Archive for April, 2010

Funeral Bagpiper Tigard OR

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Funerals are a strange combination of a celebration of life and the grieving process of loosing a loved one. A piper serves to assist in both processes. I often gets compliments from people with tears in their eyes, thanking me profusely for providing such a warm tribute to someone’s life. Sometimes I wonder whether the tears are tears of joy or tears of sadness. Saturday was no different.

I was contacted by a women who lost her husband. She requested Amazing Grace on bagpipes and Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes.

The funeral was for a piper in Tigard OR. Just off Hwy 99 is Young’s Funeral Home in Tigard OR. I arrived 25 minutes prior to the funeral to meet the family and the funeral director, orientate myself with the layout and confirm all the details. Because I have been a piper in Portland and have performed for over 100 funerals the passed three years (see my Oregon Piper Blog, I try to approach every funeral the same way; on time and prepared.

I processed in with Amazing Grace and continued playing it three times through. Once the family was seated, I cut my pipes. At the conclusion of the ceremony, I reappeared in the same place I bagpiped previously. This time I piped Scotland the Brave, processing the family out into the foyer.

Although I preside in Portland and call myself the Portland Piper, I travel quite frequently, from Mt. Hood to the Beach, from Seattle to Bend. Tigard OR Piper was no different. I love to perform and anytime I can assist with the grieving process, I feel I am doing my part to help the family during difficult times.

Hillsboro OR Piper Plays for High School

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Bagpiper in Hillsboro OR
I met Bill over 2010 New Years, when I played for “Hogmanay”, also known as Scottish New Years. This Portland piper event took place in SE and consisted of lots of sing and dance (see Portland’s Own Scottish New Years blog post).

Bill contacted me several months back inquiring about performing for a school in Hillsboro OR he teaches at. The students were learning about Macbeth, making Scottish cuisine and celebrating the history of Scotland. As a surprise, Bill thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring a bagpiper to Hillsboro OR and give a short performance. I eagerly accepted his invitation.

The bagpiping performance lasted roughly 45 minutes and was comprised of piping and educating. I played traditional tunes, including Scotland the Brave, Green Hills of Tyrol (traditional bagpipes tunes). I also played our new pipe band medley competition set. I avoided playing any Piobrach, which I reserve for certain audiences.

When I was not piping, I shared with the Hillsboro OR students how I got into bagpiping, the history of the bagpipes and how they made their way to present day Scotland, how the bagpipe works, how to tune it, as well as what the individual pieces of my uniform represent.

Midway through the Hillsboro OR bagpiper performance, I asked the question, “what are the first things that come to mind when I say ‘Scotland’”? Surprisingly, it wasn’t until buzz word number 6 when I finally heard ‘bagpipes’. Jokingly, I said ‘bagpipes’ should be the first thing you think of because it’s the coolest thing about Scotland.

Thanks to Bill and all the Hillsboro OR students for having me perform. Hopefully,for the next Scottish tour the students embark on, they will invite me back to bagpipe in Hillsboro OR.