Dec 30, 2013

Winter Solstice Photos!

December OPS was a lot of fun! Great performances by Jori Chisholm, Tacoma Scots, and Scott Lumsden. We had a full house of people enjoying Stuart Ramsay's whisky tasting and some surprise Highland dancing! Thanks for joining us. Check out the photos here.

See you at the next OPS on January 18th!

Jori Chisholm
Stuart Ramsay


 
Jori and Jennifer Campbell

Dec 13, 2013

Whisky Tasting Event Dec. 21st

OPS is pleased to present an evening of entertainment and special whisky tasting!

The tasting will be led by whisky expert Stuart MacLean Ramsay. Stuart will be leading you through the various whisky regions of Scotland. The tasting presentation will begin after the first performance and will continue through the evening’s program.

Tasting is $20 for 5 whiskies. Space is limited to 25 people. Please email Eila Chisholm to reserve your spot. Not interested whisky? You can still join us for an evening of music!

Stuart, trademarked as "The Scotch Guy", was born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland. A writer, editor and public speaker, Ramsay is a leading expert on whisky & spirits, cocktails and craft beer.

Stuart is a Life Member of the prestigious Keepers of the Quaich Society, an international organization which honors those who have contributed greatly to the success and nobility of Scotch whisky and Scotland.

In 2012, he launched Ramsay’s Dram Academy of Whisky in Portland, Oregon, teaching classes on every category of whisky (and whiskey) to consumers and industry professionals. 

Entertainment begins at 7:30 pm on Saturday December 21st. Slainte!

Dec 10, 2013

Winter Solstice at the Oregon Pipers Society

We are celebrating the Holidays at OPS with some great entertainment and a delicious whisky tasting!

The local hero of the evening is Scott Lumsden. A second generation piper, Scott first picked up the chanter at age ten. His aunts were champion dancers in the 1940’s. His father John and uncle Bill and eldest cousin Charlie all started piping in Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland. Learning from his father, Scott went on to succeed him as Pipe Major of the Olympia Highlanders. In the years following, Scott played with bands off and on, including Kell’s of Portland and the Celtic rock band, Clumsy Lovers. From his beginnings in the Pacific Northwest, Scott finally found his way to the Tacoma Scots and is their current Pipe Major. His pipes of choice are one of his two sets of Hendersons. 

We are very pleased to have the Tacoma Scots Pipe Band perform at OPS. The band was formed in 1971 by William (Bill) Micenko, who served as the Pipe Major for 37 years. The Tacoma Scots wear the Ancient Sinclair tartan in honor of their founder.  Under Bill’s direction, the band grew into a family-friendly band, with numerous parents and their children performing together. The Tacoma Scots have competed in Highland Games from California to Montana

Today, the pipers, drummers and dancers of the Tacoma Scots perform traditional Scottish music and dance throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Two of Bill’s three sons still perform with the band.  The band is honored to serve as the official pipe band of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The Tacoma Scots are led by Pipe Major Scott Lumsden and Drum Sergeant Paul Micenko.  The band welcomes new and experienced pipers, drummers and dancers to attend practice and join the band.

Our featured performer is Jori Chisholm. Jori grew up playing at OPS and is looking forward to returning to play for the hometown audience of friends, and looking forward to the new venue. Jori now lives in Seattle, Washington. He currently plays with the six-time Grade One World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band since 1998 and has been a featured solo performer for the band on multiple occasions. A successful solo competitor, Jori has won the United States Gold Medal three times and has placed in the top three in Scotland's Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medal competition. 

Jori has been has been featured as a soloist or band member on over 20 recordings, as well as performing with The Chieftains and with ex-Grateful Dead rocker Bob Weir and his band Ratdog. His debut solo album Bagpipe Revolution was nominated for Album of the Year by Pipes|Drums magazine. 


Jori also writes the "Sound Technique" column for the National Piping Centre’s bi-monthly Piping Today Magazine. The New York Times featured Chisholm's online teaching program, BagpipeLessons.com, and described him as a "top-tier teacher" in a front page story about the growth of Skype music lessons.  American Profile Magazine featured Jori on the cover naming him one of the "world's elite pipers." In 2011, BagpipeLessons.com launched the world's first online piping competition and has grown the championship to include drumming. 


Entertainment begins at 7:30 pm on Saturday December 21st. See you then!

Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under are Free.

