Archive for May, 2008

Bagpiper Portland Accompanying Catlin Gabel Spring Festival

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

The Spring Festival at Catlin Gabel was held today in honor of the students, parents and alumni. It was quite the celebration. There were numerous participants, food and games. And the best part was the weather was absolutely beautiful. I think days like today are the reason why Oregonians don’t complain too much about the rain.

I arrived in full dress: McDonald tartan, white shirt, black tie, black vest, white socks, etc. My task was to lead all the small children from the top most gather point and parade them into the bottom center field much to their parents delight. It was a quick trip. All in all, I think I played Scotland the Brave 4 times through and 2 each for Green Hills of Tyrol and When the Battle’s O’er. They also had a willow tree at the bottom where the kids eventually participated in Scottish dancing but they had previously planned on a music CD to accompany the dances. I volunteered my bagpipe playing but it had already been planned.

Very professional and well put together by the staff and volunteers of Catlin Gabel. They were very knowledgeable and friendly which made my job easier. I didn’t have to second guess on the direction I was leading the kids. I just focused on playing. If they have another bagpiper in Portland performance, I hope they call me. I had much fun.

Mollala OR Bagpipe Wedding

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

On Saturday I found myself in Mollala OR playing my bagpipes for local couple’s marriage. It was held at Arrowhead Golf Club in a beautiful and scenic location. The wedding had both the attention of the many guests they invited but also the passerby golfers going about there Saturdays. This was a wedding which had been planned well in advance. I think we met to select tunes in December. They wanted two 6/8 marches for the march in of the bride and the march out of the couple. There choices were Miss Ishabel in and Lilly Christie out; two of my favorite tunes.

Luckily for everyone involved the weather held up and didn’t begin to trickle until after the guests headed for the reception. For the first 40 minutes I welcomed the arriving guests with my bagpipes. I choose to play mostly traditional marches and slow air’s hoping someone might recognize a tune or two. For whatever reason, we were slightly delayed because many of the guests hadn’t arrived. As the moment approached for the grandiose entrance, the bride came walking up the hill, signaled me to begin and off we went down the hill. After the short ceremony, I pulled my pipes and marched them out the same way they come in.

The strange thing about weddings is how nervous the bride and groom are and how frantically the choreographer runs around tidying up last minute details. I enjoy the spectacle and maybe I have this calming appreciation because of the numerous bagpiper in Portland weddings I have performed for. Each one gets a lot easier.