funeral for an extraordinary man. There were approximately 50 guests and the weather was a bit overcast.
I stationed myself 15 yards from the casket, facing the audience. It was requested I bagpipe Amazing Grace and My Home, a beautiful traditional slow air I really enjoy playing. Just after the opening prayer, I played Amazing Grace and just before the closing prayer, I bagpiped My Home.
In all, the service took approximately 35 minutes. Normally, grave site ceremonies run 20 minutes – 40 minutes. I hope the guests enjoyed my bagpiping and I was able to assist with the grieving process.
Other Vancouver WA Bagpiper Gigs:
Bagpiper Vancouver WA
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral with 2 Bagpipers
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral
Vancounver Washington Bagpiper
January 3rd, 2011
I love bagpiping for parties. It gives me the chance to play a variety of tunes in my repertoire. Everything from jigs to slow aires, from stathspeys to reels get played. And of course the classics, like Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace, Flower of Scotland and others. The Vancouver WA bagpiper party was the party of all Christmas parties.
I was contacted by Leslie in November to bagpipe at her Vancouver WA home for three separate parties in the month of December. Each party consisted of friends, food and libations. Even on one particular occasion, Santa came and distributed gifts. The guests coaxed me into sitting on his lap and receiving a gift. I got caramel corn and a shot glass – not a bad gift.
All three bagpiper Vancouver WA celebrations were brilliant and done up to the nines. The house was incredibly decorated, exterior and interior. Each guest adorned a ‘kilted towel’ around their waist, as in a a towel with an image of a kilt, which is the next best thing to the real deal. The food was exquisite and thoughtfully presented and the host Leslie, was charismatic and fun. And of course, how can you forget about the bagpipe music, which was pretty top notch.
On two of the occasions, I piped as the guests arrived in the blistering cold. However, luckily, I bagpiped under a covered area, keeping me out of the rain and sleet. The duration of outside play lasted approximately 30 minutes as guests trickled in via cab and car. And they all politely nodded and acknowledged me as the approached the home. The second part of the of Vancouver WA bag piper show consisted of piping inside for the friends as they conversed and ate. I played many traditional marches, sprinkled with some contemporary fast tunes. Leslie’s favorite tune is the Flower of Scotland and I made sure to make that tune the highlight of the night and as a way to single her departure to Scotland where she celebrated New Years Eve.
Thank you to all the friends, Santa and Leslie for a celebratory Scottish New Years Fest in beautiful Vancouver WA.
Other Vancouver WA Bagpiper Gigs:
Bagpipes Vancouver WA
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral with 2 Bagpipers
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral
Vancounver Washington Bagpiper
December 20th, 2010
Making the drive to bagpipe in Molalla OR might be a bit of a drive for some Portland Pipers but not for me. It’s an hours drive from Portland. Mollala is a quiet and small town, with one main street. I was contacted by Mary to perform at a local Church in downtown Molalla. She had requested one tune – Amazing Grace. But as I was going to soon learn, I would be playing a couple more.
I arrived just before 7PM, with the skies pitch black and a bit of a chill in the air. Mary met me at my car where we discussed logistics and I warmed up my bagpipes. I was to be a surprise, meaning I wouldn’t be see the layout before marching in. But this is nothing new to me. I enjoy bagpipe improvising.
Once inside the Church, Mary announced my name from the mic. Just outside the cafeteria, I struck up my pipes with Amazing Grace and begin making my way towards the guests. I picked a spot in the middle of the room, just next to the food laid out buffet style. It was cold outside where I warmed up, so my pipes took a minute to settle in. Going from the outside cold to inside warmth normally causes the pipes to go sharp. I finished the tune and was quickly bombarded with requests. The first one – Danny Boy. I said off course and played it through. Next was America the Beautiful. I told the gentleman that I mostly play Scotch Irish tunes and have a limited repertoire for American style Hymns. I then played some 6/8 marches, a medley of tunes and thanked the crowd and Mary for having me, marching out on a pretty slow air.
It was fun to be a Molalla OR Piper for the evening. It was a short performance but the crowd greeted me with cheers as I piped my final exit tune.
October 12th, 2010
Oregon Bagpiper Dan DelMain is off again. Castle Rock WA, positioned halfway between Portland and Olympia WA, is a pretty little town just off I5. For the last 15 years, it has gone unnoticed during my frequent bagpipe competition trips up to Seattle and further north to Vancouver Canada. Last Saturday was my first opportunity to be a Castle Rock WA bagpiper.
I was contacted to bagpipe at a memorial service last week to bagpipe in Castle Rock WA. The daughter wanted a bagpiper to pipe for approximately 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony as people gathered, shared stories and reminisced. It was a very scenic surrounding, including where she requested I situate myself. The house which held the ceremony was located on a river just a few miles outside downtown Castle Rock WA. The organizer had spoken to a neighbor across the river about having me perform from their property. That way, as she guessed correctly, my music would carry across the river, giving an eerie, haunting feeling.
Under a beautiful gazebo, with the rain thundering down, I played an elegant set of 3/4 marches, 4/4 marches, 6/8 marches and slow airs. The final culmination was a rendition of Amazing Grace. I normally play Amazing Grace 2-3 times through but for some reason I felt like playing longer, especially as I could spot in the distance more and more guests had gathered outside, singing and rejoicing.
