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!

Scholarship Deadline Extended!

A quick note about our scholarshipsWe are offering three $500 scholarships this year and have decided to extend the application deadline through tomorrow, April 15th to accommodate anyone who may have missed the information. Applicants get one ticket in the drawing per OPS competition they have participated in over the past year. The will be awarded by drawing at OPS on the 21st so don't miss it!

Mar 3, 2018

Come to OPS on March 10th!

Oregon Pipers Society invites YOU to join us for an evening of Celtic music and community fun that your whole family will enjoy! We are holding our March gathering THIS Saturday, March 10th!

Our location is the OddFellows Hall in downtown Milwaukie, and this event welcomes all ages. We offer admission of only $5 for OPS members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under get in free! Click here to become a member today. The event will commence at 4:30 pm with our piping and drumming competition. Come enjoy our competitors putting on their best possible performance or sign up yourself! Full details are available on our competition info page.

At 7:30 our formal evening program begins. Come hungry - there will be food and beverages available for purchase throughout the evening, including pizza, salad, beer, wine, and scotch!

Featured Piper Erik Leiken

Erik Leiken, from Davis, CA, started piping at the age of eight years old and started competing in 1998, becoming a professional player in 2009. Erik has been a member of Prince Charles, Alameda Co. Sheriff's, Kevin R. Blandford Memorial, LA Scots, and Peel Regional Police Pipe Bands, and is currently the Pipe Major of Dunvegan Pipe Band and Pipe Sergeant of the newly-formed Silicon Valley Pipe Band. Erik has studied under David Parkhurst, Bill Merriman, Archie Cairns, John Cairns, Angus J. MacLellan, Bruce Hitchings, Jimmy Young, but primarily under Ozzie Reid.
Erik is the proprietor of Leiken Reeds, personally manufacturing a range of reeds, and he teaches extensively in Northern California.

Erik Leiken

Channing Dodson and Brongaene Griffin

Prior to our featured piper, OPS is excited to welcome Channing Dodson, an excellent local player of both Uilleann (Irish) pipes and highland pipes, and fiddler Bronnie Griffin. Bronnie Griffin is a contemporary fiddler steeped in the Irish tradition and has shared the stage with Kevin Burke, Johnny B. Connolly, Nancy Conescu, Gerry O'Beirne, and John Williams, among others. This promises to be the perfect way to kick off your Saint Patrick's Day month!

Channing Dodson

We look forward to seeing you on March 10th!

Feb 10, 2018

Join Us for OPS On February 17th

February brings another outstanding night of music and fun at Oregon Pipers Society! The show starts at 7:30 at The OddFellows Hall, 10282 SE Main St. Milwaukie OR, 97222.

The event will commence at 4:30pm with our piping and drumming competition. Come enjoy our competitors putting on their best possible performance or sign up yourself! Full details are available on our competition info page.

At 7:30pm our official evening program begins. Bring the family and come hungry - there will be food and beverage available for purchase throughout the evening, including pizza, salad, beer, wine, scotch, and homemade soup!

Our location is the OddFellows Hall in downtown Milwaukie, our monthly event welcomes all ages. We offer admission of only $5 for OPS members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under get in free! Click here to become a member today.

Featured Performer

Our featured piper is James P. Troy. James is a great friend of OPS and we are very glad to have him return as our piping judge and recitalist.
James P. Troy has an extensive background as a soloist and band musician. As a professional solo player of both the pipes and snare drum, he is equally at home with both. James P. began both piping and drumming at age six, studying piping with his father, James W. Troy, and drumming with his uncle, Colin Magee. At age eleven, he joined the renowned City of Victoria Pipe Band, being the youngest member of a Grade One band at the time.  James P. was a member of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band (as a drummer) under the direction of PM Roddy MacLeod and DS John Fisher in 2008 and most recently a piper in the Inveraray and District Pipe Band in 2011. In addition to his extensive band experience, James P. has won numerous prizes throughout Canada, the United States and the UK as a soloist. He is a member of the British Columbia Pipers’ Association adjudicators’ panel. James P. has become well known for the quality of his seminars for both pipers and drummers and is a valued resource for pipe band players. He presents seminars on ensemble concepts, reed manipulation and technique in both disciplines at major workshops and summer programs in the United States and Canada on a regular basis.
James P. Troy

Pipe Band Performance

Our pipe band will be a crowd favorite - the Portland Metro Pipe Band. Founded in 2006, the band consists of pipers and drummers from all over the Pacific Northwest. The band plays competitions and performances and OPS is very glad to welcome them back to our stage! For more information about Portland Metro Pipe Band, visit their website.

