Nov 20, 2019

OPS is thankful for all who attended the November Gathering on November 16, 2019

Congratulations to the 14 competitors who got great comments from Adjudicator and Featured Performer Aaron Malcomb! Check out the results page!


Aaron performed on the Great Highland Pipes as well as the small pipes and the border pipes.

The featured band was the Eugene Highlanders under the leadership of Pipe Major Marco Caturegli.

The Local Hero was Eric Albert.
More pictures from the November Gathering and information about our performers for December will be coming soon!  You won't want to miss it!

Nov 13, 2019

Aaron Malcomb, Eric Albert and the Eugene Highlanders for November!

The Oregon Pipers Society is pleased to present

 on November 16, 2019 

Featured Performer and Adjudicator


 Aaron Malcomb originally hails from North Dakota and has lived in Bellingham, WA since 2004. Aaron played with RMM adult bands and then Gr. 2 Maple Ridge Pipe Band through its transition to the New Westminster Police Pipe Band, taking 6th place at 2009 World Pipe Band Championships and winning the North American Pipe Band Championships in 2011. Now after a hiatus from band playing he is a new member of the Portland Metro Pipe Band. Aaron also has a keen interest in traditional music, inspiring him to take up flute, whistle, and bellows pipes. 

If you've been fortunate to hear Aaron play through his association with the Celtic Arts Foundation and Skye Richendrfer, you know you're in for a treat!

Featured Band -- The Eugene Highlanders!

Begun in 1953, founding members included Hector Smith, Pipe Major from Medicine Hat, Canada, Andrew Henderson, piper from Rothsay, near Glasgow, Scotland, Hollis (Holly) Hill and Pipe Sergeant Bill Alexander Gloria Allen, Canadian trained dancer and instructor, joined band 1955. Piper Phil White became band manager.

They began as the Eugene Highlanders Police Bagpipe Band (sponsored by the Eugene Police Department) and in 1957 were appointed the official Governor's Foot Guard (Governor's Guard) by Governor Robert B. Holmes. As such they played to welcome Senator John Kennedy to Eugene in 1958 and at other ceremonial occasions on behalf of several Oregon governors.

The Highlanders took many trophies for parades and celebrations throughout the state, from Astoria to Tillamook, Salem, Albany, Sheridan, Powers, Bandon, Florence and Walport, Pendleton and Burns, even as far south as Happy Camp and Dunsmuir in California.

The Highlanders wear Mackenzie kilts in honor of Oregon's Mackenzie River.

Hector Smith remained pipe major for well over fifty years until his death in January '08, making him the longest running pipe major in North America. 

Current leadership includes PM Marco Caturegli and Pipe Sargent, David Parkhurst.

Local Hero - Eric Albert

 As a youth, Eric received an LP from his mother--Scottish Bagpipe Tunes--which included "Lament for the Children," recorded by James McColl in 1958. The LP galvanized his interest in Piobaireachd.  Despite a late start at 27 years old, he quickly took to the pipes receiving excellent tuition from Don Lindsay, Iain Donaldson, Jake Watson, James MacGillivray and Willie McCallum. Attending the graduate business program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh afforded a close piping relationship with Jimmy McIntosh and Alasdair Gillies.

Although his passion is rooted in Piobaireachd, Eric has played in numerous bands including 6 years with the Oran Mor Pipe Band under PM Donald Lindsay.  P/M of his local New York Grade 3 pipe band, Feadan Or and currently PM of the Eugene Highlanders.

Competing at the Grade 1 level, Eric plays a vintage set of 1921 Lawries, with a Shepard M2 Blackwood chanter and custom Mark Lee rocket reeds that deliver a consistant warm and balanced tone.

Eric travels frequently, specifying flight deck equipment for commercial and GA aircraft manufacturers. Married to Krysta with three grown daughters and Liam--a seven-year-old who loves the pipes but prefers the caber toss!

Come early to enjoy the competition--it starts at 4:30! 
(No drumming competition this month.)  
Stay for wonderful food and fellowship and of course,
 fabulous music from our guest performers!  


Oct 27, 2019

Great October Gathering at Oregon Pipers Society!

Barry Shears was our judge and featured performer!

We were treated to Barry's wonderful knowledge of Cape Breton tunes on the Great Highland Pipes and the smallpipes!

Barry not only played the tunes, but told us the history behind many of them.  
A wonderful evening!

If you missed Barry's performance, you can still "visit" him at his website

Will Beattie--Local Hero

Before Barry played, Will Beattie gave us a taste of why he is considered one of the best players in the Northwest.  Not only is he an accomplished Grade 1 performer, he is also a great teacher of the bagpipes and a much sought after piper for Highland Dance competitions.  He is the Chair and Business Manager of the Oregon Pipers Society, an Engineer at Hyster-Yale Group, and a devoted husband to Simona and dad to Ethan.

But before all that...there was the COMPETITION!

Many polished performers competed under the watchful eye of Adjudicator Barry Shears.
Victoria Mackenzie - Adult Piping

Jayne Ferlitsch competed in Grade 3...but no one else did!

Grayson Goodman was awarded 1st Place

Mylinda Humble took 2nd place


Truin Tomasetti captured 3rd!
Logan Gillespie also competed...
                                 ...and did a great job at his first OPS competition on the pipes!


Tim Riddle confers with Steward Deb Lyon before playing
And it must have helped because Tim
was awarded 1st place!

Shara Maikranz came in 4th in her first Grade 4 competition!
Robert Johnston travelled all the way from Medford and received 3rd place!

Ken Wilson 

Flint Yoder took 2nd place!

