Jan 13, 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 will be an exciting year for OPS!

 Sunday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m. 

The ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING will be held on Sunday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m. in the lower level of Maher's Irish Brew Pub in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  Address is 352 B Ave. This is open to all Members of Oregon Pipers Society.  If you are not yet a member, or have not renewed your membership for this year, come on the 13th to the meeting and we can take care of that!  Benefits of membership include reduced entrance fees for the monthly gatherings and eligibility for the annual scholarships if you are a competitor.  This is your opportunity to give the OPS board any suggestions on how to make OPS better! Let your voice be heard! Please send any agenda items to Board Member Kevin Kelley at emailkevinkelley@gmail.com.  

January OPS Meeting

Saturday - January 19

James Barrie will be our Featured Performer

OPS is pleased to have James A Barrie as our featured performer and judge at our first meeting of the new year! James Barrie was taught bagpipes by his father, William Barrie, a pupil of renowned Pipe Majors John McDougall Gillies and Robert Reid. He is an authority of the Cameron style of Piobaireachd. In 2013 Jim gave a presentation of how he was taught in the Cameron style by his father, to the Piobaireachd Society in Scotland at their annual conference.
Jim was playing at a professional level by the age of 13, and in addition to being a successful solo competitor, played with several prominent New Zealand pipe bands, including the Pipes and Drums of Innes Tartan. He was Pipe Major of the Auckland Police Pipe Band for 7 years before his return to Canada. Jim went on to produce and record piping, dance, and folk music. His innovative albums Ancient Piobaireachd Volumes I-IV were a breakthrough in the piping world, combining his father’s canntaireachd singing with background accompaniment. His pipe compositions which appear in his book A Lifetime of Compositions have been universally played: they are regularly heard on the competition field, and have been recorded on other instruments as well as bagpipes. Jim continues to compose and record at his Ceol Mor Studio, and is an active performer, adjudicator and teacher.

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. 

Originally 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 and perhaps the world. His wife, Mary Smith, teacher and Dance Sergeant, passed in January '09.

Local Hero - Marco Caturegli

In Marco's own words:
While visiting Victoria, BC in the summer of 1991, I first heard the Great Highland Bagpipe being played by a busker on the street. Instantly I asked where I could purchase one. Following his indications I ended up at a music store and purchased a practice chanter with a "teach yourself" kit and, unfortunately, a Pakistani made bagpipe; but I was lucky enough to receive 1 Lb of true Scottish oats with the deal. Upon returning home to Mexico City I started teaching myself, dedicating 2-3 hours per day on the practice chanter. Eventually I was able to take lessons from World Class players such as Eric Rigler, Angus J. MacLellan , PM Angus MacDonald, John Angus Smith.

In 1997 I was a founding member of the "St. Patrick's Battalion Pipe Band" (first of its kind in Mexico), to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the "heroic gesture" of Irish and Scottish soldiers which joined the Mexican army in the US-Mexico War of 1847. Pipping became my profession and together with the band, traveled throughout Mexico and Central America playing for whiskey distiller events, political events in the presence of presidents and ambassadors, and celebrities.

When I moved to WA state in 2000, my bagpiping reached a new level. Thanks to the tutelage and expertise of Jori Chisholm, I won many awards in competitions and was promoted to Grade 1 in 2003 by the Washington and British Columbia Pipers Associations. Putting competitions aside, I focused my efforts on completing a graduate degree in Acupuncture at Bastyr University and creating a family. We now live in Creswell, OR where I provide Acupuncture services, teach bagpipe lessons and play for private engagements. I also play with the Eugene Highlanders Pipe Band.

Be sure to checkout the Competition page as there have been changes made to the starting time AND the required pieces for the lower grades.  See you on the 19th!

Dec 18, 2018

Ho Ho Ho it was a fun December Gathering!

Alastair Lee wows the crowd on December 15th with his marvelous piping and creative versions of familiar holiday tunes!

 Did you know you can play 
lower notes by covering the G holes with your thigh?  AMAZING!

Alastair's fingers were flying!


The Celtic Christmas Trio

Scott Taylor preserves the performance while Erin Anderson and his son look on!

Eric Albert was the local hero and gave a  Grade 1 performance!

We had a few more competitors than last month and some new entries which made Grade 5 the hot competition this month!

                      Sarah Campbell                                                           Mylinda Humble      


Grade 5 Winner Joonas Martin                               2nd Place David Brock                          


 Chanter Competition

Grayson Goodman



                             Winner Logan Gillespie

Shara Maikranz competes in the Adult Class

Strathspey and Reel Grade 4
Jayne Ferlitsch

On Deck with Steward Deb Campbell Lyon

New Strathspey and Reel set for Tim
Tim Riddle ready to play his 2/4 for Grade 3 comments

Jayne Ferlitsch and Michael Hubbard
Mylinda Humble
Big smiles AFTER the competition is over!

       Will Beattie and son Ethan
I think your low A is sharp...especially at the end of your tune.  Trust me, it's in my genetics.

I hope to see YOU at the next gathering on January 19!

Dec 1, 2018

December 2018

ALASTAIR LEE on December 15!

Join your friends on December 15 for the amazing Alastair Lee as our featured performer and judge!

Alastair started with the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band. Joining SFU in 2008, he was privileged to win the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship in his first two tries (2008 & 2009). In concert, Alastair can be seen playing both pipes and keyboards.

As well, solo pipe competition has been a focus for Alastair. In Scotland he is now in the Former Winners MSR at Oban as well as the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at Oban and Inverness. Alastair also plays for highland dancing on a regular basis.

