Archive for the ‘Oregon Bagpiper Funerals’ Category

Oregon Bagpipe Funeral in Gaston, OR

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

It’s St. Patty’s Day Weekend; every bagpipers favorite weekend. It is the one time of year when you walk around the town in a kilt and not have to explain why you’re dressed up in a kilt (or as most people refer to it-dress). After a grueling midnight performance the night before with my buddy Travis and then a 630AM wake up call to participate in the St. Patty’s Day downtown Portland race, I raced to Gaston Oregon to perform my Portland bagpipes for a decorated veteran’s funeral.

It was quite a drive getting there and for the fact I slept little the night before, I was operating on little energy. Luckily, the gig went very smooth. I arrived early and played on a beautiful acreage of land. I played my bagpipe interminably for the first 45 minutes, oscillating between traditional 3/4 marches and more contemporary 6/8 marches. The main reason for the invite was to play “Taps” after the 21 gun salute. I had never played Taps on my bagpipes but I easily learned the tune the week before and believe it sounded authentic. Not always do tunes translate well to the bagpipes. After 15 seconds or so of Taps, I launched into Amazing Grace. My pipes sounded excellent. This probably stems from all the bagpipe playing from the morning and the day before.

In total I was in Gaston for a little over an hour. I believe the guests really appreciated my playing. I received many heartfelt comments.

Portland Bagpipe Player Strikes Again in NW Portland

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Sunday last week around 12 in the afternoon, I received a call inquiring about my availability to perform at Touche restaurant in downtown NW Portland. It was short notice and they wanted a Portland Bagpipe player there at 4PM. Remembrances and funerals such as this event usually occur unexpectedly and without much time for preparation, so I always try to accommodate short notice requests. Rarely do I turn people away.

This was one of the simpler performances I have performed my bagpipes at. I was requested to take my position at the back of the banquet hall, play Amazing Grace three times through and then march out on Scotland the Brave. I spent more time tuning my pipes then playing. I am always eager to share my musical talents with anyone wishes to listen but I understand when the request is for just a couple of minutes.

Funny story about this gig. My Portland Metro Bagpipe Band had a practice on Saturday, the day before this gig. After an exhausting performance, we all headed over to Concordia Ale House to grab dinner and a pint. Some of our pipe cases look the same, so when you through them in a pile you might end up grabbing someone else’s when you leave. This is exactly what happened. I arrived at the gig on Sunday, opened my pipe case and to my chagrin I found a foreign set of pipes. My buddy Pat Case in the band grabbed mine when he left by accident. Lucky for me he is a great player and his bagpipes were well set. Still, playing someone’s pipes is like wearing someone else’s underwear-you only do it when absolutely necessary.

Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral with 2 Bagpipers

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

First and foremost, I apologize for not blogging this Vancouver WA bagpiper gig earlier (actually I did write it but somehow was erased). I was contacted by my close bagpipe friend who now resides in Tacoma Washington to play for a friend of a friend’s grandpa’s funeral. A decorated war veteran, the person whom I never met seemed to be a very well-respected man. Naturally, I felt quite honored to play my bagpipes at his Vancouver WA funeral.

Because the gig was somehow double booked I got to play with a colleague of mine Rob Barrick, who I refer people to when I cannot play for their performance. He is an excellent Portland Bagpipe player and a celebrated musician. He performs with his Irish Band here in Portland (cannot remember the name). You might have hear him play.

Arriving promptly at 11AM, I noticed we were dressed in starkly different kilts and attire. I was sporting a McDonald tartan and him, a Buchanan I believe. A bit of maroon and a lot of green. But what mattered most was we both played our bagpipes well and in unison. Amazing Grace was played at the recession. But in between I got to dust off the old Skye Boat Song, which I hadn’t played in quite some time. Even the alternate endings on this tune didn’t seem to through us. We also warmed up with some common mass band tunes as guests arrived to show their support for their fallen comrade.

The performance went a bit longer than the hour I am contracted to play but it was well worth it judging from all the compliments we received. I even had to promise a sweet old lady I would play at her funeral.

Other Vancouver WA Bagpiper Gigs:
Bagpipes Vancouver WA
Bagpiper Vancouver WA
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral
Vancounver Washington Bagpiper

Beaverton Oregon Bagpiper Funeral

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

I was at again for a bagpipe funeral in the Portland area. What was different about this time was I was instructed to bring back up. The son of recently deceased mother requested I add another Portland piper and Portland snare drummer to my arsenal. Rarely do I get the chance to get other bagpipers involved in my personal gigs. Usually, groups are reserved for band competitions and band performances.

At 3PM sharp, piper Chris Bollinger (Portland Metro Pipe Band member) and drummer Ted McKnigt (also from Portland Metro Pipe Band). We were instructed to play an opening tune Green Hills of Tyrol as we marched to the stage. After the short trip, we remained at ease on stage in front of the mourners for about 40 minutes. It was the longest time I have spent on stage idling in front of a large audience.

After what felt like an eternity, Chris and I struck up our bagpipes and played Amazing Grace, twice through together and last time with myself playing the solo. Other than our pipes being completely out of tune initially (for not playing for 40 minutes), we played well.

Once the moment of silenced had elapsed, I gave the signal to Ted and called out Scotland the Brave. We played in one time in place and on the repeat we marched out from the same direction we entered.

Another well executed Portland Bagpipe performance I felt. One of the grandsons was so impressed, he asked if I would perform at his upcoming bagpipe wedding in March.

