May 17th and 18th, 2008 featuring Jimmy O'Brien Moran & Patrick D'Arcy.

The Great Northern Irish Pipers’ Club (GNIPC) will be hosting its seventh-annual Tionól May 17th and 18th, 2008.
Tionól (pr. “chuh-nole) is Irish for “gathering” - in this case- a gathering of uilleann pipers. Our guest pipers/instructors will be Jimmy O'Brien Moran and Patrick D’Arcy, who (along with other guests) will be part of a concert Saturday May 17. The concert will be held at Cherokee Park United Church, 371 West Baker Street, St. Paul 55107 (map). Concert tickets ($15.00) are available in advance from GNIPC. You can reserve your tickets by using the ticket reservation form on your left and simply put the number of tickets you'd like to reserve in the message area. Tickets will also be available at the workshops during the day on Saturday, and at the door Saturday night. The concert gets underway at 7:00 pm on Saturday. All proceeds support the efforts of the club.

The weekend workshop will consist of two days of piping instruction. The workshops will be held at the beautiful and historic Landmark Center (75 West Fifth Street - map) in the heart of Downtown St. Paul (the Saturday evening concert will be at the Cherokee Park United Church). The workshops on Saturday will be located in the Schubert Club 2nd Floor Museum Gallery (room 201) from 10:00am to 5:00pm with a break for lunch. Registration begins at 9:00am on Saturday. Sunday’s workshops will be from 10:30 until 4:00 and will meet in room 317. Workshops will be divided into beginner players and intermediate/advanced players. There will also be sessions on pipe maintenance and troubleshooting as well as reed making demonstrations.

Tionól Costs:

Fee and registration received prior to May 15 is $60.00
Workshop fee and registration received after May 15 is $65.00
GNIPC Members fee and registration received prior to May 15 is $50.00
GNIPC Members workshop fee and registration received after May 15 is $55.00

Download the registration form.

Everyone is welcome....even if you have never touched a set of pipes in your life and have no instrument! This is a tremendous opportunity to rub elbows (if you will) with some of the world’s greatest pipers, and meet members of our now-thriving uilleann pipe community.

We are happy and grateful to announce that the 2008 Great Northern Irish Pipers' Club Tionól will be supported in part by a grant from Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU).

The schedule in now online here.

The GNIPC 2008 Tionól is supported by Irish Fair of Minnesota, Irish Music and Dance Association, Na Piobaire Uilleann, Summit Brewery, Cherokee Park United Church and the Schubert Club. Without their generosity this event would not take place.

The beautiful and historic Landmark Center in St. Paul -- the site of the 2008 tionól.

Jimmy O'Brien Moran

About our Instructors
Jimmy O’Brien Moran
was born in Waterford, in Ireland’s Sunny South East. He began his interest in Irish music, and piping in particular, through the group Planxty and the playing of Liam O’Flynn. His piping exploration led to recordings of Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy and others. Commercial recordings were few in those dark days and everything piping was gratefully embraced. Armed with a lovely chanter from Matt Kiernan, and a home-made bag and bellows, Jimmy was given a beautiful reed by Brian Gallagher on the 28th of May, 1975, and began the long journey that is piping. Local pipers Tommy Kearney and Donncha Ó Maidín were generous with their time and advice. Several stints at the Willie Clancy Summer School improved the technique a bit and in 1977 Jimmy was invited to record with several other young pipers on the PJ Curtis album The Piper’s Rock.

Almost 20 years passed before he recorded his solo CD Seán Reid’s Favourite, dedicated to the memory of piper and fiddler Seán Reid who had presented Jimmy with his Colgan set before Seán died in 1978. A devotee of flat piping he is constantly amazed at the music of Willie Clancy and has explored some of this through his friendship with that really great piper Seán McKiernan.

Jimmy has enjoyed invites to tionóil around the world spreading the true faith and is very much looking forward to meeting all the pipers at the Great Northern Tionól.


Patrick D'Arcy
  Patrick D'Arcy hails from Dublin, Ireland. Regular trips to the Willie Clancy Summer School as well as tionóil around America have enabled him to learn from many of today's great players. Touting Tommy Reck, Seamus Ennis and Willie Clancy as great influences, Patrick now enjoys passing on his knowledge to students at his home, at meetings of The Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club and at tionóil whenever the opportunity should graciously arise.

Comfortably settled in his new habitat of California, he is a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club and its annual Southern California Tionól.
  About the Uilleann Pipes
The uilleann pipes are a wholly indigenous bagpipe of Ireland. The word uilleann (pronounced ill-en) is Irish for elbow - reflecting that these pipes are powered by a bellows strapped under the player’s arm. Compared to the ubiquitous Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes, the uilleann pipes play a greater range of notes and have a softer, sweeter tone. They are played solely in a seated position. The uilleann pipes are as much a part of the traditional music tapestry of Ireland as the fiddle, flute and accordion. Their lineage can be traced back to the mid 1700s. The instrument reached its zenith in refinement of design by the mid-1800s. The tumultuous cultural and social upheavels created of the Famine Era in Ireland closed the chapter on this Golden Age of uilleann piping. Still the pipes continued to be played by the Irish diaspora right up through the vaudeville and music hall days of the early 20th Century. The pipes would have died out in the 1950s had not a few individuals kept the art of the pipes (and especially pipe making) alive through those grim years. The resurgence of the folk revival of the 1970s saw a renewed interest in the uilleann pipes. New craftsmen sought out the few old makers of the day and attempted to learn methods of construction from these valuable resources. There are now dozens of qualified makers of the instrument worldwide. The mid 1990s saw an explosion in the popularity of Irish music via the pan-global cultural conduit of Riverdance. In addition to tradional music venues the uilleann pipes can be heard in TV commercials and in movie sound tracks such as Titanic, Brave Heart, Rob Roy and Road to Perdition. There are believed to be about three-thousand players of the uilleann pipes currently. 



© 2008 Minnesota Uilleann Association & The Great Northern Irish Pipers Club