Unfortunately, I was not able to meet the daughter but I did meet the neighbors and everyone who had gathered to hear me perform on my side of the river. They were grateful as was I for being able to help the family during the grieving process.
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October 4th, 2010
I feel privileged as an
OR Bagpiper because I am afforded the opportunity to pipe all over the beautiful NW. Sometimes, the piping gig is in Portland or Vancouver WA, other times it is at the coast or on Mt. Hood. Bagpiping has brought me in close contact with many scenic locations I would have otherwise not been able to experience.
Last Saturday I got to be a bagpiper in Boring OR for the afternoon. Although I knew about Boring OR and its close proximity to Portland, I don’t think I had ever actually visited. It turns out the beauty of Boring OR is not so ‘Boring’ and neither was the chapel I piped at. The chapel was Bell Tower Chapel, located in the heart of downtown.
The couple who invited me to be a Boring OR bagpiper was a lovely young couple. They had contacted me several months in advance and we went over the details mostly via email, with them selecting tunes from my online bagpipe tunes repertoire.
When I arrived at the Bell Tower Chapel, all the clouds had dissipated and the sun was pouring through. I knew this was a perfect day to have an early fall Wedding. I met Zach and the officiant outside prior to the ceremony to recap the logistics. The wedding started at approximately 2:55PM, with the bagpiper (me) playing Scotland the Brave time about until someone rang the bell, which indicated everyone to rise for the bride. For the brides tune, the wedding party had selected Skye Boat Song, a lovely little slow air. Because the chapel was small and quaint, the walk from the back to the front was just a couple of lengths, which meant I was only able to pipe Skye Boat Song one time through. For the recessional, I piped Mari’s Wedding, a nice melodic slow march as the wedding party, family members and friends exited the chapel and headed to the back.
I piped the tune several times through, timing in my mind when everyone had safely arrived on the other side. After cutting my pipes, I headed around to the back. Sure enough, there were smiles all around and everyone had gathered to begin taking pictures. I politely said thank you to the bride and groom and made my way to my car.
Weddings are so much fun and it’s my personal belief all Weddings need a bagpiper (maybe I am a bit bias).
September 22nd, 2010
Last weekend I was invited to bagpipe in Longview WA. It was held at the Longview Memorial Park Cemetery off 5050 Mt. Solo Rd Longview WA 9863. It was a quaint ceremony, with lots of friends and family members paying tribute to life of a wonderful Scottish lady. The Mausoleum was pitched at the top of the hill, overlooking the pastures and farm country of Longview WA. The hills were sprinkled with grave stones, flowers and other sentimental items. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and the day was beautiful.
My role was to bagpipe for all the guests prior to the service as they lingered and shared stories. I played two 3/4 Marches sets of slow marches and military marches, tunes I really enjoy piping at funerals. After about 10 minutes of bagpiping, the guests were asked to take their seats. At which time I was cued to start my pipes from outside the Mausoleum playing the bagpipe tune Amazing Grace. I played the first couple of verses at attention and then marched into the building, turned piped another couple of verses and then exited the same way I entered. Upon refacing the crowd, I cut my bagpipes.
The family and friends sang some verses, shared stories for the next 30 minutes. Upon concluding the ceremony, the speaker signaled me to march in from the back, strike up my bagpipes and lead the group with Scotland the Brave. I played the first couple of verses at attention and when I repeated the part, I lead out. Everyone followed as I lead them down the hill meandering to the right where the reception awaited them. I stayed for a while enjoying cookies and juice and meeting the family members. They all thanked me profusely.
Although I am known as the Portland Bagpiper, I enjoy getting out of Portland and making the commute to bagpipe in other places. Bagpiper Longview WA was no different.
August 20th, 2010
July and August are the months of Weddings. That means between bagpipe competitions with the Portland Metro Pipe Band
, my solos and Oregon Bagpiper Wedding gigs, it makes for some long weekends. However, I love it.
Last Month, I got to bagpipe in the Columbia River Gorge not once but twice. And coincidentally, both Columbia Gorge bag piper Wedding gigs fell on the weekend, in the same location. The location was Bridal Veil Lakes, set in the heart of the gorgeous Columbia Gorge. And what added to the fun and excitement, was both parties asked me to bring back up. So on Saturday, Ted (drummer) and Craig (Piper) from the Portland Metro Pipe Band joined me in celebrating a Wedding. On Sunday, just Craig came with me for an equally beautiful wedding celebration for some Columbia Gorge bagpiping.
I had an amazing time on both days. Because I had part of my band join me, we mostly focused on bagpiping band tunes, like Green Hills of Tyrol, some swinging 6/8 marches and our competition Medley and March, Strathspey, Reel sets. On Saturday, we stood off to the side of the Wedding party and piped from a distance. On Sunday, Craig and I piped out the Bride and Groom and led from the Wedding Ceremony spot to the where the reception was being held. It was a short and breathtaking walk along the small lake. Alicia Dickerson, a sought after Portland Wedding Photographer provided us with some excellent shots. Thanks Alicia!
Ted, Craig and I would like to thank both Wedding Parties for inviting us to bagpiper Columbia Gorge OR.