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!

Apr 13, 2019

Last meeting of the 2018-2019 season

Please join us for the last meeting of the
 2018-2019 season on Saturday, April 27th.
Our adjudicator and featured performer is Colin Gemmell.

Originally from Connecticut, Colin began piping at the age of 12.  For several years he lived in Portland and was the Pipe Major of the Columbia River Pipe Band.  He was also a piper with the Grade 1 City of Victoria Pipe Band during the height of its success in international competition.

Colin lived for a number of years in eastern Washington, including Spokane, where he was Pipe Major of the Angus Scott Pipe Band.  He also played for several years with Seattle's Elliott Bay Pipe Band.

Colin is a respected player and instructor, and is particularly esteemed for his knowledge of piobaireachd.  He is a four-time winner of the Bratach nam Beann ("Banner of the Mountains"), the premier professional contest of the North American Piobaireachd Society.  Colin is an active member of the adjudicators' panel of the British Columbia Pipers' Association.

"Colin has perhaps not received the credit he deserves for all of the teaching he’s done over the years to players of all levels and abilities.  Aside from just being a great guy, Colin has quietly and positively encouraged scores of pipers along the way. " - Skye Richendrfer 

Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band

 is the featured band.

Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band supports the advancement of Highland music through its instructional program, performances and community events. The program provides opportunities for musical growth, leadership, lifelong friendships and fun! All member/students are between the ages of 8-18.

Local hero is Ralph Drew.

Ralph Drew has been playing the bagpipes since he was 12 years old and has been both a solo and band competitor as well as performing for many functions including two seasons as the resident bagpiper playing at the Oregon Renaissance festival of Hillsboro with his band Drachen. He plays both Highland bagpipes as well as medieval bagpipes that utilize german recorder fingering. He has been instructed mainly by Dave Bueerman, Jason Teece, Colin Mackenzie and Kevin McClean . As a youth he was a founding member of the Oregon Pipers Society Junior Pipe Band under the instruction of Jeff and Robbie Brewer, He has also been at various times a member of the Clan Macleay Pipe Band and the River City Pipe Band. He has been an active competitor at the OPS since he was on the practice chanter over the years  and views the great performances he enjoyed, the opportunities to perform and the scholarships he has been awarded there as having an instrumental impact on his piping in the most positive of ways. He views it as an honor to perform in front of the many people who gravitate to the OPS for the love of bagpipes and hopes you will enjoy his performance. 

Competition starts at 4:30pm.

Scholarships and Aggregate Awards will be handed out during the evening program.  If you haven't applied for a scholarship, the deadline is April 21st!  You must have competed at least 2 times (April counts) and be a paid member of OPS.  

Go to the Scholarships page for more information.

Food provided by our local Piping Hot Chef, 

Michael Johnston.

Mar 16, 2019

March 9th was full of music at OPS!


Kevin McLean was our featured performer for the March gathering.  Kevin wowed the crowd with several selections by the late Andrew Bonar, toe-tapping jigs and reels, and a beautiful piobaireachd.  Remember the handwritten scores in the 125-year-old book of music Colin MacKenzie brought to the January meeting?  Kevin memorized the ones written about Oregon from the pictures published on the OPS website--The Highlands of Oregon and The Glens of Oregon.  And because the first was a march and the second a strathspey, he composed a reel called "The Lochs of Oregon."  It was AMAZING!  If you missed his performance, you missed hearing one of the most outstanding pipers of North America.

First he judged the 18 competitors....

Kevin compliments Shara Maikranz on her performance.


...and then we got to judge him!  

Gold medal performance all the way!!

Eila Chisholm with Portland Highland Dancers Stella and Gabrielle announces a fundraiser for
the dancers to compete in Canada. For more details, visit their website.

DRAM and GO was the featured Band


Anton Emery and Micah Babinski -- two-thirds of Dram & Go, a Portland trio featuring border pipes, guitar and fiddle.

 The band formed in 2014 and performs regularly at pubs, festivals, and private events. Micah has an extensive background in piping that includes solo competitions and pipe bands, as well as more unusual projects such as guitar-driven rock groups, Texas-based Renaissance Faire band Tartanic, Taiko drummers, and a Balanese Gamelan. Anton Emery is a masterful guitarist acclaimed for his stunning arrangements of Celtic music. Playing finger-style on a steel-string acoustic guitar, he performs a body of music traditionally performed on fiddle, flute, and bagpipes, giving it a fresh voice while losing none of its rhythm, feel, and magical quality.

 Anton and Micah played from their new CD released in October 2018.

Nathan Wahlgren was the Local Hero

Nate is a Grade 1 piper who also plays with the Grade 2 Portland Metro Pipe Band.  He teaches piping from his home in Corvallis, Oregon.  He can be found helping students tune their pipes and giving moral support before competitions.  Not only IS he a master of the bagpipes, he HAS a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering.  He keeps us safe from nuclear reactors AND from badly-tuned bagpipes.

Thank you, Nate!

BUT FIRST there were the EIGHTEEN competitors!

Grayson Goodman took 1st place in the Chanter Class.
Truin Tomasetti took 2nd place.

Imanuel Walker at his first competition of the year.

Sarah Campbell competed in Grade 5.

Joonas Martin stands on deck with Steward Deb Lyon.
Joonas Martin took 1st place in Grade 5.
Debbie and Steve Fowler watch the competition with Deb Lyon.
Christina Henderson in her Grade 5 competition.

Doug Eaton shares a laugh before his performance.

Doug's slow air earned him a 3rd place finish in Grade 5.

Shara prepares for her slow air.
Shara Maikranz received 2nd place in Grade 5.

Steve Fowler competes in Grade 4.

Tim Riddle records every time he plays in competition--now you know his secret to getting a 1st place in Grade 4!
Robert Johnston made the trip north
from Medford to compete in Grade 4.

Jayne Ferlitsch takes a break from being
 the Competition Coordinator...

Dan Dorsett placed 4th in Grade 4.

...and receives 2nd place for "Cock of the North."
Tim Riddle wishes Pendra Ogilvie "Good Luck"
on her piobaireachd in Grade 3.

Jennifer Campbell 

Rick and Deb of the large Campbell Clan

Rick Campbell's piobaireachd received 1st place...

...and beat wife Jennifer who received 2nd place.

After getting 3rd in Grade 4 and 1st in Grade 3, Rick is all smiles.
Tim plays his piobaireachd
for comments from the judge.

As the only competitor in Grade 1, Nate Wahlgren entertains the crowd with a lively jig.

Christina Henderson, Jayne Ferlitsch and Melinda Humble
from the Bo'Ness class at Winter School 2019.

Ethan Beattie - the next generation of pipers

And then of course there are the people that attend the Oregon Pipers Society gatherings to support the performers and competitors, the tireless volunteers,

Will, Simona & Ethan Beattie

the fine food prepared by Michael Johnston,

 and just to share a laugh and enjoy the music!

Stella and Bonnie MacKenzie 
Ann Rosen - Tenor Drummer for Kells Pipes and Drums
Sarah Campbell - Piper with Clan Macleay

I'm looking forward to the Aggregate Awards and the Scholarships to be given and more music and.......

...our featured adjudicator and performer 
Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band will also be performing!

                                                            Son, I expect you to play in that band by the year 2010.                                                        

Colin MacKenzie says
See you next time on APRIL 27th!!
No fooling!!