Saturday, January 6, 2018

January Gathering - January 7th, 2018

Happy New Year!

This month we will be continuing our BPS 2018 Set Tunes walkthrough in the first hour. We'll recap the December 2017 tunes quickly, then dive into January's tunes - the short jig Rocking the Baby, and the 4/4 march Dawning of the Day.

In the second hour we will kick off the new year with free play sessions for local and regional bagpipers. Do you have a tune you'd like others to take a listen to, a set of bagpipes you think other pipers would be interested in, or some difficulty with some reeds? Bring your pipes out and join us!

We're continuing our membership drive! Sign up sheets for BPS membership will be available, and we are currently finalizing layout and design for the new BPS tune books. Check, cash, and PayPal is accepted. Individual memberships are $25 per year, and Family memberships are $40 per year. Please see our Membership page for more details.

Come out and celebrate the start of the Pipers' Society's 3rd year!
  • St. Thomas Lutheran Church
  • 3800 E 3rd Street (corner of east 3rd and Smith Road)
    • Enter through the west end doors
  • Sunday, January 7th
  • 4:00 - 6:00pm


Monday, December 4, 2017

December 2017 Gathering Report

The December Gathering this year was a low-key affair, drilling down into tunes and prepping performance material for our members for the coming season.

Angus running the Set Tunes Club.
The afternoon kicked off with a walk-through of two tunes from the Bloomington Pipers' Society's set tunes - the aire "Skye Boat Song" and the jig "Oft in a Stilly Night". These two pieces are bite-sized tunes which are fun to play and were the first tunes featured in our monthly Set Tunes Club because they are great for pulling out at performances. The Set Tunes are meant to give Society members and other pipers in the area a common set of tunes to perform together, regardless of if they're in different bands, or no bands at all.

After running through the tunes, the pipers present took out their pipes to give the instruments a go. Chris Eller took up his pipes to do a test run of his 2018 solo competition 2/4 March, "Captain Norman Orr Ewing". After a bit of tuning on "Skye Boat Song", he did an initial run on the tune. After the first run he played it again. Chris' pipes had a good powerful sound, and his the pipes were well tuned.

Chanter student Wolfe took up the stage next to perform his piece for competition, the 2/4 March "Teribus". Wolfe performed this piece at the Bloomington Bagpipe Recital on November 28, and it continues to come together. Wolfe is the first practice chanter student to have performed solo at a BPS meeting.

Society president Angus Martin pulled out his pipes to set up a reed in one of his solo chanters. After fiddling with a reed, and an aggressive amount of attention on the high-G, Angus got the chanter set decently. He then performed two of his three 2018 competition 2/4 Marches back to back - first "Millbank Cottage", followed by "The Knightswood Celeidh". Going into part 3 of Millbank Cottage Angus had a bit of a memory bauble, but got back on and finished the tunes.

Next month we will be holding the second session of the Set Tunes Club, tackling the jig "Rocking the Baby" and the 4/4 March "Dawning of the Day". Set Tunes Club will go from 4:00pm to 5:00pm, followed by the January Gathering proper, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Details about the gathering program will be coming in the next week or so. Bound 2018 Set Tune volumes will be available for Society members, and registration forms will be available for those interested in becoming a member.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

December Gathering - December 3rd, 2017

Grab your chanters and pipes and come out to work through some of the BPS tunes list! Grade 1 bagpiper and teacher Angus Martin will be running through tunes from the BPS tune book - Skye Boat Song, and Oft in a Stilly Night - as part of a new series. Loose sheets will be available for pipers looking to join the walk-through.

Sign up for BPS membership and receive your own copy of the BPS Set Tunes book at the January Gathering! Membership forms will be available on Sunday. Individual memberships are $25 per year, and Family memberships are $40 per year.

The second hour will be a free play time for pipers to blow out the cobwebs before they go home for the holidays to entertain their families. Come out for some lively music!


