Joey Abarta Workshop: Sept. 11 1:00-4:00pm at the Celtic Junction!

Come join the incomparable Joey Abarta as he leads an afternoon workshop on the uilleann pipes. The event will be held in the Multipurpose Room (Center for Irish Music area of The Celtic Junction, 836 N. Prior, St. Paul 55104) from 1-4:00pm and will cover a staggering range of uilleann pipes topics. Fee is just $20, paid at the door.

And stick around The Celtic Junction for the CD release of Copley Street the smash new recording by Joey and fiddler Nathan Gourley. They’ll be joined that night by Brian Miller!

Give to the Max Day! November 12, 2015

You can make a HUGE difference! Click and donate to GNIPC on the 12th!

Save the Date! September 26, 2015: GNIPC Pipers’ Workshop Day with Joey Abarta!

Special piping guest Joey Abarta will lead pipers in all things pipering Sept. 26, 2015 in St. Paul. House concert to wrap up the day in spectacular fashion, too! Details and register here.

Photos & Video: March Appearances

I meant to post these weeks ago, but better late than never. Here are two shots from the GNIPC appearance at the Lift Bridge Brewery’s “Irish Coffee Stout Release Event” on 04/07/2015. This was a long, fun performance, and it was well received by the event’s large, enthusiastic audience!

Nicole, Ryan, Adam, and Tom at the Lift Bridge Brewing Co.'s "Irish Coffee Stout Release Event"


And here are two shots from our annual appearance at the Irish Music & Dance Association’s “Day of Irish Dance” at Landmark Center on 04/15/2015:

Ryan and Mick performing at the IMDA's "Day of Irish Dance" at Landmark Center

Ryan and Mick performing at the IMDA's "Day of Irish Dance" at Landmark Center

Finally, here’s a video of “Eagle’s Whistle,” from that same event. We had them clapping!


Upcoming performances!

We’ve got two official GNIPC performances this month, about which we’re especially excited.

First, we’re providing 90 minutes’ worth of music for the Lift Bridge Brewery’s “Irish Coffee Stout Release Event” at Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater, MN, on Saturday 7 March from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Details available at Facebook (must be logged in to view) or at Eventbrite.

Second, we’re making our annual appearance at the Irish Music and Dance Association’s “Day of Irish Dance” at the Landmark Center in St. Paul in the Tea Room at 3:40 pm on Sunday 15 March.

We hope you’ll join us — bask in the piping-ensemble vibrations, and support your favorite local uilleann pipers!

Next Pipers’ Session: 12/28/2014 @ 2:00 pm

The next GNIPC Pipers’ Session will take place on Sunday 28 December at The Celtic Junction (836 Prior Ave., St. Paul). The Beginners’/Newcomers’ segment begins at 2:00 pm, and the Maximum Tune Density portion commences at 3:00 pm, the whole deal concluding at 4:00 pm (or whenever — I left at 4 last time, and people just kept playing!).

All current, lapsed, and prospective members and fellow-travelers, and the morbidly curious, are welcome. Hope to see you on the 28th.

In the mean time, Happy Holidays!

Set List from Nov. 16

November brought another great Pipers’ Session! Nine of us attended, and played the following:

  1. Eileen Aroon*
  2. Dawning of the Day*
  3. Slip Jigs: Drops of Brandy / Leitrim Quickstep*
  4. Jim Ward’s Jig / Merrily Kiss the Quaker*
  5. Lesson: Merrily Kiss the Quaker (thanks, Adam!)*
  6. March of the Kings of Laois
  7. Hag With the Money
  8. Reel: Teampall an Ghleanntáin
  9. Reels: The Green Mountain / The Sligo Maid / Rolling in the Ryegrass
  10. Jig: The Yellow Wattle
  11. Reels: The West Wind / Sean Reid’s Fancy
  12. Reels: Milliner’s Daughter / Garret Barry’s Reel / Corney is Coming / Dunmore Lasses
  13. Reels: The Earl’s Chair / Miss MacLeod’s
  14. Slip Jigs: Kid on the Mountain / An Phis Fliuch / White Cannavans
  15. Jigs: Humors of Ballyloughlin / Out on the Ocean / Julia Clifford’s
  16. Jigs: Blarney Pilgrim / Jim Ward’s (reprise)

*Beginner’s session

Latest Pipers’ Session Setlist

We had a great turnout at yesterday’s Pipers’ Session, and shared some terrific tunes. Here’s the setlist:

Hour 1: Beginner/Newcomer Session

  • March: Eagle’s Whistle
  • Tune lesson: March of the Kings of Laois
  • Jim Ward’s Jig
  • Jig: Humors of Ballyloughlin (not a beginners’ tune — Mick got carried away)
  • March: Dawning of the Day

