Dec 1, 2014

December OPS Performers

Celebrate the holiday season with us for the last OPS of 2014, on Saturday December 20th!

Our featured performer and judge for the evening is Micah Babinski. Micah began his piping career at age 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.

In 2006 Micah was invited to compete in the Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational competition in Albany, NY where he placed third overall. Two months later, Micah won the overall aggregate award at the George Sherriff invitation in Ontario. 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 Dowco Triumph Street.

Micah moved to Portland in 2011 where he teaches bagpipe lessons and works on the Geographic Information Systems team with 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’s band, Dram and Go, is an up-and-coming group in the regional Celtic music scene, performing frequently at pubs and festivals in the area.

We are pleased to have the musical group Dram and Go perform for us. Founded earlier this year, Dram & Go features a fresh take on traditional Celtic music. With piper Micah Babinski (lowland pipes, smallpipes, mandolin), Rachel Bowen (fiddle), Avery LeVine (guitar, bouzouki, vocals, Irish flute, whistles) and Mike Treadwell (bodhrán),

Dram & Go has been busy exploring the intersection of Scottish piping, old-time fiddle, Irish ceili, bluegrass, and rock. The band was very pleased for the opportunity to perform at the Portland Highland Games, and is looking forward to performing at more festivals and pubs in the future. Composed of veteran musicians and with a forward-facing repertoire, Dram & Go is poised to take Northwest audiences on a musical journey that they won’t soon forget.

Visit to learn more.

Our local hero is Eric Albert of Eugene, OR. Although steeped in Scottish culture in his youth, Eric’s musical background began with classical violin and later, set drums. Lament for the Children, played by James McColl on an LP he received from his mother would inspire him to take up the pipes.

Despite a late start, beginning at 27 years old, he quickly took to the pipes and received excellent tuition from Don Lindsay, Iain Donaldson, Jake Watson, James MacGillivray and Willie McCallum. While attending the graduate business program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he studied with Jimmy McIntosh and Alasdair Gillies. Lately, Eric has been fortunate to work occasionally with the inspiration of his youth, James McColl in Florence, OR.

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. After that he became the P/M of his local New York Grade 3 pipe band, Feadan Or. Eric Plays a set of 1921 Lawries, with a Mc2c Gold Blackwood chanter. The drone reeds are custom Mark Lee rocket reeds.

Since retiring from a career as CEO of a New York manufactuing firm, Eric operates a business and finance consultancy and also teaches bagpiping at the Shedd Institute in Eugene, OR. Eric is married to Krysta and has three daughters Heather, Brenna and Hannah and a 3 year old son, Liam who already expresses a keen interest in pipes!

Piping competition begins at 4:30pm and entertainment begins at 7:30pm.  There will be food and beverage available for purchase throughout the evening.  December soups will be Roast Duck Gumbo and Tomato Vegetable. Yum!