Dec 4, 2013

View photos from November OPS

We've got some great photos of the November performances and competition. Check them out on our Facebook page. 
Joe Stewart
Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band
Joe and Raasi Rush


Nov 18, 2013

A great evening at OPS last weekend!

The competition season is really beginning to heat up. We had 30 competitors at the November OPS. The new venue is fantastic for listening to music and enjoying a drink and dinner. The pea soup was a hit and we look forward to next month's tasty soup.

Great performance by Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band and Rick Johnston. And wonderful performance by our featured performer, Joe Stewart.

It was a fun evening of piping. See you next month!

Nov 8, 2013

Join us for OPS on Saturday November 16th

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 Split Pea soup (vegan or ham). Beverages include Scottish Ales, Oregon beer and wine, and soft drinks.  

Held at the OddFellows Hall in Milwaukie, our location is fully handicapped accessible and we welcome all ages!

The evening will begin with a performance by our Local Hero, Rick Johnston. 


Rick is the Pipe Major of the Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band.  Rick’s passion for piping began when he married into a piping family. His father-in-law was a piper with the Cameron Highlander Pipe Band and daughters were competitive Highland dancers. Rick learned to play the pipes from his father-in-law and has continued the family tradition by teaching his sons to play. Rick also performs at weddings and funerals, and finds that playing the pipes gives him an emotional connection with his audience that is unique to any other instrument.

We are pleased to have the Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band perform!


Formed after WW II by returning GI's, Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band was originally sponsored by the Oregon National guard. Now based in Salem, Oregon, the band has grown and serves the community by providing entertainment through traditional Scottish music. 

They offer free instruction in pipe and drum development and play at several military oriented ceremonies each year. They are also available for parades, concerts, Celtic festivals and the solo pipers for weddings and funerals and other events.


The final performance of the evening will be our Featured Performer, Joseph Stewart.


From Seattle, WA, Joseph began to play the pipes at age 7 under the instruction of Kevin Auld.  He is currently a member of Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band (Grade 1) and is thrilled to have competed with them at the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 World Pipe Band Championships.

Also an accomplished solo competitor, Joseph's wins include the U.S. Junior Solo Championship and B.C. Indoor Grade 1 aggregate in 2010.  He also went on to win the 2011 Nicol Brown and George Sherriff Championships back to back.  In 2013, Joseph was promoted to the BCPA professional class. 

He is a student at Whitman College and currently receives piping instruction from Murray Henderson. Joseph would like to thank everyone who has helped throughout his piping journey.

See you on November 16th!

Are you an OPS member? Join here.
Spectators are always welcome at the competition. View the competition calendar.

Nov 7, 2013

November's Event Coming Soon!


November 16th, OPS Presents will be featuring:

● Joseph Stewart of Dowco Triumph 
   Street Pipe Band
● The Oregon Defense Force Pipe Band
● Rick Johnston - Local Hero

In the next 2 weeks, we will be posting photos and biographies for all our entertainers!

Oct 21, 2013

Great Success on Opening Night!

Our first event in our new venue on Saturday was a great success!

The excellent entertainment provided by Micah Babinski, the Portland Metro Pipe Band, Ralph Drew, and the Portland Highland Dance Association Dancers was clearly very much enjoyed by the capacity crowd that attended our opening night festivities!

Thank you everyone for coming out to support the Oregon Pipers Society!  In addition to the 25 members who signed up before our season had begun, 43 families and individuals signed up as members at our Saturday evening event!  What a great start to the season!  For those of you that weren't able to attend our opening night, remember that you don't have to wait until our November event to sign up for or renew your OPS membership!  Just print out and complete a membership form, and mail it in with your check!

Photos and/or videos from Saturday haven't come in yet (photo above provided by Jennifer Campbell - thank you!), but I'll post them as soon as they arrive.  In the meantime, however, our thanks to all our volunteers and board members for working to ensure a great night out for all!

Look for upcoming announcements as we finalize our entertainment line up for next month!  We looking forward to see you at our live event in November! 

Sep 30, 2013

Welcome to OPS Presents - Tomorrow Night!

Welcome everyone to our all new 2013 - 2014 season of entertainment!

We are very excited to be starting off this year's competition and entertainment at our new venue, the Odd Fellows Hall at 10282 SE Main Street in Milwaukie!

The hall is located only 4.8 miles south of our previous location, and it is fully handicap accessible!




