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The San Francisco Pipers' Club presents an in-person San Francisco Tionól on May 20-22, 2022.

We're excited to announce the following instructors for uilleann piping, reed-making, and a new addition of a fiddle class!

Preston Howard Wilde - Uilleann Pipes
Nicolas Brown - Uilleann Pipes
Alison Perkins - Fiddle
Michael Hubbert - Reed-Making



Registration & Requirements

This event will be in-person, so we will require everyone to be fully vaccinated, including booster shots. We ask that you submit a photo of your vaccine card prior to the event and also bring proof of vaccination with you to the events. Masks may be required due to state, county, and venue requirements in place at the time, so come prepared!

To register for the event, fill out this Google Form and make sure to either upload a photo of your vaccination record or else email it to sfpipersclub@gmail.com.

After signing up via the registration survey, submit payment for official registration via PayPal (sfpipersclub@gmail.com) or by mail (with a check made out to SF Pipers' Club) to the following address:

Mike De Smidt
585 Wente Ave.
Ben Lomond, CA 95005



Friday, May 20
7:30pm: Welcome party at Peter and Sabra's

Saturday, May 21
9:00am: Check-in (coffee and breakfast snacks provided)
10:00am: Morning instruction begins
12:00pm: Lunch break (Zachary's pizza provided at venue)
2:00pm: Afternoon instruction begins
5:00pm: Dinner break
7:30pm: Concert at the Plough and the Stars in SF
Later: Session after the concert

Sunday, May 21
10:00am: Morning instruction / reed-making session
12:00pm: Lunch break (lunch not provided this day)
2:00pm: Piper's chair
4:00pm: Farewells


Instructor Bios


Preston Howard Wilde

Preston grew up in Northern California where he first heard Irish traditional music in the form of a Finbar Furey recording belonging to his father. This recording sparked Preston's deep interest in the uilleann pipes. After several years playing whistle, flute, and Scottish bagpipes as a child, Preston began learning the uilleann pipes at age 17 with the help of Dingle piper Con Durham as well as the Pub Scouts, the local Irish music collective in Chico, CA. Preston now resides in Portland, Oregon where he frequently plays at regional ceilis, Sean-nós Northwest workshops and events, local sessions, and concerts. Preston has performed with Ensamble Galilei, An Irish Christmas, Cake, Alasdair Fraser, Kevin Burke and many others.

Preston's website


Nicolas Brown

Born in Illinois and raised in Ontario, Nicolas first started playing Irish music when he was in his late teens. A friend lent him a practice set of uilleann pipes, with which he proceeded to torture his extremely patient and understanding parents. Norman Stiff (a student of Dublin born Chris Langan) started teaching him and gave him two CDs: one of Willie Clancy and one of Seamus Ennis. Nicolas proceeded to listen to these two recordings on repeat for the next year. Eventually, he got his own set of pipes and a flute (and some more CDs!) and set out on his journey down the Irish music rabbit hole.

In the two decades since he first picked up a tin whistle at the Fergus Highland Games, Nicolas has not only become a very proficient musician, but has also developed a vast knowledge of Irish music history, about the old musicians, tune histories, Irish music in America, and more. Nicolas has performed and given workshops at venues and festivals throughout Canada and the United States. He plays a hybrid concert pitch "D" set of uilleann pipes, a Joe Kennedy flat pitch "B" set of union pipes, and John Gallagher flutes in F, D, and B, the latter of which is the first modern 8-keyed B flute, as far as he's aware!


Alison Perkins

Alison grew up in a household filled with music in Detroit, Michigan. The daughter of musicians, she attended her first concerts before she had taken her first steps. Her parents regularly took her to musical events in the city's vibrant folk and Irish music scenes, and she routinely fell asleep inside of her dad's guitar case, lulled to slumber by live music.

As a child she learned the fiddle from Irishman Mick Gavin, whose lovely Clare fiddling can be heard echoed in Alison's playing. As a teen and young adult, she became deeply interested in the older generation of Irish musicians, counting luminaries such as Tommy Potts, Seamus Ennis, Paddy Carty, Bobby Casey and Paddy Cronin as influences. During her teenage years, Alison had success in music competitions, winning the gold medal at the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil fiddle competition for six consecutive years before "retiring" at the age of 18, and traveling overseas to compete in the All-Irelands.

In more recent years Alison has been performing and teaching full time. She has toured extensively across North America with her family band, Finvarra's Wren, as well as touring with Irish singing legend Sean Keane in Canada and the United States. In 2015, she co-founded a much-loved and popular local Irish concert series, The Strayaway Child. She is highly sought after as a teacher, and has taught fiddle at the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat, The Riley School of Irish Music, The Detroit Irish Music Association, The Austin Celtic Festival and many more.

Alison Perkins and Nicolas Brown are one of the brightest Irish music duos in America. They have been playing music on the uilleann pipes, flute and fiddle together for close to a decade. Since the recent release of their debut album, All Covered With Moss, they have been bringing their close musical partnership to the stage. As individuals, they have performed at festivals and concerts across North America. Together, they research forgotten settings of obscure tunes and introduce them to audiences with a style that is at once unapologetically old fashioned, fresh, vibrant and spirited. Following the release of their CD, they have brought their signature sound to audiences on tours throughout the country.

Alison and Nicolas' website


Michael Hubbert

Michael Hubbert has been building and repairing musical instruments for more than 40 years. He has built various stringed instruments, from French Baroque hurdy-gurdies to octave mandolins. In the early '80s he built his first set of Uilleann pipes which marked the beginning of a shift from stringed instrument making to woodwind making. As a woodwind maker he has produced baroque and classical flutes, bassoons, clarinets, Italian zampognas and more. Along with making instruments and tools for instrument making, Michael has done extensive repair/restoration work on both stringed and woodwind instruments. He has repaired and restored instruments by revered makers of the 18th and 19th centuries. He has done restorations for prominent players, collectors, and museums. Since the late '90s, uilleann pipes have been the main focus of his work. He continues to build and restore Irish pipes in his workshop in the small Northern Californian town of Boonville.


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