From Rob Forkner: Here are some shots of the new Preshaw 1/2 set in ebony, box, and silvered brass with bass bar attached (and poor bass bar capitol smashed to smithereens at delivery...derned brittle boxwood!!!). The set plays very well, particularly the chater, which is reeded up light & bright with lots of fat tone in the lower hand coupled with ultra-easy upper hand triplets up top. Squeaky clean with lots of depth to the tone (wooomph!) but a good amount of bright reedy edge too. Love it to say the least! Still sorting out the drones after transport from N.Ireland- have all but the bass going stellar.

I'd say that Marty's workmanship has gone up 110% since the set I had from 2003, which played well, but was, eh, comparatively rough- although lovely in its own right. The chanter he'd made for me previous was well in tune and bright, albeit a tad loud. Everything has been sorted out now, though (including hand-forged keywork!), this new chanter is absolutely terriffic. Marty's got it goin' on, that's for sure!
Bit of a cool thing :) I was hired yesterday [Feb 2nd, 2006] to play a retirement party at the LA Times for Robert Hilburn, their rock & pop writer for the past 40 years! A legend in his own right, he reported on Elton John's first performance in the US at LA's Troubadour and also U2's first concert in the US. It was a last minute affair, I only got the call once I had arrived at work.

U2 wanted to send a greeting so they hired me to play a tune and say congratulations from the lads. Someone there took photos so here they are. This is the 2nd time I've played for U2. The other time being for Bob Schriver's [Maria's brother's] wedding. All I have to do now is do a performance while the U2 lads are actually present or get onto a CD.... hmm... a U2 traditional album... now that'd be cool! LOL :)
I was just sent these photos by a friend who found them on her phone. This was last summer, the summer that was. A session with Mairéad Hurley, Bella Issakova and Steve Foreman.... good fun and happy memories. Sadly, I had to kill Steve. He is better now though.
A photo of piper Patrick Galvin that surfaced in a chat on the Chafing Nipple » Looks remarkably like the Willie Rousome portrait though. The pipes are Patrick's Egan set, very reminiscent of Tommy Reck's.

West Coast Tionól 2006, Seattle - Thanks to Fel Bautista, the missing face from all these, for sending the photos. It was a great weekend. Thanks to everyone in the Seattle Pipers Club for putting it all together. Hopefully see some of you at the Southern California Tionól in October [details yet to be announced]. The guest pipers at this event were Dennis Brookes, David Power and Eliot Grasso. All were in flying form and playing well too ;) Okay.... I'm off to bed. Mari Hoiland of the Seattle Pipers Club sent me the photos from the dancers on, thanks for that Mari.
Here's a photo sent to me by Gabriel McKeagney. This is Lawrence McManus playing his mighty Leo Rowsome set in Gabriel's Father's museum in Tempo, Co. Fermanagh.
Evertjan 't Hart sent me these two photos of The Bothy Band playing at the 3rd Leidse Folkfestival in Holland around 1979. Thanks for these Evertjan.
A big thank you to Jonathan Parker of San Diego for assembling information and articles about Dublin piper Dave Page and allowing me to post them. Here is a programme cover from a show called Daithí which took place on February 26th 2000 dedicated to the memory of piper David Page who lived in the area in his later years. I actually played the pipes for this show and it is a very fond memory and was a wonderful evening ::: article»
Simon Knight sent me these two photos taken at a Philadelphia Ceili Group concert of Ronan Browne and Peadar O Loughlin. Ronan and Peadar are in the U.S. for the 2006 St. Louis Tionól which took place last weekend April 1 & 2. Wish I could have been there!
Couple of piping related paintings here by William Holmes Sullivan [1870 - 1908].
From Peter Laban: Years ago a friend told me a story he heard from a travelling man he knew, a relation of the Dorans: how Johnny met up with some sailors who took him to New York as a stowaway. There he played with Michael Coleman. Fact or fiction?

The photograph below taken in the Miltown Malbay area and published in Dal gCais in 1972 raises a question though: as fiddlers of the 78 RPM era go, did Doran and Paddy Killoran play together? It seems likely Killoran was present at the occasion when the photograph was taken and they at least met.