Local Hero

We are very excited to welcome Jack Toohey as our Local Hero recitalist. Jack is a Grade 1 piper who places consistently among the best pipers in the Northwest and beyond. Jack receives light instruction from his father, John Toohey, and piobaireachd instruction from OPS board member Colin MacKenzie. When not piping Jack enjoys hanging out with his friends and his active in his youth group. Jack also teaches lessons and performs throughout the Portland region. You won't want to miss Jack's performance on the 17th!

We look forward to seeing you on February 17th!

Jan 7, 2018

Welcome the new year with OPS on Saturday, January 20th!

OPS Invites you to celebrate the new year with an outstanding evening of Scottish entertainment! The show starts at 7:30 at The OddFellows Hall, 10282 SE Main St. Milwaukie OR, 97222.

Our piping and drumming competition begins at 4:30pm. This is a great option for kids and adults who are interested in learning the pipes or drums to see Oregon's piping community come together in the spirit of continuous improvement and great music.

The evening program begins at 7:30pm. There will be food and beverage available for purchase throughout the evening, including pizza, salad, beer, wine, scotch, and homemade soup!

Our location is the OddFellows Hall in downtown Milwaukie, our monthly event welcomes all ages. We offer admission of only $5 for OPS members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under get in free! Click here to become a member today.

Featured Performer

Zephan Knichel
Our featured piper is Zephan Knichel!

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta Zephan began piping in 1999 as an Air Cadet with the 570 RCACS Pipe Band. The following year Zephan joined the Edmonton Boys Pipe Band. As a member of the Edmonton Boys, Zephan won the 2002 World Championships in the Novice Juvenille category. In 2003 Zephan joined the grade one Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band, of which he was an active member until 2013. Zephan also enjoyed stints in grade 2 with the St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band in 2011 and the Viscount Park Pipe Band in 2014. Zephan joined SFU for the 2014-2015 season.Zephan is also a regular competitor in open solo competitions. His most noteworthy prize to date was winning the overall aggregate prize at the 2016 BCPA Annual Gathering.
Zephan moved to BC in 2014 after graduating summa cum laude from Monmouth College in Illinois with a degree in Business Administration; Receiving a full tuition talent scholarship for Bagpiping to attend Monmouth. Zephan is a sought after private instructor and also teaches the Robert Malcolm Memorial  grade 5 band. He currently works for both Coast Capital Savings as an FSR and for Lee and Sons Bagpipes making pipebags and chanter reeds. 
Highland Dance Performance

Also joining us will be an OPS favorite - dancers from Portland Highland Dance Association! Their mission is "To Foster and Preserve the Art of Scottish Highland Dance." The PHDA provides quality instruction and hosts competitions and workshops that benefit many dancers in the area. We are delighted to feature them this month on the OPS stage!

Local Hero

As if that wasn't enough, January Local Hero piping recitalist is Lacy Campbell - Lacy is a regular participant in our monthly competitions and a great friend of OPS. We love featuring our Local Heroes and highland dancers because it gives spectators an idea of what we are all about - fostering continued excellence in (and your enjoyment of) the Scottish arts.

We look forward to seeing you on the January 20th!

Dec 10, 2017

THIS WEEKEND - Jack Lee will perform for us at OPS!

Come to OPS on December 16 - We guarantee an outstanding evening of music, friends, and Scottish Culture! The show starts at 7:30 at The OddFellows Hall, 10282 SE Main St. Milwaukie OR, 97222.

