Friday, March 13, 2015

Join us for OPS on Saturday March 21st

Piping and drumming competition begins at 4:30pm and entertainment begins at 7:30pm. There will be food and beverage available for purchase throughout the evening.  Including pizza, salad, bread, and homemade. Beverages include Scottish Ales, Oregon beer and wine, and soft drinks. In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, we will also be serving three specially selected Irish whisky.

Our judge and Featured Performer is Keith Paton.

Keith is originally from Kansas City, Missouri where he began his piping studies at the age of eight with his father, Iain MacDonald Paton.  Later, he studied with Roddy MacDonald, Delaware; John Wilson, Toronto; and both John MacFadyen and Seumas MacNeill in Scotland.

As a teenager Keith became Pipe Major of his local band, the Kansas City St. Andrew Pipe Band. Under his leadership the band earned a second place prize in Grade 2 at the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto, among many other accomplishments.

Since moving to Seattle in 1994, Keith has been active in the Pacific Northwest piping community. From 1997 to 1999 he played with the Abbotsford Police Pipe Band, competing with the band twice in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships. Subsequently he joined the World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band playing with the band from 2000 to 2006 and then again from 2010 to 2014.  Keith retired from SFU after the 2014 season.

Keith is an approved adjudicator with the British Columbia Pipers' Association.  He is an active adjudicator at piping competitions throughout the Pacific Northwest and serves on the BCPA grading committee.  In real life, Keith is a teacher and administrator at Highline College in Des Moines, WA.

Our Local Hero is Elizabeth Cameron.

Elizabeth as been playing the pipes for over 10 years. She is a Grade piper. Elizabeth grew up in South Eastern North Carolina, but has also lived in Texas, Hawaii, and Arizona. She is a home health occupational therapist. Beside piping, she likes to read, travel, hike, camp and take photos.

Portland Metro Pipe Band will also be joining us for the evening.

Portland Metro Pipe Band is Oregon’s only Grade II competitive pipe band. Formed in 2006, the band is led by Pipe Major Mark Tomasetti and Drum Sergeant Andrew Finley. Its members come from throughout the Pacific Northwest and include a number of award-winning pipers and drummers. The band wears the Muted Red Fraser tartan.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Join us for OPS on Saturday February 21st

Entertainment begins at 7:30pm.  There will be food and beverage available for purchase throughout the evening.  Including pizza, salad, bread, and homemade soup. Beverages include Scottish Ales, Oregon beer and wine, and soft drinks.  

There will be a workshop during the day. Get the workshop registration form here!

The evening will begin with a performance by our Local Hero, Nathan Wahlgren. 

Nate describes his piping as "a nasty habit that he picked up in college," having been talked into taking bagpipe lessons on his first day at Virginia Military Institute in 1998. Since that fateful day, he's been unable to quit (not that he's tried very hard). He learned his piping on the east coast, with most of his instruction coming from Burt Mitchell,  Jason Barth, Lyric Todkill and Peter Kent. Nate plays a set of 1940s Hendersons that he bought from their original owner in 2006.

His band history includes four years with the Virginia Military Institute Pipes and Drums, a summer with Baltimore City Pipe Band, three years with Macdonald Pipe Band (Pennsylvania), two years with the Graham Highlanders (Vermont), three years with MacMillan Pipe Band (Maryland), and one year as playing instructor of the MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band. In 2012 he moved west, and 2015 will be his third year with Portland Metro Pipe Band. He is a regular solo competitor in grade 1 here at OPS, and an occasional competitor at the highland games.

In 2011 Nate was bitten by the piobaireachd bug, and if he's playing by himself, there's a better than even chance that a piobaireachd can be heard. He gets together with pipers from the Corvallis and Eugene areas on a semi-regular basis to play some piobaireachd. Let him know if you'd like to join the group; all are welcome.

Outside of piping, Nate lives in Corvallis, where he works as a nuclear engineer and teaches a few piping students who are regular attendees of OPS. He also enjoys beer, board games, Rubik's cubes, and reading very large books.

We are pleased to have the Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band perform!

The Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band (PMYPB) is made up of bagpipers and drummers ages 8 to 18 years from the Portland and Vancouver area.

These dedicated children and young adults attend band practice weekly, take private lessons with professional instructors, and utilize regular practice in preparation for Highland Game competitions.

The band's mission is to promote and advance the learning and performance of highland music, through youth, in Oregon and Southwest Washington. PMYPB provides a safe age appropriate environment to learn highland music. It is the intention of the PMYPB that at age 18, a PMYPB musician will become a competitive player in the adult Portland Metro Pipe Band. The youth band performs with the adult band at their annual fundraiser, Burns Supper in January.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First OPS of 2015 was great!

Thanks so much for joining us in January! Special thanks go to our judge and featured performer Andrew Lee, local hero Will Beattie and the Portland Police Highland Guard.

Check out more photos on our Facebook page. (And LIKE us if you haven't already!)

View the January competition results.

Local Hero Will Beattie
Judge Andrew Lee

Sharing a laugh with Andrew
Portland Police Highland Guard

Jayne and Debra

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Annual Workshop is on February 21, 2015.

Join us for the Annual Piping and Drumming workshop. There will be no competition that day. Help us spread the word. Please share this information with pipers and drummers you know. 

Get the workshop registration form here!

Email or phone questions to:, 503-636-2755