Archive for the ‘Portland Bagpiper Parties’ Category

Bagpiper Vancouver WA

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I love bagpiping for parties. It gives me the chance to play a variety of tunes in my repertoire. Everything from jigs to slow aires, from stathspeys to reels get played. And of course the classics, like Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace, Flower of Scotland and others. The Vancouver WA bagpiper party was the party of all Christmas parties.

I was contacted by Leslie in November to bagpipe at her Vancouver WA home for three separate parties in the month of December. Each party consisted of friends, food and libations. Even on one particular occasion, Santa came and distributed gifts. The guests coaxed me into sitting on his lap and receiving a gift. I got caramel corn and a shot glass – not a bad gift.

All three bagpiper Vancouver WA celebrations were brilliant and done up to the nines. The house was incredibly decorated, exterior and interior. Each guest adorned a ‘kilted towel’ around their waist, as in a a towel with an image of a kilt, which is the next best thing to the real deal. The food was exquisite and thoughtfully presented and the host Leslie, was charismatic and fun. And of course, how can you forget about the bagpipe music, which was pretty top notch.

On two of the occasions, I piped as the guests arrived in the blistering cold. However, luckily, I bagpiped under a covered area, keeping me out of the rain and sleet. The duration of outside play lasted approximately 30 minutes as guests trickled in via cab and car. And they all politely nodded and acknowledged me as the approached the home. The second part of the of Vancouver WA bag piper show consisted of piping inside for the friends as they conversed and ate. I played many traditional marches, sprinkled with some contemporary fast tunes. Leslie’s favorite tune is the Flower of Scotland and I made sure to make that tune the highlight of the night and as a way to single her departure to Scotland where she celebrated New Years Eve.

Thank you to all the friends, Santa and Leslie for a celebratory Scottish New Years Fest in beautiful Vancouver WA.

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

Molalla OR Bagpiper

Monday, December 20th, 2010

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.

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.

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

Portland’s Own Scottish New Years

Monday, January 11th, 2010

I thought I knew everything about Piping and Scottish Holidays which involve piping. I guess I may have missed one.

When I was asked by Barbara to play my bagpipes for “Hogmanay”, also known as Scottish New Years, I was instantly intrigued. “Hogmanay”? What is that? As she described it, it is the proper way to ring in the New Years, Scottish style. In order to abide by the rules of “Hogmanay”, you must thoroughly clean your house, place pieces of rowan tree above your fireplace, pay off your debts among other things. On the Eve, you are suppose to open up your back door to let the old and evil spirits leave, while opening up your front door to bring in the new and good luck.

The best way to celebrate the “Hogmanay” is with family and friends. The verbiage for the cheers is “Lang may yer lum reek!”, which means long may your chimney smoke. Another celebratory cheers is “A guid New Year to ane an’ a’ and mony may ye see”, which translates to A good New Year to one and all, and many may you see.

If you wish to read more, a great article is Scottish Hogmanay Customs.

Now, on to the bagpiping and the reason I was invited to play. Barbara, who also happens to be a beautiful singer copied several popular Scottish songs and requested the guests sing a long as I play. I played Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace and Loch Lommond. It was the first time in my Portland piping experience I have ever played while others sang along. It was a truly moving experience. And the Scotch wasn’t bad either.

I had much fun and hopefully will play many more Scottish New Years Events. Heck, I might even host my own next year.

Portland Piper on KGW News Channel 8

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Bob’s Red Mill Grain in Milwaukie Portland recently won the Golden Spurdle award at the annual World Porridge Championships in Scotland. The won Best Porridge in the World prize, which no company in the US has ever won. This is a pretty big deal but comes as no surprise, many swear by Bob’s Red Mill Grain products.

KGW News Channel 8 Morning show got a hold of the news and Drew Carney and company wanted to air a special 2 hour segment honoring the company and the porridge. I was invited by the Bob’s Red Mill Graiin to add an extra hint of Scottish flare to the broadcast. Dressed in full uniform, adorning the Ancient Frasier tartan, I was involved in three segments. I played traditional tunes, tunes I hoped the viewers might recognize – Scotland the Brave, Green Hills of Tyrol and another 3/4 march. You can hear the full bagpipe tunes recorded live by me on my Portland bagpipe music page.

We all had a lot of fun and got to sample some great Scottish food. Here is a link to the KGW news video feed. I come in minute 7:30ish. Portland Piper on KGW News Channel 8.

Oregon City High School Bagpipe Performance

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The students and faculty at Oregon City High School held their third annual Veterans Commemoration ceremony on Tuesday, August 4th (election day) and they so graciously asked me to bag pipe at a small interval during the performance. The performance lasted for a total of 1.5 hours and was witnessed by a packed house of 1500 students, faculty and veterans. During the memorable ceremony, they honored the National Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Past students of Oregon City High School who perished in Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan and the Iraq war were all honored. The speakers ranged from ROTC high school students, to current soldiers in the Iraq war and war veterans who have gone on to encourage and inspire the younger generations. The service underscored the fact the numerous privileges us Americans have as a result of the courageous individuals who served our beautiful nation. The susceptible minds of the student body offered their cheers and patriotism at every possible interval. I was utterly amazed at the turnout and respect such a young aspiring generation offered. I don’t remember a single event in my high school years which remotely compared to this important and historic event.

My role including playing piping Amazing Grace in the first half of the ceremony. With the accompaniment of two ROTC students, I led a memorial plaque, dedicated to the lost lives of several Oregon City High School students. It was a slow and methodical march up to the center from the back. As I approached the center, I did a half turn and continued bagpiping Amazing Grace a second time through.