Washington Bagpipe Funeral in Longview

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Rich, the director of a funeral home in Longview Washington contacted me through the Portland Bagpiper website and inquired about my availability and whether I was willing to drive to Longview form my Portland home. I am always eager to spend a weekend outside Portland or even just a few hours, performing for an audience who is likely to not have heard me play my bagpipes. So I greatfully accepted. I enjoyed the drive (although getting lost slightly) to arrive plenty of time before performing.

I am getting really good at funerals. Open with Amazing Grace, then as guests are filing out I play traditional marches. This Longview Washington funeral gig was no different. But instead of filing out, the patrons just sat there intently listening. I would like to guess my playing was so moving and mesmerizing, it kept them transfixed in their seats longer than expected. Or maybe it was because the Father was about to make another announcement. At any rate, judging from the praise I received upon leaving, I would like to assume the former was more accurate.

Portland Bagpipe Funeral at Willamette National Cemetery

Monday, January 21st, 2008

I am getting somewhat accustomed to the layout at Willamette National Cemetery. For first times, it get can be a daunting task finding a small grave plot amongst thousands. Fortunately, it was my third or fourth performance in the last few months navigating the the twists and turns is becoming increasingly familiar.

The women who hired me was referred to me by the organizer of Marys Woods in Lake Oswego. The congregation and staff at Mari’s Woods enjoyed my playing enough for a future recommendation. I really appreciate referrals, it tells me my bagpiping in Portland is becoming more and more appreciated.

As is customary at most funerals, I opened with Amazing Grace, playing it through three times. Upon completion, the pastor made directed everyone where to meet for refreshments. As guests stood to leave, I played Green Hills of Tyrol and When the Battles O’er. two very traditional war marches.

As I walked to my car, I started thinking about my wool quilt and whether it was adequate protection against the forces of nature. My response, yes, as long as the wind factor is minimal.

Vancounver Washington Bagpiper

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Yesterday, I played at a funeral in Vancouver Washington. It was a cozy catholic school/church combination. I didn’t perform until the very end. After idling for 45 minutes in the back awaiting my que, I stepped forward from the back of the church and marched down the aisle playing Scotland the Brave. After arriving at the front state, I turned to the audience, acknowledged the crowd and continued playing until I finished the song. Without stopping my pipes, I quickly transitioned into Amazing Grace, which I played three times through (side note: because Amazing Grace is a 3 part tune, I always recommend playing it through three times).

Once finished, I cut my Portland bagpipes for a quick second, struck them back in and led the masses out with Green Hills of Tyrol/When the Battles O’er. Outside, I continued playing until all the guests had shuffled out.

It is sometimes especially hard playing for funerals because bagpipes is an instrument which provokes strong emotions (both joyous and somber). Normally, it is the Amazing Grace which causes people to tear up. I always receive this comment after playing.

Other Vancouver WA Bagpiper Gigs:
Bagpiper Vancouver WA
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral with 2 Bagpipers
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral

Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

After the early Portland bagpipe funeral performance, I headed to Vancouver Washington for another bagpipe funeral performance at the Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel. It was a very emotional ceremony, with crowds billowing out the doors. I don’t think the family anticipated so many guests.

My had two appearances. The first time I marched down the aisles of the chapel midway through the service. I marched in with Scotland the Brave, played in place until I finished my pipes and then went straight into Amazing Grace. After three times through, I cut my pipes.

After a slide show to close the service, I played some traditional tunes as people shuffled to the door. The tunes included Green Hills of Tyrol, When the Battle’s Over, Scotland the Brave and Mari’s Wedding.

The administrators of the Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel did an excellent job hosting the family and making the proper arrangements to get everything in place.

Other Vancouver WA Bagpiper Gigs:
Bagpipes Vancouver WA
Vancouver WA Bagpipe Funeral with 2 Bagpipers
Bagpiper Vancouver WA
Vancounver Washington Bagpiper

NW Portland Bagpipe Funeral

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

On Saturday, December 1st I warmed the cold wintery afternoon with my Portland bagpipes at St. Thomas Moore in NW Portland. It was the first time I had been inside the church. It is a quaint church with lots of rustic wood panels.

Normally at some point I march in the procession or march out the family. In this instance, I provided background music from the entry hall. After the priest gave his opening blessing, I played Amazing Grace as the family marched down the aisles, quiting as they found their seats.

After idling for a while, I played Scotland the Brave as the masses filed out. Scotland the Brave was played about 6 times over before everyone had filed out. Many people were throwing appreciative glances as they left the church. I wish I could have them thanked them verbally but that would have required me to cut my pipes.

Vancouver Church Funeral

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Last Thursday afternoon, I played my Oregon Highland bagpipes at a church in Vancouver. I arrived early to tune my pipes and meet with the coordinator. I would open up with a series of traditional marches and slow airs. Because of my extensive list and my experience performing at funerals I had every selection ready in head.

After tuning, I stepped out on the stage and within minutes of tuning, the entire church was filled with friends and family members. My pipes were a little cold from the weather but quickly warmed up within 10 minutes of performing.

My finale came a short time later once the fine men in uniform approached the stage and began the flag folding ceremony. It was emotional. As I stood there playing “Amazing Grace” time about, I was thinking about all the fallen soldiers and how blessed I am to live in a fine patriotic country where the men and women of the three branches protect us day in and day out.

Thank you Daniel for inviting me to perform for your fathers memorial.