Josie Hayes, Shanaway, Mrs Jimmy Burke, Leeds; Mrs. Killoran (wife of famous fiddler, Paddy Killoran and Josie Hayes' sister); Dan McMahon, Freagh (uncle of Tony McMahon of "Ag Deanamh Ceooil") and Johnnie Doran.
W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and and an unknown gent enjoying the music of "Corley the Piper" at Lady Gregory's beloved Coole Park, Gort, Co. Galway. c. 1900. He seems to be remembered by the names of both Martin Curley and Martin Corley.

From Rob Forkner: This set is in B natural by Joe Kennedy (now) of Armagh via Woodstock, Ontario. It is executed in ebony with boxwood mounts and brass keys and metalwork. Chanter has 5 keys and a stop key, stock is hollow with a slide to remove the bass regulator.

The set has a wonderfully mellow tone and overall operates under relatively light pressure. The chanter is reeded somewhat hard for a flat chanter, at about the same playing pressure as my current concert chanter by M. Preshaw (which is reeded at a light playing pressure). Drones and regulators are set at fanning angles out of the mainstock, which itself is tapered toward the shut-off switch. The drones seem to lock in with themselves and play quite reliably and at low pressure straight out of the case. Drone reeds are composite brass body and wood tongue. Regulators are lovely and play easily when the touches are depressed, but this is my first set of regulators so I haven't anything to compare them to. Workmanship is superb and the keywork is beautiful.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with the set. The wait was several years, but worth every minute once I strapped into them. This is also my first flat set, and I am thrilled with them. Thanks and mad props to Joe Kennedy!

The Great Northern Irish Uilleann Pipers Club Tionól 2006 had a special visitor.... the man himself St. Patrick. Here he is seen giving Jerry O'Sullivan a blessing on the pipes.
From Patrick McSweeney: Back in May, David Power played a concert at the Chateau Ramezay Museum in Old Montreal. It was quite a show. In addition to his piping, David is also a nifty fiddler. I'm enclosing a few photos of the event. Incidently, Paddy Keenan will be playing at the same venue in 2 weeks. I'll send you a few more photos after that show.

This is a Mark Donohue concert pitch half set in cocobolo, silver and immitation ivory. Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club member Doug Cross is the proud owner of the set. Congratulations Doug can't wait to take them for a spin!

From Patrick McSweeney: Paddy Keenan played a concert at the Chateau Ramezay Museum in Montreal on Monday evening 19th June. Despite the heat and humidity, his pipes sounded great. A little set-back during the day – someone broke into Paddy’s car and stole his toolbox and reedmaking equipment. Fortunately, the pipes were spared. Putting that behind him, Paddy went on to play a blinder. He invited some local musicians to join him on stage, including Belfast Andi McGowan (bodhran), Ralph Thompson (fiddle/nikkon), Alan Jones (whistle) and Johanne (harp). It was a great evening of music. After hosting Paddy Keenan and David Power, the chief organiser of the event, Alan Jones, is left with a major problem – WHAT NEXT?

These photos were taken by Ralph Thompson, a professional photographer. Prints of these photos are available for purchase from www.photoimagerie.com»

John S. Wayland and what I can only assume to be his family or more likely a dance troupe he was working with due to the close ages of the girls. He was born in 1874 in Clonkelly, near Cashel, Co. Tipperary. This 'family' photo taken in Cork in 1906. In 1898 he founded the worlds first pipers 'club', The Cork Pipers' Club. In 1912 He emmigrated to Geraldton, Western Australia. His pipes are thought to be in the library of University of W.A. This second photo having been taken in Perth. He is playing a Willie Rousome set in the 'family' photo and a Michael Egan in the second.
Update from Tommy Martin for photos 3, 4 & 5. He says "Heres a snap of John S Wayland as a young fella, (rear left) with his parents seated, Palisser Wayland ( what a name!!) and Martha Rebecca Smithwick-Manning, and beside him is his sister Elizabeth and brother Thomas. I've also attached a pic of JSW (3rd on the letf) with Irelands 1st ever pipe band which he helped to found in Cork. Also there's one of himself alone with all the gear on." - nice one Tommy!
  • Further mention of John S. Wayland appears here »
  • There is more on a very similar Rousome set recently refurbished here »
  • Visit the Cork Pipers Club history page for more »