  • St. Thomas Lutheran Church
  • 3800 E 3rd Street (corner of east 3rd and Smith Road)
    • Enter through the west end doors
  • Sunday, December 3rd
  • 4:00 - 6:00pm

Sunday, October 29, 2017

November Gathering - November 5th, 2017


Welcome to the holiday season preparation Gathering of 2017 the season of the Bloomington Pipers' Society! Pipers, drummers, dancers, and those who enjoy spending time with us are all welcome (bring friends).

Grade 1 piper and teacher, Angus Martin, will work with the pipers present to learn a selection of traditional holiday tunes and get them up on pipes by the end of the gathering. Pipers, please bring your practice chanters in addition to your bagpipes.

  • St. Thomas Lutheran Church
  • 3800 E. 3rd Street (corner of east 3rd and Smith Road)
    • Enter through the west end doors
  • Sunday, November 5th
  • 4:00 - 6:00pm

Thursday, September 28, 2017

October Gathering - October 8th, 2017

Welcome to the first Gathering of the 2017-2018 season of the Bloomington Pipers' Society! Pipers, drummers, dancers, and those who enjoy spending time with us are all welcome (bring friends). We will take some time at this first Gathering of the season to discuss the upcoming Gatherings and see what sorts of performances everyone is interested in attending.

We will have group performances of Great Highland Bagpipes, soloists, our closing piobaireachd, and others!

  • St. Thomas Lutheran Church
  • 3800 E. 3rd Street (corner of east 3rd and Smith Road)
  • Enter through the west end doors
  • Sunday, October 8th
  • 4:00 - 6:00pm

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 2017 President's Letter - Summer Events

Due to travel and competitions for local bagpipers, the Bloomington Pipers' Society does not run many events during the summer. However, that does not mean bagpipers are not out and about performing!

In the month of July, there will be several opportunities to see bagpipers play in public.

The first, and most major, is the Bloomington Fourth of July Parade. The Scottish Society of Greater Bloomington marches in the parade, and it is a tradition that they also have the Southern Indiana Pipes & Drums play in the parade. Several BPS pipers will be performing with the band in this parade.

There will also be several times in the next few months where pipers take to the farmer's market to perform in and around the market itself. These pipers will be piping for the Bloomington Pipers' Society. If you are at the market, come out to say hello and listen to some of our pipers!

In September, the Columbus Scottish Festival takes place at the Bartholomew County 4H Fairgrounds. This event is run in part by BPS members, and features pipe bands and soloists from across the Midwest, as well as other  performers, athletes, and vendors. This is a great event and you should definitely attend it! BPS members will be performing in both the Southern Indiana Pipes & Drums and the Fountain Trust Pipe Band at the festival. Fountain Trust will be competing at the festival on Saturday, September 9.

Don't forget to mark your calendars with our main season gatherings! Below are the dates for those events - all of them occur from 4:00PM to 6:00PM.

BPS 2017-2018 Gatherings

October 8, 2017
November 5, 2017
December 3, 2017
January 7, 2018
February 4, 2018
March 4, 2018
April 8, 2018
May 6, 2018

If you are a BPS member, and have not received a copy of the set tunes, please contact us at bloomingtonpipers@gmail.com, and we will confirm your membership and send you the set tunes. These common tunes are meant to allow ensemble performances by the membership at our meetings, so get your copy! If you are not a member and would like a copy, please visit our Membership Page to sign up.

Finally, keep an eye out on our YouTube Channel for videos of piping events over the summer. We've just posted the Grade 3 band contests from the Ohio Scottish Games this weekend, and will post videos from other events over the summer months.

Happy piping,

Angus Martin, BPS President

Friday, June 23, 2017

Band videos from Chicago 2017

Audio on the left and audio/video on the right
The Society recorded video of most of the bands competing at the 2017 Chicago Scottish Festival & Highland Games. We apologize that we were not able to record the Grade 5 bands.


We hope you enjoy the recordings.