Boston Uilleann Piper's Club: First Report
On January 9th the Boston Uilleann Piper's Club held its first grand meeting hosted by Molly Josephine Hester. It was a fantastic success with loads of music and lots of talk and fun. Ten pipers came to the meeting, with the devoted Jonathan Hohl Kennedy driving two hours from Amherst to attend. He wasn't the farthest traveling guest, though, as Siobhan Hogan, a Co. Clare native and third year BA student at UL, was visiting for the semester here in Boston. The meeting started off with introductions of people and sets, and then we all took a turn at playing a tune. Steve Dogherty showed up with some historic Patsy Brown chanters, reputed to be adorned with ivory from the Boston Zoo's elephant-tusk clippings. Pipers then took turns playing together, getting a cup of tea, or chatting over the chanters in the room. Jonathan's recently-acquired Koehler & Quinn C set was an object of attention and a few lucky pipers took the opportunity to play a tune in the small kitchen next to the room.

Attendees were generous and there was always a tune and a biscuit to be had. Patrick Hutchinson gave a few tips to some, and Steve and other shared stories about piping on the east coast. The meeting and tunes were still flying strong after 2 ½ hours; we reluctantly packed up due to the fact that it was exams period at Molly's university, and the pipes were still piping as the evening got later and later. As the pipers left the mood was friendly and excited. The pipers of Boston had gathered and met each other, and not one person didn't like what they had seen. Our next meeting will be in mid-February and we're all looking forward to it, having come out of the starting gate at a gallop! Keep posted or join the group online at this link: http://groups-beta.google.com/group/boston-uilleann-pipers

Here are some photos from the Boston Pipers' Club meeting of 9 January 2007. From Jonathan Hohl Kennedy and Molly Josephine Hester.

Left to right back row: Jonathan Hohl Kennedy, Alex Bush, Patrick Hutchinson, Colin Everett, Steve Dogherty (holding a couple of Patsy Brown chanters), and Carl.
Front row: John McCarthy, Molly Hester , Frank Gibbons, Siobhán Hogan, and Andrew.

Here are some photographs taken by Paul Reid at the April 2006 Chris Langan Weekend held in Toronto. They are of a magnificent example of what is believed to be the work of the Taylor Brothers and are owned by Mr. George Balderose a Great Highland Bagpipes player from Pittsburgh. Here you can see Mick O'Brien giving them the eye.

2007 West Coast Tionól - San Francisco
Mickey Dunne was the guest this year and a nicer guy you wouldn't wish to meet. He has us in stitches most of the time and regaled us with stories of his family and its illustrious musical history. His Cillian O'Briein concert pitched pipes were working great and his musicality complemented them very nicely. Peter Heelan, Conall O'Raghallaigh and Tim Britton also taught piping classes. John Pederson and Ted Anderson manned the reedmaking and maintenece tables.

All of the weekends events took place in the East Bay area, in the cities of Berkeley and Oakland. The whole thing kicked off with a party at Peter Heelan's house in Oakland. Well... actually, for a few of us it started off in Berkeley with Etheopian food.... and very good it was! THe party went into the night and I hear tuens went on until the dawn.... God help us!

Great fun weekend. Nice, relaxing atmosphere and everyone was in great form and obiously out to enjoy themselves. I was looking forward to this weekend for a long time and the weekend away was a welcome one. Thanks to Larry Dunn for making the trek with me and insisting on driving! Thanks to all the organizers Justine, Bob, Victor and all those that I've forgotten!
  1. Mickey
  2. Nicola
  3. Conall O'Raghallaigh and myself playing in B.... yum!
  4. Rod Margassun, Conall and myself in B again.
  5. Jason
  6. John Pederson
  7. Meredith March
  8. Mike de Smidt
  9. Me, Rod & John Manning
  10. Rod
  11. Mickey in the session at the Plough & The Stars