And of course, there was good food from Chef Michael Johnston
 and expert bartending from Dan Kelley!

We hope to see you all next time on November 16!

Oct 2, 2019

First Gathering of Oregon Pipers Society will be on October 19th!

Join your friends at Oregon Pipers Society for a wonderful show by Barry Shears!

Barry Shears is a native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. He has been playing the bagpipe for over 50 years, and at an early age began collecting and composing music for the Highland bagpipe. He is an acknowledged expert on the history of traditional piping in Nova Scotia and its intrinsic connection to the Gaelic language, music and culture of the province. Barry is an award-winning musician and has performed at festivals and concerts throughout North America and Europe. Barry was appointed to the judges panel of the Nova Scotia Pipers and Pipe Band Association (later The Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association) at age 19 and adjudicated pipe bands and solo piping for over 40 years. Barry was awarded the  Pipe Major’s certificate with the Canadian army reserve in 1980 and won the Champion Supreme award for professional piping in Nova Scotia 6 times before he retired from competion in 1986. He has published 6 books of bagpipe music and history,  the most recent being a large two volume collecton of Highland music and culture from Nova Scotia. Barry has performed or appeared in two movies (Margaret’s Museum  and Baby), and appeared on several recordings of traditional music. Highlights of his musical career include a short tour with Stan Rogers and John Allan Cameron(1981), and a  Live to Air broadcast of Cape Breton music for Radio France  (1990) with fellow musicians Jerry Holland, Dave MacIsaac and John Morris Rankin. Barry plays both Highland bagpipes and Scottish smallpipes.  Barry retired to the west coast a few years ago and now spends much of his spare time lecturing, playing and teaching the unique piping styles of Cape Breton.

Web site:

Aug 22, 2019

Welcome Back to Oregon Pipers Society for the 2019-2020 Season!

The dates are set - click HERE for the competition schedule. 

Always wanted to volunteer at OPS but didn't want to miss out on the entertainment and performers?

Consider helping Michael Johnston in the kitchen

 or serving at the bar!  

Contact Michael for more information

And while we're waiting to hear who will be our first performer of the season, here are a few pictures from this summer's Portland Highland Games!

Portland Metro wins Grade 2!
Clan Macleay competing

Nate Wahlgren - Piper of the Opening Ceremonies
Drum Major Competition - Dan Kelley getting checked out!

Grade 5 Winners Portland Metro Youth Band

One of our favorite judges and teachers - Colin Gemmell

And check out who won 

Congratulations, Denny Weber! 

               Stay "tuned" for more information!

May 3, 2019

Last OPS Gathering a Big Success!

Another season of OPS has ended!  

Good luck at the Summer Highland Games
and see you in October!

Big thank you to Mark Tomasetti for all he does
 to promote piping in the Portland area!
Thanks to Colin MacKenzie for
his support and encouragement for
the continuing education of pipers!

Thank you to all the volunteers, competitors, judges, donors, dancers, parents, grandparents, spouses, children and friends and members who made it all possible!

Even Spiderwoman appreciates a good tune on the pipes!

Shara Maikranz gets help tuning from Nate Wahlgren

Susie Paul came down from Tumwater, Washington to
compete in the Adult class with her Piobaireachd
and took 3rd place
Adjudicator Colin Gemmell enjoyed getting out in the sun!
Dixie Mize competed against husband Art in the Adult Class

The family that plays together stays together!
Art Mize received a 1st place for his
Piobaireachd in the Adult Class

Barry Kirk from Clan Gordon Pipe Band                   
competed in the Adult Class and received 2nd place

Kenneth Aitken performs a 6/8 March and gets 3rd place
in Grade 5
Joonas Martin waits for his turn in Grade 5
then wins one of the Portland Highland Games Association's
scholarships to continue his piping education!

Mylinda Humble, Michael Hubbard and
 Grade 4 Aggregate Jayne Ferlitsch
Mylinda Humble plays 6/8 March Jean Mauchline
and takes 2nd place in Grade 5
Shara Maikranz and Steward Deb Lyon share a laugh while James Naismith and Dave Keachie from Clan Gordon Pipe Band watch the Grade 5 competitors

Shara received BOTH the Adult Aggregate AND the Grade 5 Aggregate Awards for this season!
Steve Fowler gets 2nd place with his Strathspey
and Reel in Grade 4

Dan Dorsett received the other Portland Highland Games Association's scholarship

Denny Weber is all smiles - could it be because
she won the Adult Aggregate at the BC Indoor?

Strathspeys and Reels are fun to play
 when your hands and nose are cold!

We are so proud of you, Denny!

Rick Campbell took the Aggregate in Grade 3 because
he competes up a level in Piobaireachd.

Jennifer Campbell enjoys husband Rick's 1st Place
 performance in Grade 4 while awaiting
her Grade 3 turn with a 2/4 March.

Richard Stewart came over from Bend
 to compete in Grade 4
Robert J. Johnston plays a set of Colin Kyo Pipes
and drove up from Medford to compete.

Nate Wahlgren performs a beautiful Piobaireachd
on a beautiful Portland afternoon

Flint Yoder - Grade 4

PMYPB (Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band) Drum Corps warms up outside
Trejyn Tomasetti shows what she knows

Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band performs for an appreciative crowd
Truin Tomasetti

Joonas Martin, Drummer Jackson, Ken Wilson

Ralph Drew was the Local Hero and won the OPS Scholarship

Colin Gemmell is always a favorite performer 
because he tells the best stories!

Congratulations to the 
Aggregate and Scholarship winners!
  It was a great year!