Dec 2, 2015

December OPS

Please join us for our next gathering on December 19! 

Featured Performer is Alastair Lee. Alastair started with the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band. Joining Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in 2008, he was privileged to win the Grade 1 World Pipe and Championship in his first two tries (2008 & 2009). In concert, Alastair can be seen playing both pipes and keyboards.

As well, solo pipe competition has been a focus for Alastair. In Scotland he is now in the Former Winners MSR at Oban as well as the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at Oban and Inverness. Alastair also plays for highland dancing on a regular basis.

In his private life Alastair graduated with honours in 2013 from the Art Institute of Vancouver in professional sound engineering. He currently works full-time at the well-known Scottish importing firm Tartantown Ltd. as a bagpipe technician, shipper and sales associate.

We are thrilled to have Alastair perform for us!

Guest Band is the Eugene Highlanders Pipe Band. Begun in 1953, founding members included Hector Smith, Pipe Major from Medicine Hat, Canada, Andrew Henderson, piper from Rothsay, near Glasgow, Scotland,  Hollis (Holly) Hill and Pipe Sergeant Bill Alexander Gloria Allen, Canadian trained dancer and instructor, joined band 1955. Piper Phil White became band manager. 

They began as the Eugene Highlanders Police Bagpipe Band (sponsored by the Eugene Police Department) and in 1957 were appointed the official Governor's Foot Guard (Governor's Guard) by Governor Robert B. Holmes. As such they played to welcome Senator John Kennedy to Eugene in 1958 and at other ceremonial occasions on behalf of several Oregon governors.

The Highlanders took many trophies for parades and celebrations throughout the state, from Astoria to Tillamook, Salem, Albany, Sheridan, Powers, Bandon, Florence and Walport, Pendleton and Burns, even as far south as Happy Camp and Dunsmuir in California.

The Highlanders wear Mackenzie kilts in honor of Oregon's Mackenzie river.

Hector Smith remained pipe major for well over fifty years until his death in January '08, making him the longest running pipe major in North America and perhaps the world. His wife, Mary Smith, teacher and Dance Sergeant, died in January '09.

The Local Hero is Eric Albert. Eric had received from his mother, "Lament for the Children", recorded by James McColl in 1958 on an LP, and it inspired 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!

Bring your friends and introduce them to the Oregon Pipers Society! Piping and drumming competition begins at 4:30 pm. Entertainment begins at 7:30 pm. Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under are Free.