2007 An Rinn Tionól - Ring, Waterford
From Jimmy O'Brien-Moran: Nan Tom Taimín is a de Búrca. The tionol starts as usual on a Friday night with an official opening and otherwise unofficial fun. Saturday morning is pipes workshop and reedmaking workshop. Alain Froment and David Power were working on the reeds. There was a lunch time piping concert and a dance workshop with Máirtín MacDonncha from Rath Carn in Co. Meath. Mairtin's father was the singer Cóilín MacDonncha (he was the singer on the Seamus Ennis St Patrick's Day broadcast with Paddy Keenan, Paddy Glackin and James Kelly if you ever got a copy of that) and Mairtin sings as well - as does his son Eamonn. There was a singing workshop in the afternoon with Ciaran Galvin also. Then the concert began at eight. Every musician did two sets and the singers sang one song. the Festivities lasted til late in the morning and we surfaced late on sunday undaunted by feeble health!

The tionol is organised by MacDara MacDonncha, Son of Sean Ac Dhonncha the singer. MacDara lives in An Rinn and has organised the tionol there for at least 12 years. He usually tries to include several singers from other Gaeltacht areas. This years singers included Nan Tom Taimín and Jimmy Cannavan from Conomara and Eoiní Maidhcí Ó Súilleabháin (married to Rachel Ó Riada) from Cúil Aodha, and Johnny Connolly (melodeon) and Meataí Joe Shéamuis Ó Fatharta (pipes and flute) from Conamara and local singer Ciarán Galvin (ex Danú) from An Rinn as well as other local singers and musicians.

  1. Tom Kearney, JOBM and John Touhy in Mooney's Pub, with Alain Froment in the background.
  2. Alain Froment playing his 5 regulator set.
  3. Jimmy playing Tommy Kearney's pipes.
  4. MacDara ( giving approval for the tune Jimmy was teaching :o)
  5. John Touhy Junior from Kilkenny. His father organises the Tionol Tommy Kearney in Kilkenny every year.
  6. Mick O'Brien, David Power and Jimmy with two students playing at the lunchtime concert.
  7. Mystery piper ;)

2007 Nashville Mardi Gras Tionól
From Daivs Watson: On Mardi Gras, we had a dinner party at my apartment in Nashville. Normally we eat and then jam out to some tunes with an eclectic group of musicians, myself usually being the lone Irish one. But Tuesday, I decided to do a proper Irish session and invited another piper, Lisa Allen - an Uilleann piper from Atlanta, and a couple of members of The Rogues (a Nashville Celtic band). In the pictures you'll see Anna and Linda (new in town from Scotland) on fiddles, Bill (from New York) on fiddle, and Francis on bouzouki. Lisa played a beautiful version of the slow air "The Green Fields of Canada," and a number of Paddy Keenan tunes, while Linda, Francis, and Bill wowed us with some nice traditional Irish sets. My word, even Rocky Top (via Ireland) was attempted to appease the crowd. And there was late night tromboning! A great night, and have faith to other pipers, here in the South, the women are beautiful, and play strange things like the Uilleann pipes!
The 2007 Southern California Spring Tionól with guest David Power was a great success by all accounts ::: more»

Here are a few photos of an old set for sale on Ebay currently, todays date being April 16th 2007. Concensus is that it's possibly a Patsy Brown set. The lot also includes what may be a Coyne chanter. Here's the link to the auction while it lasts: more»

I just stumbled across a print of a piper I hadn't seen before. It is said to be by an L. Clennell. It is called "The Blind Piper". The printer's name is H.C. Shenton and it was printed in 1829. Further details: Forget Me Not, a Christmas and New Year's present for 1829, ed. by Frederic Shoberl. (v.7.) London, R. Ackermann. [Printed by Thomas Davison, Whitefriars.] x, 422p., 14 pl. [and presentation pl.], 5½ x 3½. [Gilt edges; original green paper-covered boards; half slipcase.]

The site I found it on is located here
Peter Laban sent me this today. It's of a session that took place only last night (July 31st) in Friel's in Milltown Malbay. A nice low B session with Pádraig MacMathúna, Liam O'Flynn, Tony Linnane and Henry Benagh. Peter said "and myself with the big B whistle and the even chunkier new 17-35 2.8 Nikon window."

Lovely stuff Peter, if there's any more of this kind of carry on please report accordingly :) Thanks again!

