Jan 1, 2017

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."

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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.