Our lineup for the evening will be:

4:00PM  Food, wine, & beer service starts 
4:30PM  Competition begins
6:00PM  Our special Homemade soup/roll/salad service starts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

7:30PM OPS Presents Live Musical Entertainment, with:

  • Micah Babinski (Featured Performer & former SFU band member)
  • The Portland Metro Pipe Band
  • The Portland Highland Dance Association Dancers
  • Ralph Drew (our Local Hero)

- October admission FREE with paid OPS membership
- Admission $10 for adults, children 12 and under free

We hope to see you all at the Milwaukie Odd Fellows Hall tomorrow night, Saturday, October 19th for our first event of the season!

OPS Welcomes Micah Babinski - October's Featured Performer

Micah began his piping career at the age of nine in Oakland, California where he started under the instruction of Bay Area piper and drummer Liza MacAdam. Micah moved to Washington State with his family in 1998, where he continued on the pipes under the instruction of Laurie MacKenzie, and later Jori Chisholm, with whom he took lessons for many years. Micah credits Jori with instilling disciplined practice habits, the secrets of bagpipe tone, a nuanced approach to expression, and a lifelong dedication to excellent technique.

Micah was invited in 2006 to the Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational competition in Albany, NY where he placed first in the MSR and third in the piobaireachd. Two months later, Micah traveled to the George Sherriff Amatuer Invitational competition in Toronto, Ontario, where he won the MSR and piobaireachd events, and placed third in the 6/8 march, winning him the overall aggregate award at the age of 18.   Since then he has competed at the professional solo level.

Micah has played in two world champion pipe band circles: in 2003, with the grade 3b Prince Charles Pipe Band, and in 2006 with the grade 2 champion Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band. He has also been a member of three Grade 1 Pipe Bands: Prince Charles of San Francisco, Simon Fraser University, and DowcoTriumph Street. Micah is also a recurring member of Tartanic, one of the most popular Celtic acts on the national Renaissance Faire circuit.

Micah moved to Portland in 2011 where he teaches bagpipe lessons and works as a cartographer and IT Analyst managing geographic data for the City of Portland. In addition to piping, Micah enjoys listening to piping, hiking, savoring Portland’s wonderful selection of food and drink, and playing the mandolin. Micah eagerly anticipates the arrival of a practice set of Irish Uilleann pipes in May or June of next year.

Sep 28, 2013

OPS Welcomes Ralph Drew as October's Local Hero!

Ralph Drew has been playing the bagpipes off and on for 22 years. He has played locally as a solo player as well as in the Oregon Piper's Society Junior Pipe Band, the Clan MacCleay Pipe Band, and is currently a Pipe Sergeant in the River City Pipe Band. He began instruction under the tutelage of Dave Bueerman, and then took lessons from Jason Teece. 
Ralph took up playing the bagpipes because he loved the sound, and figured if he played he could listen to them whenever he wanted. Ralph has found playing the Bagpipes incredibly rewarding, both for the life experiences that have been afforded due to playing, as well as the camaraderie that can be shared among fellow pipers. Ralph also credits being involved with the Oregon Piper's Society as a youth for being a very positive experience in his formative years.

Ralph plays a set of Kron Heritage Great Highland Pipes with a Ayrfire polypenco chanter, as well as a set of Garvie Borderpipes in the Key of A.  

Sep 22, 2013

Be An Inspiration - Pipers Wanted

Just wanted to write about some questions that come into the OPS from time to time, generally written by people so inspired by their experience with bagpipes that they want to repeat it and/or share it with others...

Below is an email that came in, and I wanted to put the word out to any pipers out there reading our blog.  If you're interested in volunteering a few minutes of playing time, send me an email at opsinpdx@gmail.com, and I'll put you in touch with the person making this request.

Here it is:

"We are a Oregon High school team, in Corvallis. Last Friday we played a game in Southern California.  A local supporter had a friend come and lead the team onto the field playing bagpipes.  It was an incredible scene and our players were REALLY excited.  We'd like to make it a tradition but need a bagpiper.  not looking for anything more than a couple minute walk into a stadium on Friday nights. Not even looking for full dress ... the sound of the pipes carried us in. We played a game in Clackamas [recently, with more games coming up] around Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon and Silverton. Do you know local bagpipers that would want a Friday night sideline pass to some great High school football?"

Sep 21, 2013

Competition Schedule Updated!

We have updated and posted our new 2013 - 2014 season competition schedule, so take a look and see what we have in store for you this year!  It should be a lot of fun!

We are doing things a little differently for Drummers.  We will hold drumming competitions every other month beginning in November, so be sure to check the schedule for the changes.

Welcome back pipers and drummers!  Let's have great a great competition season!

Aug 26, 2013

Kelso Games Next Weekend!

The city of Kelso, WA sponsors/hosts a free weekend of Highland Games on September 7th and 8th!

The Festival is held at Tam O'Shanter Park starting at 8:00am Saturday with a 5k run/walk road race.  They're going to have piping and dance competitions on Saturday as well as a host of other activities.  Sunday starts with the Kelso Highlander Festival Kirkin' services (click Activities on their web site) at 8:30am, and starting at 9:00am, you can enjoy stone and caber toss events, a for-charity duck race, and other entertainment.

For more information about the Highlander Festival, check out their web site at: http://www.kelso.gov/visitors/highlander-festival#sthash.RBN8VyU3.dpuf 

See you all there!
Experience a whole weekend of Scottish & Celtic culture, with the Avenue of Clans, Scottish craft & food vendors, Scottish music & competitions including a Scottish Shortbread Competition.

Saturday, September 7th, 2013


At beautiful Tam O'Shanter Park on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 the festivities begin.  Starting at 8:00 am with a fun run/walk 5K road race, Highland Dance Competition, Silent Auction, Highland Games and Piping Competition.  At 10:00 am please join us for the annual Highlander Festival Parade and the shortbread contest, which is held in the covered area at Tam O'Shanter Park and at 12:30 will be the Welcome & Parade of Clans.

Sunday, September 8th, 2013


At 8:30 AM  Tartan Worship Service at Tamo O'Shanter Part and again at 10:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Kelso.
The Highland Games will begin at the park at 9:00 AM with those hardy lads and lasses tossing the caber and throwing the stone. There will be entertainment in the afternoon at the park.
The Kelso Rotary will be holding their Annual Duck Race in the afternoon raising money for charities and scholarships.
Get your Highlander Festival Buttons, on sale July 5th, for only $1.00 each and you could win many prizes have been donated from various merchants in Kelso
- See more at: http://www.kelso.gov/visitors/highlander-festival#sthash.RBN8VyU3.dpuf
Experience a whole weekend of Scottish & Celtic culture, with the Avenue of Clans, Scottish craft & food vendors, Scottish music & competitions including a Scottish Shortbread Competition.

Saturday, September 7th, 2013


At beautiful Tam O'Shanter Park on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 the festivities begin.  Starting at 8:00 am with a fun run/walk 5K road race, Highland Dance Competition, Silent Auction, Highland Games and Piping Competition.  At 10:00 am please join us for the annual Highlander Festival Parade and the shortbread contest, which is held in the covered area at Tam O'Shanter Park and at 12:30 will be the Welcome & Parade of Clans.

Sunday, September 8th, 2013


At 8:30 AM  Tartan Worship Service at Tamo O'Shanter Part and again at 10:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Kelso.
The Highland Games will begin at the park at 9:00 AM with those hardy lads and lasses tossing the caber and throwing the stone. There will be entertainment in the afternoon at the park.
The Kelso Rotary will be holding their Annual Duck Race in the afternoon raising money for charities and scholarships.
Get your Highlander Festival Buttons, on sale July 5th, for only $1.00 each and you could win many prizes have been donated from various merchants in Kelso
- See more at: http://www.kelso.gov/visitors/highlander-festival#sthash.RBN8VyU3.dpuf
Experience a whole weekend of Scottish & Celtic culture, with the Avenue of Clans, Scottish craft & food vendors, Scottish music & competitions including a Scottish Shortbread Competition.

Saturday, September 7th, 2013


At beautiful Tam O'Shanter Park on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 the festivities begin.  Starting at 8:00 am with a fun run/walk 5K road race, Highland Dance Competition, Silent Auction, Highland Games and Piping Competition.  At 10:00 am please join us for the annual Highlander Festival Parade and the shortbread contest, which is held in the covered area at Tam O'Shanter Park and at 12:30 will be the Welcome & Parade of Clans.

Sunday, September 8th, 2013


At 8:30 AM  Tartan Worship Service at Tamo O'Shanter Part and again at 10:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Kelso.
The Highland Games will begin at the park at 9:00 AM with those hardy lads and lasses tossing the caber and throwing the stone. There will be entertainment in the afternoon at the park.
The Kelso Rotary will be holding their Annual Duck Race in the afternoon raising money for charities and scholarships.
Get your Highlander Festival Buttons, on sale July 5th, for only $1.00 each and you could win many prizes have been donated from various merchants in Kelso
- See more at: http://www.kelso.gov/visitors/highlander-festival#sthash.RBN8VyU3.dpuf

2013 Seattle Highland Games



Well, I'm posting these a bit late, but you can view our Picasa Photo Album for some pictures taken at the Seattle Highland Games (thanks to Laura for all the photos!)

Congratulations to all our OPS members who competed at the games!

You can view the BCPA web site for full results for the piping & drumming competition, but here are some of the highlights:




Grade 2:
  • Ian Toohey - 2nd in Hornpipe & Jig, 3rd in MSR, and 6th in Piobaireachd
  • Jack Toohey- Aggregate Winner
  • Chris Cahoon - 2nd in Piobaireachd, 4th in Hornpipe & Jig
Grade 3:
  • Hunter Kern - 1st in Jig
  • Elizabeth Cameron - 1st in Piobaireachd
  • Logan Chavez - 3rd in Jig, 4th in 2/4 March & Piobaireachd
  • Jon Scott - 3rd in Piobaireachd
Grade 4:
  • Alexander MacLeod - 2nd in Piobaireachd and Strathspey & Reel, 3rd in 2/4 March
  • Lauren Toohey - 1st in 6/8 March Side Drums
Grade 5: (there were 26 in this group!)
  • Stuart Vickery - 4th in 6/8 March
  • Raasi Rush - 2nd in 2/4 March and 3rd in Slow Aire
  • Rick Campbell - 6th in 2/4 March 
  • Jack Kelley - 3rd in 6/8 March, 4th in 2/4 March 
  • Garth Edwards - 4th in Slow Aire, 5th in 2/4 March

Jul 26, 2013

Pipers Wanted!

I recently received an email from the Music Director of the upcoming Oregon Renaissance Festival telling me that they are looking for bagpipers who might be interested in playing at it.  Take a look at their web page if you'd like to learn more about the event

The Festival runs from August 24th thru September 29th, and you can contact Mike LaBriola if you are interested in arranging to play at the Renaissance event!

Jul 24, 2013

2013 Portland Highland Games Results

Columbia Regional Pipe Band
What a great time we had at the Portland Highland Games this year!

The weather, which was forcast to be warm and sunny, started off like a typical Portland day... the sky was completely overcast, the air was chilly, and a heavy, foggy mist hung over the main field for the 1st half of the day.  Just in time for the opening ceremonies, however, the sky cleared up, the sun was shining, and a warm day held the field for the remainder of the Games!

●  See photographs from the games:  Picasa Web Album
 
●  See YouTube Videos (individual & band): OPSINPDX Videos

●  Many OPS members did very well at the games, and you can 
    see the full scoring results on the BCPA web site.

We hope you all enjoyed the games as much as we did!

Jul 20, 2013

Let the games begin!

Yesterday marked the start of the Portland Highland Games!

In the afternoon, they opened with a new "Pre-Games" series of  fun athletic events, and in the evening was the annual Professional Piobaireachd Competition.

Although I didn't get a chance to try out the Pre-Games this time around, I did get to attend the piobaireachd competition, and oh lord! There was some amazing playing to be heard!

If you were also one of the lucky ones that attended the competition, you won't be surprised to hear that the:

  • Winner (Piobaireachd):  Jori Chisholm (who was absolutely brilliant tonight!)
  • Winner (2/4 March): Alaister Lee
 
Check out our Picasa Web Album for some photos from last night's event.  I'm afraid that I too busy enjoying the music, so I didn't take as many photos as I usually do.

Be sure to join us for a full day of field and piping and drumming events at Mt. Hood Community College!  Gates open at 8:00 AM.

Put on your sunscreen, and we'll see you there!

Jul 12, 2013

Coquitlam Highland Games

Laura Devlin attended the Coquitlam Highland Games and sent in some photos, which can be viewed on our Picasa Web Album (thanks, Laura!).

A few results from the games are noted below, and full results are available on the BCPA web site.