From Boyd Peters: "Gordon Galloway lives 30 miles from me, and he has been developing his regs for some time now. He's just sent me some nice pix. Definitely O'Briain or Taylor influenced. You can just see his workshop in the background in one of the pics (the one with the pipes on the ground)."

From Peter Laban: "We did a lovely concert at the Masters of Tradition Festival in Bantry House, Bantry, Co Cork in August. Lovely music centred festival with great music. Martin Hayes is the artistic director and puts a lovely program together each year. Concerts are set up to make unusual combinations, challenging musicians to get new things going.

The concerts will go out on Lyric FM during the winter. Brian MacNamara did a night as well and scores of others. Kitty stayed on to do a concert with Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill. Martin Hayes started the introduction of our concert 'Kitty Hayes is....not my mother'.

We put the band together again for the occasion: Eoin O Neill, bouzouki, Mick Kinsella harmonica and English concertina (Mick was to do another gig there with Rick Epping but Epping was opening for the Rolling Stones with Frankie Gavin in Slane, imagine that).
Postcard of unknown piper, published NPO Belfast, postmark 1910. Sent by Peter Laban. Another version can also be seen here »
2007 East Coast Tionol Report by Molly Josephine Hester

The fall air was misty and rainy this year when the pipers of the east coast (and beyond!) pulled into Gavin's Golden Hill Resort in East Durham, New York. Friday night the pipers took refuge from the wet in the basement pub at Gavin's - a wonderful pub with atmospheric low ceilings and a friendly staff. Music and talk filled each corner as attendees greeted each other with hugs and drink offerings and met some of the many new faces that came to this year's tionol - one of the best attended yet. Attendants strutted their stuff at the "Chair" at 8pm before sessions broke out. A number of former tionol instructors and fine pipers came to the weekend just for the craic, including Michael Cooney, Patrick Hutchinson, and Martin McCormack; it was a testament to the high expectations of the weekend and no one was disappointed!

Classes started on Saturday morning with six pipers teaching: Americans Jerry O'Sullivan, Bill Ochs, and Benedict Koehler; Canadian Debbie Quigley; and our guest pipers from Ireland Louise Mulcahy and Kevin Rowsome. The wonderful Willie Kelly taught our fiddling registrants, and formidable pipes-maker Seth Gallagher held reed-making classes. In the afternoon musicians grabbed a cup of coffee and made their way to the pub, chatting and humming newly learned tunes. Emmett Gill's fabulous new recording played out over the pub as musicians gathered to watch Paul Reid's film on present day luminaries in the piping world. The film featured Gay McKeon, Mick O'Brien, and Kevin Rowsome speaking about music and their experiences piping in Dublin.

After dinner the concert began featuring the pipes and fiddle instructors. Bill Ochs started the evening with a rare and wonderful pipes performance (his second in ten years, he told us!). Each instructor performed exquisitely; both Louise and Kevin played stunning solo sets, and lucky for the listeners, Kevin called up Benedict for a duet of unrivaled musicality. After the concert more great spontaneous music and talk followed, as expected.

The attendees were awake (mostly!) for breakfast the next morning as the weather turned clear and cold. Kevin Rowsome delivered a fascinating lecture on the Rowsome family and their history with the pipes, complete with historic sound clips of RTÉ radio segments documenting the emerging popularity of pipes. An afternoon class was offered before the attendees gathered around the pub to say their last goodbyes, exchange email addresses and promising each other to return next year for another fantastic weekend of music.

Huge thanks are due for the hard work and endless effort that was put into making the 2007 Northeast Tionol happen: Susanne Ward, Frank Gibbons, Benedict Koehler, Kara Doyle, and Skip Cleavinger. The weekend was supported generously in part by Na Píobairí Uilleann and Cultúr Éireann, for which we thank them. Agus a cheoltóirí -feicfidh muid an bhlian seo chugainn sibh, le cunamh Dé!

Photos of the 2007 East Coast Tionól
The Southern California Tionól took place over the weekend of November 2, 3 & 4, 2007. It was a wonderful success ::: more »
The North East Pipers' Club Tionól took place over the weekend of October 26 - 28, 2007. Thanks to Neil Begley (Píobaire Inis Fada) for these great photos ::: more »

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