Donna Willy reports on a California Gathering

This was EJ Jones’s 3rd year returning to the Bay Area to help pipers improve their musical skills.  Prior to the Friday night concert, EJ repaired pipes to have them ready for the session after the concert. As some of us are aware, little pipes can be finicky but with EJ on the task, the pipes are sounding sweet again and ready to ‘Rock and Roll’ for the concert session and the workshop.
The Friday concert in Livermore California was informative as well as a fun evening filled with songs, dances and lots of different styles of tunes. EJ had the audience dance at the end of the concert, teaching 2 different dances. He then called for folks to bring out their instruments and a great jam session followed.
The workshop lasted 2 days. Saturday EJ passed out a workbook of tunes and a C whistle.  With small pipes at the ready, we all got cracking and dived into the tunes. Some of the workshop highlights were as follows: EJ showed pipers how to use the E drone when tunes change keys in the middle of the set.  He taught the basics on whistles and when to use whistles in sessions. He showed reed making. He taught students when to use the D chanters in sessions. Border pipers learned tunes that used the natural notes. He taught tunes from all over the globe.
The workshop included another jam session on Saturday night. It was a great time to try the new learned tunes. We enjoyed a Cellist join us to add a beautiful sound to the tunes. Step dancing kept the jam session hopping. A great time was had by all.
EJ will be back next year, in November, so plan on joining us and having a grand time learning more tunes and playing with friends.