Sunday, December 18, 2016

December Gathering - December 18th, 2016

Season's Greetings everyone!

We at the Bloomington Pipers' Society hope that all of you are doing well today. This afternoon is the final BPS Gathering of 2016 and we'd enjoy seeing all of you for a final bit of fellowship before we drone boldly into 2017.

For those of you that are able to attend, we will be at the usual location, 800 N. Indiana Avenue (the Church of Folklore) for the final time this afternoon. The Gatherings of 2017 will be in a new location and we'll be sure to get that information out to everyone in short order.

We hope to see you this afternoon at 4:00 pm. Angus will be conducting an informal workshop on select seasonal tunes that we will perform on the pipes toward the end of the Gathering today.

Drive safe and we'll see you this afternoon (we have egg nog and candy canes!!)

  • 800 N. Indiana Avenue
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Monday, October 17, 2016

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


October 16, 2016
4:00PM to 6:00PM

The Bloomington Pipers' Society returns in its third season this month with its October Bagpipe Gathering. We will be featuring piping, drumming, and highland dance along with a potluck dinner. This event is free to the public.

We are proud to announce that we will be featuring Drum Sergeant Jon Carter as our featured performer this month. Jon is the lead drummer for the Grade III Fountain Trust Pipe Band, one of the top pipe bands in the Midwest. He has a long history with the piping and drumming world, having started when he was a teenager in California. While in his youth, he played with the Grade II Cabar Feidh Pipe Band in Southern California. He has been the leading drummer of Fountain Trust for nearly a decade.

We are also pleased to feature local piper Ian Arthur as our Local Hero this month. Ian has lived in Bloomington for over a decade, and may be recognized by many as the piper who plays for the Irish Lion's annual St. Patrick's Day activities. He may be found in the summers performing at the Bloomington Farmer's Market. Outside of Bloomington, Ian has played with the Indiana Caledonia Pipe Band until it dissolved in 2011, and currently plays with the Fountain Trust Pipe Band.

Mini-performances will be made by piper Clancy Clements, highland dancer Aimee Dobbs, and highland piper Chris Eller.

The Bloomington Pipers' Society meets at 800 N Indiana Ave, in Bloomington, Indiana. Parking may be found on the street surrounding the building, or in the parking lot for IU permits EMP-S and EMP-P.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Just up the road the Scottish Society of Indianapolis will host their Seventh Annual Scottish Highland Games! The games will be held on October 8 at German Park in Indianapolis. Pipers from our society will be performing both as soloists in the morning's competitions, as well as in pipe bands throughout the day.

If you are interested in performing in competition at the Games, please email us at, and we will email you the entry form. You may also find the entry form at the Games' facebook page, Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festival.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


August 7th, 2016 BPS Gathering
The Bloomington Pipers' Society will be meeting for a gathering on 28th of August from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. Bring your pipes, drums, flutes, whistles, strings, and other instruments for group and individual playing. Dance is also welcome, and we will have several pipers who can play for dance in attendance. Kilts and other traditional dress are encouraged, but not required.

The Pipers' Society will be providing water, plates, napkins, and silverware. Individuals are welcome to bring snacks, drinks, main dishes, and desserts for the gathering.

  • Bloomington Pipers' Society
  • Sunday, August 28th
  • Non-IU Parking Highlighted in blue.
  • 4:00PM to 6:00PM
  • 800 N Indiana Ave.
  • Bloomington, IN 47408

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March Gathering - March 20th, 2016

For our gathering in March we will see the return of the monthly closing piobaireachd! Angus Martin, who was scheduled to play The Groat in February, was unable to due to illness. He will now perform it this month to close our gathering. Warmer temperatures are quickly bringing on the gigging and competition season for the area’s bagpipers, and everyone is getting up into shape to perform. Come on out to the March Gathering of the Bloomington Pipers’ Society to hear some of these musicians play their music. Society pipers will be performing events throughout St. Patrick’s Day week, and through the summer.

Snacks and drinks will be provided by our volunteers. Come out to listen to bagpipe music, or bring your own set of pipes (or drums) and join in!

Non-IU parking is highlighted in blue.
  • Sunday, March 20th, 2016
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • 800 N. Indiana Avenue
  • Bloomington, IN 47408

March Bagpiping Class - March 20th, 2016

Spring is coming, and so is a crowded summer of performances, competitions, and events! In the hour before this month’s gathering, we will be hosting an open help session for pipers in the area to get their pipes on the path to fighting shape for the coming months!

The session will be held at the 800 N Indiana Ave location, from 3:00PM to 4:00PM. We will have resident Grade I piper present to assist, as well as any other pipers who may be able to provide some help in their areas of specialty.

We will talk about bagpipe maintenance in general, as well as ideal reed set-up, and how to get the most out of your bagpipe so they are both easier to play and sounding excellent.

The Society will be accepting donations for projects in the 2016-2017 after our summer break, which will take place after our April gathering.

  • Sunday, March 20th
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • 800 N. Indiana Avenue

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February Bagpiping Class - February 21st, 2016

Instructor Angus Martin will be continuing his series on fingerwork development in this month’s class. Pipers from novice to intermediate are welcome and encouraged to attend. This month the class will review scale-based exercises, addressing tachums, andreviewing material designed to eliminate crossing noises.

Please bring a practice chanter to this class. The class will be held at the 800 N Indiana Ave location, from 3:00PM to 4:00PM. The course fee is $10 per person, all of which will directly fund the Bloomington Pipers Society.

Angus is a Grade I bagpiper and bagpipe teacher. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, learning under Pipe Major Mark Tomasetti of the Grade II Portland Metro Pipe Band. He has competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland twice, and is the current MWPBA Grade II Champion Supreme piper for light music.
  • Sunday, February 21st
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • 800 N. Indiana Avenue
  • Bloomington, IN 47408

February Gathering - February 21st, 2016

For our gathering in February we will see the return of the monthly closing piobaireachd! Angus Martin will be performing the piobaireachd The Groat to close our gathering off for the month. In honor of Winter Storm – the Pipes & Drums event in Kansas City and its competitions, as well as the coming February 27th competition in Lexington, Kentucky for the MWPBA Regional Solos, our local competitive pipers will be available to talk to pipers and the public who are interested in understanding this element of piping culture. Pipers will be able to provide descriptions of how competitions are held, and provide demonstrations of competition tunes for the Highland Bagpipe.

Snacks and drinks will be provided by our volunteers. Come out to listen to bagpipe music, or bring your own set of pipes (or drums) and join in!

Non-IU parking is available in the blue colored spaces.
  • Sunday, February 21st, 2016
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • 800 N. Indiana Avenue
  • Bloomington, IN 47408

Monday, January 11, 2016

January Gathering - January 17th, 2016

This month's Pipers Society gathering has no official guest, but will be preceded by a fingerwork survey class for beginners to learn the ropes of embellishments, or for more experienced pipers to dust up on their technique!

It is the beginning of the new year, so come out and join us to start it off with playing some tunes! Come down to share some of your piping and music goals for 2016, and see what advice others in the area can provide to help you on your way. If you or anyone you know are interested in learning to play the pipes, the beginning of the year is as good a time as any!

The Bloomington Pipers Society meets at:
  • 800 N. Indiana Ave
  • Bloomington, IN 47408
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Non-IU parking in the blue areas.

 For information on our class, please see the link below: