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, 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!