In his private life Alastair graduated with honours in 2013 from the Art Institute of Vancouver in professional sound engineering. He currently works full-time at the well-known Scottish importing firm Tartantown Ltd. as a bagpipe technician, shipper and sales associate.

Celtic Christmas will be our band!

Jeanine R. Orme is a classically trained violinist who has specialized in old-time fiddling, Texas-style fiddling, bluegrass fiddle, and Western swing. She is the 2014 Oregon State Adult Division Fiddle Champion and regularly competes in regional and national fiddle contests. Jeanine is the author of three music collections for Mel Bay Publications, Inc.: The Fiddlin’ Workshop, Herman Johnson-Master Fiddler and Texas-Style Fiddlin’ Workshop. Jeanine was born in Ogden, Utah. She began playing the violin at age five and started fiddling at age 8, performing with the Utah Old-Time Fiddlers. 

Dan Velasquez is a multi-talented musician who plays guitar, bass, and piano and composes and arranges music as well.  He grew up in Mexico and California, and graduated with degrees in Computer Science and Music Education from Gonzaga University.  He can recite all of the Monty Python skits and movies word for word.  He currently teaches electronics and computer programming at Southridge High School.  His love of Celtic music comes honestly, as his grandmother was born in Ireland.

Jayne Ferlitsch grew up loving the bagpipe music her father played, but didn't start learning the pipes until she turned 50.  She began studying piano at age 8, then added the flute at age 10.  She loves picking up instruments and also plays various flutes, keyboards, banjo and percussive instruments.  She competes often at OPS and plays with the Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums. She is a librarian at Southridge High School.

Celtic Christmas is a trio of Beaverton School District friends who play together during the Christmas season for charitable events.

Eric Albert will entertain us with at least one of his lovely piobaireachds as the Local Hero!
As a youth, Eric received an LP from his mother--Scottish Bagpipe Tunes including, "Lament for the Children," recorded by James McColl in 1958. The LP galvanized his interest in Piobaireachd and 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 pipes but prefers the caber toss!

Good food, good music, good friends! 

Nathan Walgren who is proud to play a pipe even while wearing an ugly sweater

Recap of November's Gathering

November Oregon Pipers Society

Patrick Downing was the adjudicator and featured performer for November's gathering on November 17, 2018.  

Patrick took his judging very seriously...

...but was then able to entertain the crowd with a selection of marches, jigs, hornpipes and Gordon Duncan tunes!
Patrick Downing and Will Beattie have it all under control
Eliot Grasso was also a featured performer and not only performed on the Uilleann pipes, but also whistle and flute!
Eilot warming up

Always a treat to hear the Uileann Pipes played so well!

Local Hero John Goff proved once again that Loud Pipes Save Lives!

The Competition

Flint Yoder competes in Grade 4...

...even though his wife Roseanne was in active labor.
  Congratulations to the Yoders on the birth of their son!
With her friend watching,
 Shara Maikranz competes on pipes
 for the first time in Adult class and wins!

Tim Riddle takes a 1st in Grade 4 and plays for comments in Grade 3

Kenneth Aitken is all smiles after competing in Grade 5

Oct 5, 2018

The 2018 - 2019 Season is Underway

Oregon Pipers Society is excited for the new year of competition. We're still lining up performers, bands and local heroes, but our dates have been set.

October 20, 2018
November 17, 2018
December 15, 2018
January 19, 2019
February 16, 2019
March 23, 2019
April 13, 2019 (a week earlier due to Easter and the BC Indoor)

Competitors, please check out the COMPETITORS INFO page for the competition list.

Apr 28, 2018

Thanks for a Great Season

See You Next Year for Another Terrific Season of Piping and Drumming!

We had a wonderful final OPS gathering of our season, and are so grateful to our members and friends who attended our events this year.

Murray Huggins

John Goff

Clan Macleay Pipe Band

Don't forget to check out our volunteering and sponsorship opportunities, scholarship info, and facebook page for more information (and the date of our volunteer appreciation/planning event!).

Apr 14, 2018

Final Gathering of the Season!

Join us at our final gathering of the season on April 21st!

The OPS Team is proud to welcome members and friends to our last monthly meeting of the 2017-2018 season. As usual, our event begins with solo competition at 4:30, followed by a great evening of Scottish piping and drumming by the Clan Macleay Pipe Band, John Goff, and Murray Huggins. The show starts at 7:30 at The OddFellows Hall, 10282 SE Main St. Milwaukie OR, 97222.

Our Pipe Band will be the Clan MacLeay Pipe Band

From Portland, the Clan Macleay Pipe Band is comprised of male and female members from Oregon and Southwest Washington.  Formed shortly after World War I, the “Clan Band” is one of the oldest continually existing pipe bands in North America. The band is always a hit  at OPS and is now led by excellent local piper and friend of OPS Thomas Peralta.

Featured Performer Murray Huggins

Our featured performer is Murray Huggins. A native of Ashland, Oregon, Murray has enjoyed a long piping career. He began as a boy receiving instruction from Scottish piper William Keddie. His piping style is influenced by Cameron Wylie, Seattle and Jimmy McColl, Florence, Oregon. Murray is the proprietor of Colin Kyo bagpipes where he hand crafts every detail of the Highland bagpipe including reeds, metal forming and hand engraving. Murray also provides hand engraved metal fittings to bagpipe makers throughout the world.

As if that wasn't enough, our April Local Hero piping recitalist is John Goff (Cascadia Piper). John Goff is a multifaceted artist and piper with a rich and varied musical background. We are excited to have him back as our Local Hero!

As usual, OPS volunteers will offer an exceptional menu of homemade soup, salad, pizza, and beverages. It's sure to be a wonderful night and is perfect for the whole family.

We'll see you AND the whole family at OPS on Saturday April 21st! Sláinte!