Band News

June 25, 2015
Climbing, climbing, climbing...


June 12, 2015
First band contest of the season is in the books


June 1, 2015
Back on the Boards!


April 3, 2015
Comics for Kilts 5 another success!




Ray O'Donnell

I've always loved the sound of pipes and drums. My lineage is Scots-Irish and while growing up my Dad would often have Scottish music on in the house while my Mom (bless her soul) would counter with the Irish music. I hired 2 pipers to play at my wedding in 1990 and I recall thinking how cool it would be to play the pipes. My brother took up playing pipes in 1994 and is an accomplished piper in Yorktown, N.Y. He phoned me shortly after he learned his first tune, the Marine Corps Hymn. It sounded fantastic and I got the bug again - wouldn't it be cool to play the pipes? My wife gave me a practice chanter as a Christmas gift in 2000 (after consulting with my pipe playing brother) and I started taking pipe chanter lessons from Sue Mack in Pownal, ME a few years later.

I purchased my first and only set of Great Highland Bagpipes from a solo piper in Portland who was retiring. I've since acquired a set of small pipes for playing later at night and when practicing in smaller venues (like my living room). I was referred to the Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band by Sue and was hooked when I found out that 2 of the tunes on the playlist were by the immortal Scot, Sir Harry Lauder (my father and grandfather were huge fans of his).

I am married and have 3 daughters. My wife enjoys listening to me practice, while my kids ... well they tolerate me if I practice in the basement or behind closed doors. I'm confident they will develop a love pipes and drums as either their musical tastes evolve or as I improve on the pipes. At least I hope so as I'd like to play a few tunes on their wedding days.

In my spare time, other than practicing, I enjoy following my kids various activities/adventures, traveling and doing various projects around the house. In college, I took up running as a way to stay in shape after first cramming for exams and then celebrating with keg parties. I've kept up the running thing since college although I seem to be going slower nowadays and various injuries or aches/pains keep me sidelined more often. A memorable traveling/piping event for me was a family trip to Scotland in 2007 during which we attended the military tattoo at Edinburgh Castle - Awesome!




Website. 2009-2014 Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band.