I don’t know if it was because of the large crowd or importance of the event, but I was extremely nervous. I rarely even get nervous when I perform in solo and band competitions but on this particular day, I really had to suppress my nerves and carry forth. What a great event, I really hope I am invited back next year.

Lincoln City Oregon Bagpiper

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

I was invited to bagpipe in Lincoln City Oregon for a 70th birthday party. What a party it was!

I arrived around 5:30PM and without tuning my pipes, I was instructed to march straight into the house and head directly for the side door. The only problem was the ceiling on the porch was too low and angled to blow up my bag pipe and begin marching so I slightly cheated by striking my pipes just after opening the door. It still had the same enchanting and charming effect. As I began my 6/8 march, I immediately noticed the women in front of me full of shock and disbelief. This I thought must be the birthday girl. After the shock had subsided, tears filled her eyes (tears of joy I hope). I quickly marched toward the glass doors and outside onto the deck overlooking the beach and the south side of Lincoln City Oregon.

While playing, the neighbors had arrived and pictures were being snapped from all angles, I might have been the biggest celebrity in Lincoln City Oregon (besides who was performing at Chinook Winds Casino). After a set of 6/8 marches (Miss Ishabel & Duncan McGillvary – found in the Portland Pipe Music section), I quit my pipes and introduced myself as the birthday bagpiper and gave the the birthday girl a huge hug.

Following the formalities, we filled up a bucket of beers (good beers, including PBR) and headed to the beach. I marched, piping a set of 3/4 marches. I launched from one into another without a clue that I knew so many (I should add those to the music section). The walk was easy with no steps or boulders to climb however once I hit the beach I went from a march pace to a down trotted crawl. Marching with bagpipes in sand should be avoided at all cost and additionally, I probably looked hilarious doing it.

That particular Saturday at the Lincoln City with bagpipes was absolutely gorgeous. This was the second time I came from Portland to bagpipe at the Oregon Coast. The first I could barely maneuver my fingers fast enough to keep up with the tunes. Thanks to the warmth of the sun, my fingers felt lucid and alive. I did stay away from the Jigs and Hornpipes in case the weather took a turn for the worse. You never know on the Oregon Coast. I played mostly slow marches and slow airs which I felt was appropriate for the beach. We drank, laughed and told stories of Scotland and Ireland. It was a very knowledgeable bunch of people.

After arriving back in the Lincoln City beach cabin and before dinner, I choose to perform our new band medley for the group. A medley is a compilation of jigs, hornpipes, reels, strathspeys and slow airs. It is the medley the Portland Metro Pipe Band will be competing with this summer. I finished with bagpiping a traditional March, Strasthspey, Reel commonly referred too as an MSR.

With dinner came more drinking, roast beef, cabbage, potatoes and short bread – a traditional Irish meal. What a day, I was pooped.

Lake Oswego Oregon Piper at Millenium Park

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

I was contacted to play my bagpipes in Lake Oswego Oregon as celebration for a departing young lady heading abroad to continue her studies. It was a very charming affair. Friends of the family made shirts depicting the celebratory guest, set up a boating outing and hired me-Portland Piper Dan DelMain.

I was scheduled to pipe at 5:30 on the 2nd dock overlooking Lake Oswego. The goal was to have me piping as the boat ferrying the guests came to dock in port. It was a beautiful Wednesday evening, so beautiful I had a hard time seeing anything with the glare of the sun. As boats came and went, waving their hands in appreciation of the music, I couldn’t tell who the group of 7 I was suppose to be honoring. Finally, they arrived. The shirts indicated so.

I bagpiped a few minutes as they tied the boat and grabbed what they needed. Once assembled we chatted, took a few pictures and discussed what to do next. It was decided I would pipe them into Millennium Park along State street from where we were. Dodging and weaving the incoming cyclists and strollers with cars zooming by at 40mph, I arrived safely at my destination. From here I played a variety of slow aires, marches and other applicable Portland Pipe tunes in front of the fountain in downtown Lake Oswego. After three sets, I piped the group across the tracks, up the stairs and left them in front of Manzana restaurant where their table awaited them. The orchestrator of the event thanked me and even added I was “a stand up guy”. I turned and fled the scene from the same way I arrived, piping all the way.

North Plains OR Parade Witnesses One Man Bagpiper Brigade

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Last Saturday I performed at the North Plains Oregon Garlic Festival. What a cool event. The locals came out in droves to show their appreciation for the local floats and performers. Normally, when I participate in parades, I have back up. Like 8 other bagpipers and 4 drummers.

Centered between the David Wu team and a giant Elephant (like 30 feet in height), I was a one man wrecking crew and it was nice to garner the attention of the local Oregonians. They cheered and clapped as I strode by. For the few moments I wasn’t playing my bagpipes, they would start yelling, “hey Scottish guy, play them pipes” or “do you know Scotland the Brave (bagpipe music sample)”. I always appreciate encouragement. It is much better then hearing, “um, could you please quit killing that cat under your arm”.

All in all, the North Plains Garlic Festival lasted about 40 minutes from start to finish. One of the kids band members from the Sir James McDonald pipe band (the band I currently instruct) from Portland even saw me. I guess he tried to get my attention but I didn’t notice because I was so focused on marching. Like I said earlier, what a great event. The organizer was a very nice lady who showered me with compliments. Hopefully I get invited back to next years Oregon event.