Hour 2: Maximum Tunes Session

  • Jigs: Rolling Wave / Garret Barry’s / Out on the Ocean / Julia Clifford’s (The Cordal)
  • Jig: The Hag With the Money (Tommy Reck version)
  • Jigs: Sliabh Russell / Blarney Pilgrim / Kesh Jig
  • Reels: Jenny’s Wedding / Bank of Ireland
  • Reels: Silver Spear / ? / Rolling in the Ryegrass
  • Reels: Earl’s Chair / Dublin Reel / Donegal Reel
  • Peter Byrne’s Jig
  • Hornpipes: Tuamgraney Castle / Cronin’s
  • Hornpipes: The Fairy’s Hornpipe / The Cuckoo’s Hornpipe
  • Reels: Fermoy Lasses / Heathery Breeze

Hope you can join us next time: Sunday 16 November at The Celtic Junction

Tionól Hotel Announced

The official hotel for the GNIPC 2014 Tionól is the Days Inn University Ave. SE, at 2407 University Ave. SE in Minneapolis (612-623-3999). Mick Bauer has reserved a total of four rooms there for Friday 9/26 through Sunday 9/28 (two nights total). If you wish to add a night onto either end of the reservation, this shouldn’t be a problem. The rate they’ve tentatively quoted us is $164/night; I’m hoping to negotiate that down.

As of today, three of these rooms are still available!

If you’d like one of them, please email Mick as soon as possible (mick att wiremonkeys dott org), saying how many people you’ll be traveling with. You’ll have to pay for the room; when you check in, the reservation will be transferred to you.

And if you live in the Twin Cities and plan on attending the Tionól, please register soon at — the sooner we know who’s coming, the sooner we’ll know how many private lessons everyone can have!

Hope to see you at the Tionól!

Announcing the GNIPC 2014 Tionól

September 27th – 28th, 2014

The Great Northern Irish Pipers Club, the upper Midwest U.S.’s premier uilleann piping association, is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed performing artists Joey Abarta, Tom Klein, and Tommy Martin will be the featured clinicians for its 2014 Tionól, to be held Saturday 27 September and Sunday 28 September 2014 at The Celtic Junction in St. Paul, Minnesota (836 Prior Avenue, 55104).

Featuring the innovative, lesson-oriented format we pioneered at last year’s GNIPC Tionól, we’ll again guarantee  every attendee private instruction from visiting artists, in addition to group sessions led by the GNIPC’s senior pipers. And, of course, visiting artists will perform on Saturday evening (7:30 pm on 9/27/2014) in a GNIPC 2014 Tionól Concert, which will be free for Tionól attendees and open to the general public.

New this year: Uilleann Boot Camp!

Do you have a morbid curiosity about the uilleann pipes, but aren’t sure if they’re for you? Do you own a practice set, but never got past bottom D before stuffing it into a closet, and have long suspected that if a drill sergeant showed up and started yelling at you for a couple of days*, you might make a decent piper?

The GNIPC is here to help! If you’re truly an absolute beginner, you can register for the Tionól at the “Boot Camp” level for two full days of uilleann piping fundamentals: how to get your instrument set up and working, how to hold the chanter properly, how to play a D major scale, introductory piping lore (you’ll get breaks from playing), and even a tune or two. $99 gets you all that plus one private lesson with a guest artist (at your level), and one free concert ticket!

If you’re unsure you want to take that much of a plunge, you can attend just the first 90 minutes of Saturday morning’s Boot Camp session (basic instrument setup and your first couple of notes) at the low, low “Smell the Boot” price of $40. Upgrade to a full Boot Camp registration for an additional $59 at any time!

A limited number of Club practice sets are available for rent ($40 for the entire weekend). RSVP immediately to “information [at] gnipc dot org” if you’ll need a rental instrument.

Register for the Tionól Now!  The $120 Tionól Registration Fee (non-Boot-Camp) covers two days of high-quality piping instruction and playing sessions, and includes admission to the Saturday night concert. GNIPC members who are current with dues receive an additional 10% off (you can renew your membership through Febr. 2015 here: ).

NEW: We have an official hotel, with several rooms reserved for your convenience! See

NOTE: Advance concert tickets will not be mailed out; they’ll be provided at The Celtic Junction’s Box Office on the night of the concert.

Tionól Registration for GNIPC Member: $108

Registration (Non-Member): $120

Registration for Uilleann Boot Camp: $99

Registration for Smell the Boot: $40

Instrument Rental for Boot Camp: $40

Tionól Concert Only (GNIPC Member): $9

Tionól Concert Ticket Only (Non-Member): $10

Note 2: meals are not included. We’ll provide opportunities to order inexpensive lunches both days.

*We’re kidding about the yelling. The Sensitive New Age guys who run the GNIPC guarantee positive verbal reinforcement and personal validation at all times, or your money back!