     • Alexander MacLeod - Piper Grade 4
       2nd in 2/4 March
       2nd in Strathspey & Reel

     • Chris Cahoon - Piper Grade 2
       2nd in Piobaireachd


    • Lauren Toohey - Side Drummer Grade 4
       4th in 2/4 March1st in Jig

Jun 24, 2013

Tacoma Highland Games

by Matt Cory

If you weren't there, the Tacoma Highland Games was a lot of fun, and what a warm, sunny, beautiful day it was this year!

Many OPS members competed, and quite a few did very well!  To mention just a few, the Portland Police Highland Guard took first place in band competition, James Harrod took two firsts and aggregate in Grade 5 (and won the Charles McNeil Memorial Piping Scholarship), Jennifer Campbell took third in Grade 4/5 Piobairachd, etc.  Full results have not yet been posted on the THGA web page, but will probably be available later this week. Congratulations to all who competed!

See our OPSINPDX YouTube channel for videos of the games!

See our Picasa web album for photos taken at the games!

Jun 7, 2013

Bellingham Highland Games Recap

The Bellingham Highland Games was held last Saturday on June 1st.  A good time was had by all, and we have some videos of some OPS members competing, and many photos of our members and the games.

View the videos on our OPSINPDX YouTube Channel.
View the photos on our Picasa Web Photo Album.

You can view the results of the games by going to the BCPA web site, or by viewing the BCPA results document on our Google Drive.

May 30, 2013

Highland Games Update

PacNorthwest Highland Games have been updated on our Events Calendar.  There are many games scheduled to occur between June and September, so be sure to take a look for the events you are interested in.  Click on the event in the calendar for details about each Highland Games!

Have fun this summer!

Bagpipe Songwriting Competition

I recently received the following message from Graham Durant-Law in an email, and I thought I'd share it for those of you interested in bagpipe songwriting!  The competition instructions are available on our public Google drive.

"In recognition of the Scottish community contribution to Canberra, and to celebrate the centenary of Canberra, the Canberra College of Piping and Drumming is hosting a bagpipe tune writing contest. The tune must be of at least four parts in any time signature, and of any type. The title of the tune must include the phrase “Centenary of Canberra” – for example, “The Centenary of Canberra Hornpipe”.

The prize for the winning tune is (AUD) $500 thanks to the generous support of local company Cantlie. The winning tune will also be framed and returned to the composer. The winning tune will also be framed and mounted for public viewing in a prominent building in Canberra.

Entries close at midnight on Sunday, 7 July 2013. Further details can be found in the attached document. We would be grateful if you would advertise this competition widely.

Canberra College of Piping & Drumming
Web: www.canberracollegepipesdrums.org
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 975 795"

NOTE: The instructions list an incorrect URL for uploading entries, but here is the correct one: http://www.canberracollegepipesdrums.org/index.php/enter-the-centenary-tune-competition

Happy writing to all, and good luck!

Dates for the 2013 - 2014 OPS Season

Greetings Everyone!

Meeting dates for our 2013 - 2014 season starting in October this year have been finalized!  We will be meeting on:

October 19, 2013
February 15, 2014
November 16, 2013
March 22, 2014
December 21, 2013
April 26, 2014
January 18, 2014

We will be meeting at our NEW location!
Odd Fellows Hall
10282 Se Main Stre3t
Milwaukie, OR 97222

See you on October 19th!

53rd Annual Bellingham Scottish Highland Games

Just a reminder all, the 53rd Annual Bellingham Scottish Highland Games will be held this weekend at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale, WA.
We hope to see you all there!

Happy Games!

May 21, 2013

2012-13 OPS Scholarship Recipients

The Portland Highland Games Association has provided, once again, three $500 dollar scholarships to OPS pipers and drummers this year.

The 2012 - 2013 PHGA scholarship winners are: 

DRUMMING: Scott Cooper 
PIPING: Rick Campbell and Ogden Kimberly

Our thanks to the PHGA for their continued support and generosity!

2012 - 2013 OPS Aggregate FINAL

DRUMMING
Grade 4 Side Drumming: (1) Scott Cooper

PIPING
  • Grade 1: (1) Eric Alberts
  • Grade 2: (1) Jack Toohey
  • Grade 3: (1) Ralph Drew (2) Elizabeth Cameron (3) Robbie Johnston
  • Grade 4: (1) Alexander MacLeod (2) Jennifer Campbell (3) Rick Campbell
  • Grade 5: (1) Jack Kelley (2) Steven Hughes (3) Lily Devlin
  • Adult:     (1) Jayne Ferlitsch
  • Chanter: (TIE) Jayne Ferlitsch and Will Richmond

April 2013 Competition Results

Congratulations to our winners! 

