Archive for October, 2010

Bagpiper Castle Rock WA

Tuesday, 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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Bagpiper Boring OR

Monday, 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).