October Gathering Report – 10.16.2016

The Bloomington Pipers’ Society kicked off its third season on October 16 with a robust lineup of artists. On a bright sunny Homecoming weekend in Bloomington, Indiana, the Society presented a program featuring bagpipes, Scottish snare drum, and highland dance, presenting to one of its largest audiences to date. In total, six artists performed for an audience of 31 at its beak, including journalists from the Indiana Daily Student.

Ian Arthur, October Local Hero

The program was started by Angus Martin on his Nate Banton Scottish smallpipes. Warming up with a set of marches, Angus moved on to play a series of short and long jigs, followed by a strathspey and two reels. Taking a brief break to explain the music and his instrument, he finished off the introductory performance with a waltz and a jig.

The evening’s Local Hero was piper Ian Arthur. The audience was full of folks who had never heard any type of bagpipe in person before, and Ian took the opportunity to present the instrument and explain a bit about the mechanics and how it works. He proceeded to play two march sets, and a set of dance tunes.

Piper Chris Eller followed, with a medley of tunes comprised of two 4/4 marches, a slow air, and two 2/4 marches.

Ian Arthur returned to the stage to accompany Clancy Clements for a rousing selection of Irish tunes in a duet with Clancy on the Gaita Galega and Ian on the Great Highland Bagpipe. Clancy spoke about the history and construction of the Gaita.

Aimee Dobbs dancing a fiery Irish Jig

Following Clancy was highland dancer Aimee Dobbs, dancing an Irish Jig, with piper Angus Martin accompanying. Before her dance, Aimee described the dance, stressing that it is a Scottish Highland Dance style simply named the Irish Jig. She told the story of the dance – an Irish washerwoman, after a long day of work, having her husband come home late from the pub, having spent all of her hard-earned money.

Before the break for intermission, the pipers of the Society were invited to come up and play as a group in a rendition of Amazing Grace.

Jon Carter on the Scottish Snare Drum

After intermission, drummer Jon Carter was invited to the stage as our Featured Performer for the evening. He was accompanied by Angus. Jon helped explain to the audience about the differences between the Scottish snare drum and the American, both it construction and in technique. He performed a series of march tunes, followed by the Fountain Trust Pipe Band’s 2016 competition March, Strathspey, and Reel set. To cap it all off, Jon and Angus performed the Fountain Trust’s 2016 competition medley at a brisk pace.

The evening was ended with Angus Martin performing on the Great Highland Bagpipes our closing piobaireachd. This month’s piobaireachd was The Battle of Waternish.

Our next gathering is on November 20, 2016 from 4PM to 6PM.

October 2016 Performers, Left to Right: Angus Martin, Ian Arthur, Clancy Clements, Jon Carter, Aimee Dobbs, Chris Eller

Angus Martin
President, Bloomington Pipers’ Society

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