DRUMMING 
Grade 5 Side Drum: (1) Alonso Cruz

PIPING
  • Chanter: (1) Will Richmond
  • Grade 5: (1) Raasi Rush (2) Jack Kelley (3) Lily Devlin (4) Jimmy Harrod*
  • Grade 4: (1) Alexander MacLeod (2) Rick Campbell
  • Grade 3: (1) Ralph Drew
  • Grade 2: (1) Jack Toohey
  • Grade 1: (1) Eric Albert
* Grade 5 had 10 competitors.

Apr 14, 2013

2013 Annual Membership Meeting





2013 Annual Membership Meeting will be held on April 27th at 3:00PM.  Join us at the Milwaukie Elks Club to share your vision for the Oregon Pipers' Society's future.

<-- Click the image to view the meeting flyer with
     agenda and other details.

Aggregate Standings for 2012 - 2013 Season





◄ Click the image to view the aggregate Standings for
    the 2012 -2013 OPS Competition Season (as of 4/7/2013).

Apr 6, 2013

OPS Winnders at the BC Indoor!

The OPS had quite a few of its members/participants do well at the BC Indoor at SFU in March!


  • Jack Toohey - won 1st place in three Grade 2 piping events!  Piobaireachd, MSR, and Hornpipe/Jig, and he also won Grade 2 aggregate.
  • Ian Toohey - won 2nd place in Grade 2 piping MSR, and he won 6th place in Piobaireachd.
  • Chris Cahoon - won 4th place in Grade 2 hornpipe/jig.
  • Elizabeth Cameron - won 2nd place in Grade 3 Piobaireachd.
  • Lauren Toohey - won first place in Grade 4 side drumming in 6/8 march. 
  • Lily Devlin - won 4th  place in her event, and she also won “Most Promising Piper!” which came with a trophy and a scholarship for SFU's Piping Hot Summer Drummer School!
Congratulations to all our winners!  The OPS is looking forward to a very successful summer competition season for all!

Please send your competition results to opsinpdx@gmail.com.  We'll post competition news throughout the summer on this blog!

Mar 16, 2013

More St. Patty's Entertainment!

Hey All! Just got a heads up on a few more entertainment events on Saturday & Sunday for St. Patty's.

1)  Both Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band and Clan MacLeay Pipe Band are performing Sunday afternoon at different venues.  Check out our Events Calendar for locations and times.

2)  The River City Pipe Band is playing at multiple locations this weekend - McMenamins' Kennedy School and Edgefield to name two.  Check out their web site for details and times.

3)  The Sir James McDonald Pipe Band is performing today at the Beaverton Farmers Market at Beaverton City Park from 10:00 to 10:30 AM.

Get out and about, enjoy the bands, and have a great St. Patty's Day!

Mar 15, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Events in Portland

by Matt Cory
 
Hey Everyone! There's lots to do for St. Patrick's Day this weekend in Portland starting today!

I've scoured local sources for events going on in Portland for the holiday and combined them all in one place - our Events Calendar!  So be sure to take a look at it to find a favorite activity for you or the whole family.

If you know of a St. Patty's event that we don't have, and/or would like us to mention, then by all means let us know and we'll add it to our list and put the word out!

See you around town, and don't forgot to sport your favorite holiday color this weekend - go green!

Top Secret Drum Corps

While this blog is meant to be for all things Celtic culture and music (specifically piping and pipe bands), every once in a while I think it's okay to diverge just a little bit.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a video a few days ago, and I was pretty stunned when I watched it.  Is it Celtic?  Not so much.  But it does have something in common with pipe bands… Drumming. Really good drumming! If you liked the movie Drumline (and I very much did!), then you'll love seeing the real thing!

For the last three years, the Top Secret Drum Corps, out of Switzerland, has performed at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  The video is from their 2012 performance.

Chances are that if you regularly follow the news coming out of the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo, you will have already seen this.  But if, like me, you're a Johnny-come-lately playing catch-up, click the link and take a look at this drum corps.

If you have already seen this, then you'll know it's woth watching again. They are amazing!

Link: Top Secret Drum Corps at the 2012 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Mar 6, 2013

A New Home for the OPS?

by Laura Devlin  

Twenty OPS mem-bers and their families visited the Milwaukie Elks Open House on a Sunday afternoon on February 24th to view the club as a possible new home for the OPS!

