Bill Ochs, RIP

Bill Ochs, RIP

Word has come that Bill Ochs passed yesterday—"his beloved Margaret was at his side and she said he died peacefully, surrounded by love."

As a piper, he was a consummate and caring teacher and a wonderful performer.

He ran Pennywhistle Press and wrote the book that many of us used to start our whistling careers. He had a great interest in Micho Russell and produced a couple of CDs of Russell’s tunes and was working on a book of his tunes.

A sad loss to the ITM community.

Best wishes.

Steve

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Bill was an incredibly articulated musician, an amazing piper and a generous man. I owe him much, and well beyond his patient, sharp teaching. Rest in peace, Bill.
Marco

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Sorry to hear this. He was one of my first teachers when I started the pipes. I went down to New York a couple times (I was living in Western Massachusetts) for lessons. A generous, fantastic teacher.

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Bad news, I liked his music so much. Light from my heart for him …

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

I never met him, or heard him play. But I did learn the fundamentals of Irish whistle playing - and a nice selection of tunes - from ‘The Clarke Tin Whistle Tutor’. In addition to helping me to become a session-ready player, his clear and methodical instruction made it easy for me, in turn, to teach the basics to a few people over the years. Credit where it’s due.

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Hi,
I am a self taught whistle and flute player who also had training from Bill Ochs. A NYC computer consultant, I would often play the whistle on the street or in a park between appointments in Manhattan. I found Bill Ochs when I got interested in the pipes and when I met him I played Skibereen. It was very funny. When I finished he said ‘Do you play on the street?’ He already had heard me somewhere. Another funny story is that at the end of my first time with Bill, he handed me some sheet music for the tunes we were working on. Minor detail; I don’t really read music. Lesson two, I played the tunes, reading the sheet music. He then asked me to play the tune by ear. I did much better. "David, do you have the rest of that sheet music I gave you last week" I handed it back to him, We never worked from sheet music again for the next 18 months or so I took lessons from him while I awaited my pipes to come in. What wasn’t quite as funny was the five years I struggled with the uilleann pipes before being honest with myself that as much as I loved the sound, they were not for me and I returned to the flute and whistle. I’ve never played in a session or group but I pick up songs by ear well enough that I really enjoy playing those instruments. Bill was certainly patient with me and I was going to resume my lessons after being ill a couple of years. I was very surprised and upset to hear of Bill’s passing. - david