  • From Patrick McSweeney: The 2006 Pipers' Gathering Weekend in Killington, Vt. The photos were taken by my friend, John Cheetham.
    1. Saturday concert with David Power
    2. Saturday concert with Benedict Koehler and Hillari Farrington
    3. Saturday evening session with BC Childress, Nick Whitmer, Daryl McWhirter
    4. Saturday evening session with Daryl McWhirter & me
    5. Saturday evening session with Bill Leeder and Richard Shuttleworth (the name of the guy to Richard's left escapes me but he was a very good flute player).
    6. Sunday morning - Benedict's intermediate class. That's not concentration you see in my eyes. I'm fighting back a hangover.
    7. And finally Sunday evening, the photographer himself, John Cheetham. It's tough, thirsty work trying to photograph pipers.

    From Patrick McSweeney: There was a Celtic festival in Quebec city last weekend, the 2nd and 3rd of September. The highlight of the weekend's celebrations was a concert given by Paddy Keenan who was supported by the group Agincourt. The fiddler with Agincourt, Ralph Thompson, is also a professional photographer. He sent me some photos (attached) of the weekend which might be of interest to you - particularly those of Paddy's pipes.
    These photos were taken by Ralph Thompson, a professional photographer. Prints of these photos are available for purchase from www.photoimagerie.com»
    Nice old photo of Patrick J. Touhey.
    From Jean-Luc Gastinel: Here is a shot of members of the Brittany Pipers Association, Gan Ainm. This photo was take in Carhaix ( Finistère - France ) on the 26 and 27 Mai 2006 for the annual workshop.
    For the reeds: Alain Froment, in the middle with his five regulators...bazooka ! ( It's the 6th consecutive time that Alain come for this workshop )
    For the pipes: Patrick Molard, the third first range from left
    For régulators: Marc Guilloux, the second from left , first range
    The 2006 Southern California Tionól was a great success once again this year. Our guests Tommy Keane, Marion McCarthy, Michael Hubbert, Michael O'Donovan, David Quinn and Kevin Crehan were joined by Martin Preshaw of his own accord.... a very nice addition. Clcik the photo on the left for reviews and pictures.
    From Fel Bautista: I was digging things up to bring to the tionol and I found this flyer. This is the proto-SF pipers club; before it came to be. I think I sent you a letter that said that the SF pipers club would form in august of 1977. this flyer predates that formation by a month or so. I went to this , way back when..See you at the tionol.

    From Davis Watson Nashville, TN: I had been dreaming of traveling to Ireland for quite some time, so when I finally found the opportunity to explore Ireland during the spring of 2004 with my sister, all I wanted to do was to go into a pub and see one of those magical pipers play. Due to the rarity of pipers in the Southern States, my main teacher had been Gay McKeon, via a piping video I had purchased. As we drove our way from Northern Ireland down to Dublin, days went by, and I still had not yet seen one of those elusive Irish pipers. I knew they existed; I watched my pipe teacher on the television everyday I practiced!

    When we got to Dublin, we found that no one seemed to know of pipes or where we could hear a pub session. By a stroke of God, we happened to find a traditional Irish concert at Na Piobairi Uilleann the evening we arrived, but no Irish pipers (okay, a London piper, but not an Irishmen…and mostly slow aires.) I knew that after formal concerts, Irish musicians like to go to the pubs and play till the wee hours. We met an older couple afterwards that invited us to Hughes Pub (19 Chancery St) for drinks. This is from my journal: "Walking inside was a slow motion dream as the vibrant sounds coruscated throughout the pub, pipes, fiddles, whistles, & guitars assaulting my ears. I smiled a gigantic, unbelieving smile as I approached the circle of musicians. Not only was there one piper, there were three. One of which just happened to be my teacher!"

