Northumbrian Pipers in the Pacific NW

Bellingham, Washington.

We contacted the Pacific North West Northumbrian Smallpipes (NSPs) Group (yes there really is one, and a very active one) to see if we could attend their monthly meeting near Tacoma, WA. We received a return email from one of their members living in Bellingham, Peter Dyson, who no longer makes the long monthly drive South, but is still musically active. Peter has temporarily suspended his pipe playing in favor of the concertina due to a shoulder injury. He very kindly invited us for a music session at his home in the countryside, outside Bellingham, and invited two of his musician friends to join us. We had a great time playing together, meeting and talking with new friends. Here are some short clips from our session.

Peter Dyson: Concertina; Rachel Vogel: Fiddle; Michael Baker: Guitar; Cheryl: Flute; Colin: NSP.
Aln Water – Margaret Watchorn (harmony, Michael Korchonnoff)

Shingly Beach – Tom Anderson (harmony, Abby Newton)

Brafferton Village – Kathryn Tickell (harmony Derek Hobbs)

Lakewood, Washington, near Tacoma.

img_3097We gratefully accepted the invitation to join the group of Northumbrian Smallpipe players, a week later, that meets every month at the home of Paul and Ruth Anne Hickey in Lakewood, Washington. We had heard many stories about the group over the years and were not disappointed to meet the faces behind the names. The group was formed around the leadership of Gail Gibbard, and has been meeting monthly since 1998. This area has by far the greatest concentration of active NSP players in the US. We played all afternoon and enjoyed ourselves immensely. For anyone brave enough to want to know what a multitude of Northumbrian Smallpipes sounds like, here’s a short clip, one of the tunes we played.
Roxburgh Castle

  • Bellingham and Tacoma

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    Playing with fellow NSP players near Seattle

  • 5 Comments on “Northumbrian Pipers in the Pacific NW

    1. You must have been in Northumbrian heaven! What a treat!
      From Cheryl: Some people would say the opposite, Northumbrian hell. But we did enjoy it immensely.

    2. Now in the jazz world, such gatherings would be accompanied by significant consumption of alcohol, and can I assume correctly that didn’t happen at this gathering? Thus you can avoid references to … So enjoyable indeed. Thanks for sharing the sights and sounds, people!
      From Cheryl: You are hysterical. Actually, alcohol might have made it all sound better, or at least at the time we would have thought so. But no, people were driving home, it was an afternoon gathering, so libations were nonalcoholic.

    3. What a delightful interlude in your travels. I loved the sound clips you sent. You two are like reverse pied pipers…following the pipe players where you find them and joining in the fun! The Seattle photos brought back some fun memories of the fish mongers tossing the
      fish around at Pike’s Market.
      From Cheryl: We loved playing with other musicians and getting to know the Northwest coast more. So glad the fish mongers brought back good memories. It was an amazingly unique place.

    4. That is so cool!! Loved it.
      From Cheryl: You are just too sweet. We love that you are so fond of our playing! When do you want a concert?

    5. Sounds terrific! You’re really seeing the heart of North America! We’re busy getting settled into our new home. The sale of our house in Cleveland closed yesterday! Elaine & Sid
      From Cheryl: So happy to hear you are now settled, and all the problems of moving across the country have been resolved. We love playing, so thank you for that lovely compliment! Love to you both.

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