The group was given a tour of the 60,000sq.ft. family-friendly facility that includes, among many other things, a pool and a bowling alley! OPS visitors were able to see the space we are considering as our new meeting location, the Lodge Room, which is a wood-paneled performance area with a raised stage and high ceiling. The room also has a self-contained bar/ beverage service area (staffed by the Elks when it is rented for events).  Adjacent to the Lodge Room is a meeting room which is a good size for a band tune-up and warm up area.

The Milwaukie Elks facility (which is located 6.3 miles south of the current OPS venue) operates its own full-service restaurant on weekends with steak, chicken, and sandwiches on the menu as well as appetizers and snacks.  There is a full bar in the dining room. The facility is wheelchair accessible, spacious, has abundant parking and is very well-maintained.

Some of the OPS group bowled in the Elk's bowling alley, while others enjoyed martial-arts demonstrations and an exhibition of rabbits running through an agility trial/obstacle-course!

Jack Kelley and Lily Devlin played their bag-pipes for the Elks and their visitors, and some OPS members recalled their family ties to the Milwaukie Elks, who have been in their at location since 1957.

The Milwaukie Lodge is 6.3 miles south of the current OPS venue.  The Relocation Committee is in discussion with the Milwaukie Elks regarding rental of the Lodge Room for OPS events. Additionally, the Relocation Committee has also visited the Milwaukie Masons Lodge, the Milwaukie Odd Fellows Hall, and the Milwaukie VFW and American Legion halls. All venues found within Portland city limits are priced prohibitively high.

Anyone with ideas, questions or comments for the Relocation Committee, please contact Laura devlin at devlinla@hotmail.com.

Feb 23, 2013

Elks Lodge Open House

by Matt Cory

The Elks Lodge in Milwaukie is having an Open House Event tomorrow for the general purpose of increasing their membership.  Additionally, and perhaps more to the point for OPS purposes, the Lodge is also a strong prospect as our new meeting venue!

With free food, fun, and entertainment planned for the whole family, come on down and take a look at what could turn out to be our new digs and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon at the Lodge (at 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie Oregon).

Feb 16, 2013

Piping/Drumming Workshop & OPS Meeting

by Matt Cory

Saturday, February 16th is the date of our annual Piping & Drumming Workshop event!  RenĂ© Cusson will be our piping instructor, and Rob McKendrick will be our drumming instructor.

Classes begin at 8:30 AM, and there's plenty of room for all who are interested.  Come down to the VFW Hall at 825 Southeast Mill Street in Portland, and join us for a day of fun and excellent instruction from some amazing teachers!

Later on that night (our evening's entertainment begins at 7:30 pm), John Moritz will be our local hero, RenĂ© and Rob will be our featured performers, and to round off the evening's fun, our featured band will be the very popular local Celtic group, New Shilling!

See you all there!

Jan 30, 2013

January OPS Meeting Recap


Gordon Conn of SFU Pipe Band was the featured performer at our January meeting, and as we have come to expect from SFU pipers, his piping was fantastic!  He played numerous jigs and marches, a couple Breton pieces that were lively and inventive (one had a phrase that changed each time he played it through), a Galician tune, a slow aire, and the bagpipe version of the very famous song, Thunderstruck.  Mind blowing that was!
Libby Patterson, a Portland Highland Dancer, was our Local Hero this month and she performed a few solo dances that were lovely.  One dance in particular that stood out for me was her solo “choreography” dance which is a kind of performance where Highland Dance competitors are permitted to combine steps from several different National and Highland dances into a personal sequence having meaning to the dancer. It was beautiful, skillful, and amazing to watch!


Portland Highland Dancers were our guest "group" for the evening, and the dancers performed sometimes individually, and sometimes in duos or as a group.  All the dancers were really amazing, and they performed a number of Highland and National dances, many of which were visually strong and stunning.  Stand outs for me were the Ghillie Chalum (Sword Dance), the Seann Triubhas (Shedding of the Trousers), and the Sailor’s Hornpipe.  I liked them all, of course, but perhaps because I'd never seen it before, or perhaps it was because the dancer was particularly commanding, but it was the Sailor's Hornpipe dance for me - a powerful, rousing, stomping feat of grace, skill, and endurance!
View the evening’s photos on our Picasa album, and watch the piping & dancing performances on our OPSINPDXVIDEOS YouTube channel! You won't want to miss these!