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.