Oct 29, 2017

October OPS Gathering a Success!

We are so pleased to announce that our season's inaugural event, held on a rainy night last Saturday at the historic Oddfellows Hall in Milwaukie, was a huge success! Below is a recap of the evening. Don't forget to visit our facebook page for more photos and make your plans now to attend our next gathering on November 18th!

The Competition

The first event of the day - our piping and drumming competition - went very well and competitors gained valuable experience and comments from adjudicator Andrew Lee. As Andrew mentioned in his remarks later in the evening, October is typically off-season downtime for competing pipers and drummers, but the sooner they get the pipes and drums going, tunes memorized, and up in front of a judge to play, the better the season will go! OPS wishes all competitors the best of luck with the rest of their competition seasons. Below are the results from last Saturday, and see our competition page for details on how to sign up for the next competition:

The Evening Program

With the competition over, attendees were able to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy the wonderful food and drink offered by OPS and it's wonderful volunteers. Head OPS chef Michael Johnston and his team of OPS volunteers served delicious homemade soup, salad, and pizza, while OPS board members and volunteers served soft drinks, beer, wine, and Scotch at the bar.

Around 7 pm our guest band, Biddy on the Bench, delighted the audience with some impromptu folk songs and tunes. We were so pleased to welcome Biddy on the Bench and they really added a unique musical touch to our evening! At 7:30, following opening remarks from our Master of Ceremonies Eila Chisholm, our Local Hero Nate Wahlgren delighted the audience with tunes (including a lovely piobaireach) on a fantastic bagpipe.
Following Nate's performance, the gathering took a moment to remember the late Andrew Bonar, champion piper (and former OPS judge and recitalist) who passed away recently after a three year battle with cancer. OPS is honored to have experienced Andrew's passion for the Scottish arts, his wonderful humor, and his amazing music.

Next up we welcomed Biddy on the Bench back to the stage for a rousing set of songs and tunes, including songs sung in purely Scots Gaelic. We really appreciated Biddy on the Bench's willingness to share their music with us. Check out their website for more info on the band and to see where they are playing next!
The highlight of the evening was an excellent recital by the one and only Andrew Lee. Delivered on a beautiful set of Lee and Sons bagpipes, Andrew delighted the audience with fantastic light music, a unique Piobaireachd called "War and Peace", and many stories of his friend and mentor Andrew Bonar.

Featured piper Andrew Lee
Our next gathering will be November 18th at the Oddfellows Hall. See you then! In the meantime, visit our membership page to support OPS as an individual family, or consider sponsoring our organization so we can bring more Scottish arts to the community.

Oct 10, 2017

Come to OPS on October 21st!

Welcome to a new season of OPS! 

We've got a great season planned out beginning with outstanding piping by Andrew Lee and rousing Irish folk music from Biddy on the Bench! Please join us October 21st as we proudly begin a new season of OPS at the historic Oddfellows Hall in Milwaukie, OR. 

The program begins at 7:30 pm and runs well into the evening. Solo piping and drumming begins in the afternoon - see our competition page for more details! Food and drink will be available, including delicious soups, pizzas, salad, bread, and snacks. Drinks will be served as well with beer, wine, soft drinks, and scotch available!

Our featured performer is Andrew Lee

Andrew Lee has been piping for most of his life, having started at the age of 5. He was born into a family of pipers with his Father and Uncle being the founders of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.

Andrew has won many prizes throughout North America and Scotland including the US Silver Medal, US Gold Medal twice and BC Pipers Cairn for Open Piobaireachd. He is a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band with whom he has won two World Pipe Band Championships. Prior to joining SFU he was a member of the Robert Malcolm Memorial juvenile pipe band where he won three Juvenile World Pipe Band Championships.

Outside of playing bagpipes, he along with his father Jack are the owners of Lee & Sons Bagpipes in Surrey, BC. Lee & Sons produce hand-made bagpipes, pipe bags and chanter reeds.

Andrew has been involved with OPS for quite a while and we are very pleased to have him back as our featured piping judge and recitalist!

Our band for the evening will be Biddy on the Bench!

From their website:
The versatile combination of banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle and four part vocal harmony lends itself equally to high-energy Irish rebel songs and shanties, lively session tunes, and mournful gaelic ballads. Grounded primarily in the folk/traditional style of Irish music pioneered by such bands as "The Dubliners", "Planxty", and "The Bothy Band", Portland's own "Biddy on the Bench" breathes life and authenticity into old standbys of the genre and lesser-known tunes alike.  
In the winter months of 2013, Biddy on the Bench was formed. The members include Kevin Grgurich, Nick Frey, Noah Cotter, Casey Dyer, and Tristan Cormack. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Kevin, Nick, and Tristan have been playing music together for close to a decade. Noah and Casey are Oregon natives and bring with them years of experience with Irish music. Together, Biddy on the Bench approaches each song, each melody, with a passion for the music and sharing it with others.
Check out their media page for a sample! 

(Note: you will quickly discern that Biddy on the Bench is not a pipe band! Don't worry - We'll feature plenty of those in our season, but will also be incorporating more folk music into the program to encourage a broader appreciation of other aspects of Celtic music!)

Bring your friends and introduce them to the Oregon Pipers Society! Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Kids 12 and under are Free.