Our local hero is Sam Toohey. Sam won the British Columbia Pipers Association (BCPA) Grand Aggregate award for Grade 2 last year. We are thrilled to have Sam as our Local Hero recitalist! (Note: Lacy Campbell will be our Local Hero recitalist next month!)

Our pipe band performance will be delivered by the Eugene Highlanders Pipe Band. A little about the band:

The Eugene Highlanders began in 1953 under the direction of P/M Hector Smith who served as pipe major for over fifty years. They continue in that spirit to keep the music flowing, bringing history alive and carrying bagpiping, highland drumming and dancing forward as a living art form. Eugene Highlanders plays at Highland Games and other celtic events around the region and have proudly led the Eugene Celebration parade for many years.

Above: Eugene Highlanders in action!

Our adjudicator and featured performer will be the one and only Jack Lee! Jack is a renowned solo competitor, teacher, Pipe Sergeant of the six-time world champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, and is among the world's greatest pipers. Along with his family, Jack runs Lee and Sons Bagpipes. Jack is also the reigning champion at the Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship which he won earlier this year.

Admission is $10 for non-members and $5 for members. In addition to our great performers, you can enjoy food and drinks served by our wonderful OPS volunteers! Our December menu will include:
A) Vegetable Beef Barley
B) Carrot, Corn, and Corriander
Salad Dressings:
1) Balsamic Vinaigrette
2) Honey Mustard
3) Creamy Blue Cheese
4) Paprika Vinaigrette

Pizza, snacks, soft drinks, beer, wine, and Scotch is also available for purchase!

Nov 20, 2017

Thank You for Joining Us in November!

We had a terrific November gathering on Saturday with wonderful music from Mark Cameron, Kells Pipes and Drums, and Hal Senyk! As always we thank all the competitors, volunteers, and performers who made the evening memorable. But most importantly, thanks to YOU for supporting OPS by showing up! If you haven't already you can always help OPS even more by becoming a member.

The Competition

As usual, we were treated to wonderful music from our piping and drumming competitors. We have results available on our results page, and if you are a piper or drummer don't forget to register for the competition next month! You won't want to miss the opportunity to get comments from our featured performer in December.

Evening Program

Following our competition we enjoyed fine piping by our Local Hero Mark Cameron, guest pipe band the Kells Pipes and Drums, and featured performer, Hal Senyk. We are hugely grateful to all our performers for making the evening so worthwhile, and to our great team of volunteer organizers, bartenders, servers, and chef for providing wonderful food and drink to our patrons.

(See our facebook page for more great photos of the event)

Our Next Event is December 16th featuring Glenfiddich piping champion Jack Lee!

Jack is truly among the world's greatest pipers and we are so fortunate to have him join us in December right here at OPS. Make your plans now to attend, tell your friends, and we will see you next month!

Nov 14, 2017

November OPS Gathering

Fall Greetings from OPS!

The days are getting shorter and Thanksgiving is around the corner, but OPS is ready to bring a fantastic evening of bagpipes and Scottish culture to our monthly gathering at the Historic Oddfellows Hall in Milwaukie, OR. You are cordially invited to join us THIS Saturday, November 18th!

The Competition

Our event will begin at 4:30 with solo piping and drumming competition. Hal Senyk will be our adjudicator (more on him below). Our competition inspires pipers and drummers to practice hard, perform publicly, and reap the benefits of receiving feedback from some of the best pipers in North America. It's one of the most important things that we do at OPS and a great reason to become a member. You can also support the competitors by arriving early and enjoying the wonderful music! Check out our  our competition page for details on how to sign up.

Following the competition until the start of the evening program, we encourage piping, drumming, playing fiddles, guitars, and any other instrument you may care to bring! We love all forms of Scottish, Irish, and roots/traditional music. Jamming is encouraged at OPS!

The Evening Program

At 7:30 pm our official program begins. As usual we will have a band, a Local Hero (our local hero is a competitor who, in the spirit of OPS, steps forward to perform a short recital), and our featured piper. 

Our friend Mark Cameron will be our featured piper for the month, and our pipe band will be a contingent of Kells Pipes and Drums! 