    Thanks Davis for the photos and the story. The piper with the glasses is Emmett Gill. The other piper is Gay' son Conor. The fiddlers are Jesse Smith and Cíarán Ó Maonaigh.
    East Coast Tionól, East Durham, NY - Oct. 2006

    I was very lucky to have been asked to teach this year at the East Coast Tionól held in the town of East Durham, New York. This is the same location the famed "Irish Arts Week" takes place in the Catskills and is a beautiful, picturesque and normally tranquil location.

    The piping teachers this year were Tommy Keane, Marion McCarthy, Pat Hutchinson, Michael Cooney and myself. Reedmaking was performed - most fittingly - by the Benedict Koehler. Fiddle classes were taught by Patrick Ourceau and Kevin Crehan while flute was taught by Mike McHale. I think I've remembered everyone there? :)

    There were two hour workshops twice a day, once before lunch the other after which allowed for lot's of playing and practice and socializing. I got particular pleasure from meeting all the East Coast pipers and musicians and putting faces to names. I have to say the standard of the pipers/musicians in attendance was very high, in no small part due to the teaching skill of Mr. Benedict Koehler I would say. It was also nice to see some familiar faces who had made it out to the So Cal Tionól in the past and strengthen bonds there.

    This event is very well organized and seems to run itself but we all know that just does not happen. Classes took place in rooms on the grounds of the Ferncliff resort. Just about everyone in attendance also stayed there, ate there and played music there so it was a very pleasant one stop location. The air was crisp and fresh - something I miss very much living in Los Angeles. The coffee also deserves a hearty mention. It kept more than a few of us alive and kicking!

    The Saturday night concert kicked off with fluther Brad Hurley, piper Pat Hutchinson and fidgeler Naka Ishii. Tunes and songs abounded with some of Pat's own compositions thrown in for good measure. "Shaving Baby With a Spoon" being one I enjoyed particularly as well as it's hop jig melody! Fluteman Mike McHale, pipeman Michael Cooney and fiddleman Patrick Ourceau followed with some tight and tasty playing. Patrick's skill at blending with other musician's was so good that I thought his microphone wasn't on at times... I want to hear this man playing solo! Marion McCarthy then stepped up along with Benedict Koehler for some lovely Clare tunes. Marion plays a lovely old Leo Rowsome set her father Tommy bought in London years ago. Then there was a bit of a break followed by a couple of California pups up for the day! Kevin Crehan on fiddle and myself on pipes. We played a selection of tunes from both Junior Crehan's, Seán Ryan's, Tommy Reck's and Séamus Ennis' playing. We managed to cross the finish line together and not get pelted with rotten veg so maybe it wasn't so bad. Tommy Keane then took the stage. The only solo piper of the night. His pipes are Tommy McCarthy's own set and they sounded lovely. Tommy played some very nice tunes. There is lot's of wonderful subtlety in his playing reminiscent mostly to me of both Willie Clancy and Tommy Reck. His rendition of "The Bright Lady", an air he got from the playing of Willie Clancy, brought the room to a standstill and managed to raise even the most bristled of hairs.

    Thanks to Susanne Ward and everyone involved in putting the tionól together. It was great fun.

    Thanks to Neill Begley of Inis Fada, NY for the photos and the lift from the airport to East Durham.

    More tionól pictures and caint are available here and here.
    From Joey Abarta: Photos of the first meeting of the Tokyo Uilleann Pipers Club. Very exciting news guys. Keep up the good work!

    From John O'Gara:I want to share a few photos from a concert we hosted for Paddy Keenan and John Walsh on Friday October 13th in lovely Anchorville, Michigan (talk about remote locations!). Anyway we had a marvelous evening. Paddy's pipes were really singing away despite the unseasonably cold temps and John Walsh's guitar playing really complimented the pipes. We had about 50 for the concert. Paddy and John stayed Friday night at Anne Purcell's house and then Paddy conducted a workshop Saturday morning at Anne's which was attended by 5 pipers from the area. We really enjoyed the lessons, tips and stories. Thanks go to Anne for opening up her house to another invasion of pipers! I think she enjoys having pipe music in the house again since Al's passing. Paddy apologized for being a little rusty in the workshop area, but the stories and piping tips were great- three hours of bliss!
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