Jan 21, 2017

Piping & Drumming Workshop

The OPS annual Piping & Drumming Workshop will be held on Saturday February 18, 2017. 
Our instructors are bagpiper Jamie Troy and drummer Blair Brown. Join us for a day of fun and excellent instruction from some amazing teachers!

There will be no competition that day. Help us spread the word! Please share this information with pipers and drummers you know. Email or phone questions to: colinmackenzie1@comcast.net, 503-636-2755

Jamie Troy
Get the workshop registration form here!
Get the lunch order form here!

Jamie began both piping and drumming at age 6, studying piping with his father, James W. Troy, and drumming with his uncle, Colin Magee. At age 11, he joined his first band, the renowned City of Victoria Pipe Band. His band playing background also includes the Peel Regional Police and most recently, the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, Toronto.

In addition to his extensive band experience, James has won numerous prizes throughout Canada and the United States as a soloist with both instruments. In 2008, he won all three of the Professional Piping events at the BCPA Annual Gathering, including the MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn for Piobaireachd.

In recent years James has become well known for the quality of his seminars for both pipers and drummers. He is a valued resource for pipe band players, presenting seminars on ensemble concepts and teaching at major summer programs in the United States and Canada. He judges piping, drumming and pipe band events frequently, and is a member of the British Columbia Pipers’ Association adjudicators’ panel. In addition, he has a number of private students in Victoria, British Columbia,where he resides.

Blair began drumming in 1992 under the instruction of Doug Stronach. He joined the Milton Optimist Juvenile Pipe Band, founded and led by his mother Gail. The band went on to win two World Championships: Juvenile in 1994 and Grade III in 1997. In 2000, he joined the 78th Fraser Highlanders under the leadership of Michael Hunter. During that time, he also returned to the Milton Optimist Pipe Band (renamed MacDonald Caledonia) as lead drummer.  In the autumn of 2001, he realized a boyhood dream and joined the Shotts and Dykehead drum corps led by his drumming idol, Jim Kilpatrick MBE. Blair enjoyed many successes with Shotts. Highlights include winning the World Drum Corps Championships in 2002, 2003, and 2005, as well as the overall band title in 2003 and 2005. Blair returned to Shotts in the autumn of 2012 when his brother-in-law, Ryan Canning, was appointed Pipe Major. Before returning to Shotts, Blair spent two seasons playing under his brother, Graham, with the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, and three seasons learning under J. Reid Maxwell with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver, BC.

Blair is one of the top solo drummers in the world today and is a consistent prize winner at the World Solo Drumming Championships.

Blair is a sought after educator. He regularly conducts workshops and teaches at piping and drumming schools worldwide. He is a certified judge with the Pipers' and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. 

Jan 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

So far the 30th season of Oregon Pipers Society has been great fun. There's more Scottish entertainment scheduled for the season. Save the dates!!

OPS Presents!
  • January 21, 2017 - Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums, Eliot Grasso, Laurence Overmire, and Patrick Downing.
  • February 18, 2017 - Portland Metro Pipe Band, Jamie Troy, and Duncan Millar. Annual Piping and Drumming Workshop.
  • March  25, 2017 - Columbia Regional Pipe Band, and John Lee.
  • April 22, 2017 - Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band, and Kevin McLean.

Join us on January 21, 2017

Come to OPS on January 21st - grab a bite to eat and enjoy a good brew too! The show starts at 7:30 at The OddFellows Hall, 10282 SE Main St. Milwaukie OR, 97222.

Laurence Overmire
at Burns House, Dumfries, Scotland
Our local hero is Laurence Overmire. Larry is a poet, genealogist and author of 10 books. Renowned Scottish historian Ted Cowan calls him a "true sennachie." The sennachies or bards of ancient Celtic tradition were high status members of the clan, voices of conscience, who knew the legends, the history and the ancestral lineages. They were the intellectual leaders who united the people in story and song. Laurence is a modern-day inheritor of that ancient tradition.

Overmire's most recent book of poetry The Ghost of Rabbie Burns: An American Poet's Journey Through Scotland recounts his quest to find his ancestral roots and heritage, which according to his great grandmother Burns' family tradition includes a descent from the uncle of the iconic poet Robert Burns. As an historical snapshot in time, this journal of his experiences is part travelogue, part poetry, part history and genealogy and provides a fascinating look at the mythology and history of Scotland, its culture, its people and their aspirations in 2014 in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence. The Duke of Argyll calls it, "a wonderful book of poetry and a great asset if you are making a trip to Scotland."

Displaying Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums-1.jpg

Also joining us is the Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums & Eloit Grasso. Formed shortly after World War I, the Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums is one of the oldest continually existing bagpipe bands in North America. Based in Portland, Oregon, the band is comprised of approximately twenty pipers and drummers from Oregon and Southern Washington states.

The Clan Macleay Pipes and Drums is best known as a performance band. As such it is an annual highlight of many local events including the Grand Floral Parade during Portland’s Rose Festival, as well as at a number of parades and other events in the Northwest.

In addition to its music, part of its crowd appeal has been the band’s traditional look. The band adheres to many of the traditions common to the regimental bands of Scotland. This includes “military” (full dress and summer), as well as “civilian”.

In addition, and like certain Highland regiments (e.g., The Royal Scots or Scots Guards), it is one of the few bands that still wears two different tartans - Royal Stewart by the pipers and Hunting Stewart by the drummers.

Besides the Clan Macleay Pipe Band’s history and long-standing reputation, the band is known for its continued fostering of Scottish tradition in piping and drumming, through its own instruction program, through schools and other public service performances, and through its support of other pipe bands.

Internationally-acclaimed performer-scholar, Eliot Grasso (PhD), teaches, performs, and records Irish traditional music on the uilleann pipes. He is a researcher and teacher in the fields of musicology and ethnomusicology.

Eliot has been performing throughout North America and Europe for two decades. Critics have described his playing as “remarkably compact and precise, tastefully embellished with a restrained creativity and inventiveness,” in that it demonstrates a “superb technical ability” through “a startling depth, consistency, and clarity of tone.” Contemporaries claim that Eliot’s “intuitive sense of melodic and technical variation make him one of the most creative and dynamic musicians in the contemporary world of Irish traditional music,” and “one of the finest uilleann pipers in the history of Irish music in America.”

Our Featured Performer is Patrick Downing. A top-ranked soloist in the BC Pipers, Patrick has been piping since age 10 and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best pipers, including Jack Lee and Andrew Wright. Some highlights include playing with both the SFU and Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Bands and competing overseas for many years. In addition to competition, Patrick teaches individuals and bands, including the Bellingham Firefighters, since 2009. Patrick is excited to be invited back to OPS and outside of piping, he enjoys traveling and works in sales for a national payroll company.