Archive for February, 2010

SE Portland Piper Pipes for First Birthday Party

Monday, February 8th, 2010
Portland Piper Dan DelMain and Portland Snare Drummer Andrew Finely pipe at a birthday party
I always love piping for birthday parties because people are so appreciative and complimentary of my services (Happy Birthday bagpipe tune is always a fun one to play). Over the several years I’ve been bagpiper in Oregon, I’ve had the opportunity to play for birthdays of all ages. However, Saturday night was the first time I was asked to bagpipe for a 1 year old.

Andrew Finely, a fellow band mate and snare drummer extraordinaire was invited to accompany me to the party. Andrew and I play together in the Portland Metro Pipe Band and use played growing up together in the Sir James MacDonald Pipe Band (more information on Oregon Piper beginnings). Adding a drummer to the mix creates an added dynamic and provides additional energy. And plus, sometimes I miss jamming out with other musicians. Bagpiping is an isolated instrument, most likely due to the fact you normally cannot hear the other musicians on stage without them being plugged into an amp.

The party was held in SE Portland, just off SE 42nd and Division. As with every event, I arrived 20 minutes before I was scheduled to perform. When we reached the entry way door, the party was in full swing, with neighboring kids and parents eating cake, drinking and celebrating. I was amazed at how many friends the cute little 1 year old had accumulated over her short time.

The hosts requested some old classics, including Amazing Grace, Scotland the Brave and Garry Owen. In between the classics, Andrew and I piped our Medley competition set of tunes (including jigs, reels, strathspeys, hornpipes, slow aires), some 6/8 marches, a 3/4 march set and some other miscellaneous tunes. We piped and drummed for approximately 30 minutes but within the 30 minutes we played a lot of Scottish and Irish music.

We wished everyone goodbye and saluted the birthday girl one last time as we marched outside into the dreary Portland rainy night. It was a fine evening and were delighted to hear we would be invited back in a short while for another event.

Oregon Piper and Drummer pose for a birthday party photo