Sponsored by Kell’s Irish Restaurant and Pub, Kell’s Irish Pipes and Drums began in the mid-1990’s in Portland, Oregon. Currently, the band is joined by several members of the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band with the two bands performing together on many occasions. The approach the band takes is to play music that is inclusive of all types of Celtic backgrounds. The main idea is to play well and to have fun while we do this. Many of the members have been playing for a number of years, but we encourage people to join who are at all levels of proficiency. Performers ages can range from age 12 through late 70’s.

Kells Pipes and Drums

Come hungry! We will have  homemade soup, salad, and pizza, while OPS board members and volunteers served soft drinks, beer, wine, and Scotch at the bar.

We are so excited to welcome Hal Senyk as our featured piper!

Hal is a veteran piper, pipe major, instructor, adjudicator, and is a longtime leader within the British Columbia Pipers Association (BCPA). He played for bands including the Canadian Scottish Regiment until 1971, and the Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band (5 time World Champion Grade 1). Hal was also a was Pipe Major of the Triumph Street Pipe Band, making them one of the premier Grade 1 bands in North America and the world.
After Hal's retirement from the band in the early 1990's, he played with the Abbotsford and Maple Ridge (New Westminster Police) bands, and has since become one of the assistant instructors with the White Spot (juvenile) band.
Hal was also a successful solo competitor for many years, having won many professional prizes in light music and piobaireachd. He was the first Canadian to win a major prize in Scotland, winning the March competition in Inverness in 1972, helping to set the stage for more Canadians to make their mark on the Scottish piping scene. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Oct 29, 2017

October OPS Gathering a Success!

We are so pleased to announce that our season's inaugural event, held on a rainy night last Saturday at the historic Oddfellows Hall in Milwaukie, was a huge success! Below is a recap of the evening. Don't forget to visit our facebook page for more photos and make your plans now to attend our next gathering on November 18th!

The Competition

The first event of the day - our piping and drumming competition - went very well and competitors gained valuable experience and comments from adjudicator Andrew Lee. As Andrew mentioned in his remarks later in the evening, October is typically off-season downtime for competing pipers and drummers, but the sooner they get the pipes and drums going, tunes memorized, and up in front of a judge to play, the better the season will go! OPS wishes all competitors the best of luck with the rest of their competition seasons. Below are the results from last Saturday, and see our competition page for details on how to sign up for the next competition:

The Evening Program

With the competition over, attendees were able to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy the wonderful food and drink offered by OPS and it's wonderful volunteers. Head OPS chef Michael Johnston and his team of OPS volunteers served delicious homemade soup, salad, and pizza, while OPS board members and volunteers served soft drinks, beer, wine, and Scotch at the bar.

Around 7 pm our guest band, Biddy on the Bench, delighted the audience with some impromptu folk songs and tunes. We were so pleased to welcome Biddy on the Bench and they really added a unique musical touch to our evening! At 7:30, following opening remarks from our Master of Ceremonies Eila Chisholm, our Local Hero Nate Wahlgren delighted the audience with tunes (including a lovely piobaireach) on a fantastic bagpipe.
Following Nate's performance, the gathering took a moment to remember the late Andrew Bonar, champion piper (and former OPS judge and recitalist) who passed away recently after a three year battle with cancer. OPS is honored to have experienced Andrew's passion for the Scottish arts, his wonderful humor, and his amazing music.

Next up we welcomed Biddy on the Bench back to the stage for a rousing set of songs and tunes, including songs sung in purely Scots Gaelic. We really appreciated Biddy on the Bench's willingness to share their music with us. Check out their website for more info on the band and to see where they are playing next!
The highlight of the evening was an excellent recital by the one and only Andrew Lee. Delivered on a beautiful set of Lee and Sons bagpipes, Andrew delighted the audience with fantastic light music, a unique Piobaireachd called "War and Peace", and many stories of his friend and mentor Andrew Bonar.

Featured piper Andrew Lee
Our next gathering will be November 18th at the Oddfellows Hall. See you then! In the meantime, visit our membership page to support OPS as an individual family, or consider sponsoring our organization so we can bring more Scottish arts to the community.