Archive for the ‘Portland Bagpiper Parties’ Category

Bagpiper Portland Accompanying Catlin Gabel Spring Festival

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

The Spring Festival at Catlin Gabel was held today in honor of the students, parents and alumni. It was quite the celebration. There were numerous participants, food and games. And the best part was the weather was absolutely beautiful. I think days like today are the reason why Oregonians don’t complain too much about the rain.

I arrived in full dress: McDonald tartan, white shirt, black tie, black vest, white socks, etc. My task was to lead all the small children from the top most gather point and parade them into the bottom center field much to their parents delight. It was a quick trip. All in all, I think I played Scotland the Brave 4 times through and 2 each for Green Hills of Tyrol and When the Battle’s O’er. They also had a willow tree at the bottom where the kids eventually participated in Scottish dancing but they had previously planned on a music CD to accompany the dances. I volunteered my bagpipe playing but it had already been planned.

Very professional and well put together by the staff and volunteers of Catlin Gabel. They were very knowledgeable and friendly which made my job easier. I didn’t have to second guess on the direction I was leading the kids. I just focused on playing. If they have another bagpiper in Portland performance, I hope they call me. I had much fun.

Bagpiper in Camas WA

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Shortly after a 1st Place victory at the BC Indoor Band competition, I was asked to play for a Birthday party in Camas Washington. If you wish to see the video, you can find it on my Portland Bagpipe home page. I arrived at 5:45 prompt to change out of my street clothes and into my full bagpipe Portland dress. I chose the McDonald tartan with black shirt and black hose. I like the all black look and many of my guests agree.

I played many traditional marches, including Scotland the Brave, Green Hills, When the Battles O’er, Bonnie Dundee and others. As is customary at all Birthdays, I also offered the “Happy Birthday” rendition on the bapipges. It was fun because all the guests were so inquisitive, asking everything from “what do you wear under the kilt” to “how did you start playing”, finishing with an explanation of how this enigmatic instrument works.

They promised me we would all reconvene at the Portland Highland Games in July at Mt. Hood Community College. Hope to see you guys there and Happy Birthday again Phil.

St. Patricks Day Piper

Monday, March 24th, 2008

A Portland lumber company hired me and a fellow drummer in my pipe band, Ted McNight to play at their St. Patty’s Day celebration. They roped off an entire block in downtown Portland for food, beer, bagpipes and festivities. It was quite an occasion. We were obligated to play for an hour but we ended up playing for 2.5 hours (partly because we couldn’t get away from the food, beer and company).

I think we offered the guests quite an enjoyable performance. We mixed it up with Hornpipes, Jigs, Strathspeys, Reels, Marches and Slow Aires. The tune we didn’t play was a Piobrauch. That might lulled everyone into a deep sleep. Our goal was to keep it lively. Normally, I play Portland bagpipe gigs as a soloist, so I always welcome the company of another bagpiper or drummer. And as always, my bagpipe band buddies are looking to take the day off work on St. Patty’s Day. I mean shouldn’t we all.

House Pub Crawl Led by Oregon Bagpiper

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I participated in a gig last week which was a fund raiser for a local Portland school. Essentially, a group of families offered to host a makeshift house pub crawl to raise money for their children’s elementary school. I met up with the group at house #1 shortly after the party kicked off. The 20 odd amount of school supporters where enjoying Whiskey, Guinness and other popular Irish drinks. I piped a couple of Jigs and Hornpipes (some lively fast tunes) which are always appropriate for Parties.

After last call was announced, it was my duty to lead them to the next destination which was a short down hill walk. I played some traditional marches which seemed to arouse the crowd, tunes like Scotland the Brave. Once they safely arrived, my duty as the Portland Bagpiping liaison concluded for the evening.

After packing up my pipes, I went downstairs and enjoyed a few pints and some Irish food. It was a fun evening.

Portland Bagpiping at OHSU Event

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This was a last minute event which I was called upon to play my bagpipes. The event took place at OHSU (on the Waterfront) last Tuesday and was a OHSU benefit for people with Down Syndrome. There were hordes of people on hand to witness and participate in the special fund raiser. My task centered around the various works of art produced by the children with DS. There were approximately 12 different murals and as each of the artists tore down the construction paper masking their creation, I was there to play and pose for photos. The preference of bagpipe tune selection was a Slow Air. I choose Dark Island, which one of my favorites and is very traditional.

After playing for the unveiling of the 12 pieces of art, my duties concluded for the evening. Overall, it was a great event and I wish I had more information to share regarding the specifics of the event. This is one of the unfortunate parts about bagpiping Portland events; sometimes I am reached on such short notice, I never get the opportunity to research or ask questions.

At any rate, I had great fun and organization did a wonderful job.

Oregon Bagpiper Spotted in SW Portland

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Oregon Bagpipes player was at it again for a birthday party last Saturday. After a grueling three hour practice with the Portland Metro Pipe Band (the band I currently compete with), I ran home to change into my attire. I choose the McDonald tartan with the black dress shirt; an excellent choice for a night Birthday.

I arrived punctual and met Susan outside. It was a surprise birthday performance for her husband. Because bagpipes as you might know are rather loud, I opted for warming them up far far away from the house and away from any suspecting ears. Because it was cold outside and my pipes were previously warmed up from band practice, it was a quick tune.

Marching up the back entrance playing Scotland the Brave, I was met with 10 sets of curious eyes. Apparently, only Susan knew of my pending arrival. After finishing the tune, I was invited inside to perform. I choose a spot on the balcony where I thought the acoustics would best be felt. I opened with a March, Strasthphey, Reel set (a very traditional combination of tunes). Followed by the Medley, which is a compilation of nine short tunes, I stopped my pipes and braced myself for the final hooray. As is customary at Birthday parties, “Happy Birthday” on the bagpipes is always a must. I think most people never envisioned this could be pulled off. Surprisingly, it sounds very pleasant.

Look for Happy Birthday to be played in a Portland Bagpipe community near you.