Bill Ochs, RIP

The Ultimate On-Line Whistle Community. If you find one more ultimater, let us know.
User avatar
Steve Bliven
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Steve Bliven »

Word has come that Bill Ochs passed yesterday—"hIs beloved Margaret was at his side and she said he died peacefully, surrounded by love." 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
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 5691
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: the Back of Beyond

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Such sad news. Bill was such a great, dedicated. thoughtful and unselfish character, as well as a friend. He has been constantly on my mind, ever since Margaret broke the news to me he wasn't well.

I have no words right now.

Image

Image
My brain hurts

Image
User avatar
ytliek
Posts: 2703
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Seashore

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by ytliek »

What sad news and great loss.

Respectfully...
User avatar
benhall.1
Moderator
Posts: 13734
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I'm a fiddler and, latterly, a fluter. I love the flute. I wish I'd always played it. I love the whistle as well. I'm blessed in having really lovely instruments for all of my musical interests.
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by benhall.1 »

Indeed. Very sad. The man made a great contribution to music and to so many people.
User avatar
an seanduine
Posts: 1822
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: just outside Xanadu

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by an seanduine »

A gentle and concerned musician. I feel privileged to have met him. Our world is diminished by his going.

Bob
Not everything you can count, counts. And not everything that counts, can be counted

The Expert's Mind has few possibilities.
The Beginner's mind has endless possibilities.
Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi
User avatar
s1m0n
Posts: 10069
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: The Inside Passage

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by s1m0n »

Bill's book, tape & whistle (in C) is where I got my start, and one of his students was my first teacher. Sad news.
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis
User avatar
brewerpaul
Posts: 7300
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Clifton Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by brewerpaul »

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this. I knew Bill many years ago (late 60s-early 70s) when he was just starting to learn Uillean pipes. He gave me two Clarke D whistles and demonstrated playing them simultaneously.
I remember Bill being passionate about so many things. He was one of the first people I ever heard talk about recycling, for one. Music, of course, was another.
If anyone has contact with his family, please send my condolences and best wishes.
Got wood?
http://www.Busmanwhistles.com
Let me custom make one for you!
Cayden
Posts: 753
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:11 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I play high and low whistle with Traditional Irish Music being my focus of interest. I love Irish music and consider it as a direct connection to my Irish heritage. I enjoy participation in whistle tours, chatting with other players, and learning much from the many talented folks that frequent C & F.

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Cayden »

Sad times for certain, the music of the heavens now that much sweeter. Godspeed to Bill and peace to all who loved and knew him and his music left behind bring them comfort.

Regrets,
Cayden
"TEAM TRAD" Pro Staff
Official Life Member of DUBLIN DUCK DYNASTY
"Joanie Madden, Mary Bergin, and Andrea Corr, each a Whistle Goddess in her own right"!
User avatar
Steve Bliven
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Steve Bliven »

Obit is here. A great loss far too young.

Best wishes.

Steve
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
User avatar
Tom Dowling
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Well, I've been a contributor and visitor to this site since 2001. At one time or another, one of my photographs was the opening page photograph. My teacher was Bill Ochs. I play the Penny Whistle. Not a lot else to say.
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Tom Dowling »

*On the passing of this great man and extraordinary teacher: I was much saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Bill Ochs, the man who introduced me to the penny whistle and Celtic Music. I always knew Bill to be a vibrant and healthy guy. He was fastidious in his diet and exercised regularly. He led an amazingly active life and was voracious in his appetite for taking on new challenges, even while maintaining an active teaching and tutoring load. I recall with unmatched fondness the nearly two decades of group and private instruction I received from Bill. It was but a few months ago--while we were working a tune that I found particularly pesky--that he spoke of the new fields of knowledge into which his ongoing work regarding the life and music of Micho Russell had taken him. He came to learn much about a range of topics, from the digital editing of very old analog field recordings to an understanding of the relative value and cost of a pound of tea vis a vis that of a new penny whistle at the time Micho would have purchased his very first one. He showed me--with extreme pride of the good kind--a digitized bit from an old field recording from which he had removed the sound of a passing truck horn. The recording was a very old tape recording that had been made--literally--in a field near Micho's place and everyone in the area knew him. Hence the toot of the passing truck horn. The recollection of the joy and delight that I saw in his eyes that day, as he recounted these discoveries, will remain with me for as long as I live. Little could I have imagined that this would be my 'last session' with Bill. He gave me the gift of music and that is a debt that can never be repaid.

* This is a slightly modified version of a post I made on Facebook yesterday. Given the roles that Bill, Dale Wisely, ViejoMc and the C & F community played in my discovery of the whistle, I thought it would be appropriate to tweak it a bit and re-post it here. It was on this website that I came to learn of Bill in, I believe, 1998, and to discover that he lived but a 20 minute subway ride away. I relish the memory of every class and lesson I had with Bill and have my own sense of pride--again, of the good kind--in having been received his 'Cal Ripken' award. I wanted what he had to offer and my life will remain enriched by what I was able to learn under his warm and humane instruction.

Tom Dowling
User avatar
PhilO
Posts: 2931
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: New York

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by PhilO »

I just now learned of this and am deeply saddened. When my daughter was born in 1988, I wanted something to do while hanging out with her and purchased, at the Enchanted Forest on Mercer St, the Clarke Tin Whistle book and cd along with the C whistle, which is all they were making at the time. I fell in love with the music and the instrument and contacted Bill who it turns out was just starting whistle group lessons at his place in Manhattan. I studied with Bill on and off for many years, and through him met Mary Bergin and Cathal McConnell, who both played at different times at the Blarney Star on Murray St downtown. The group lessons were invaluable because of the types of people drawn to Bill and more so because of his basic love for the music, the instrument and the desire to pass his knowledge on to others. I have his book as well as one by Micho Russell, and still play today and love doing so perhaps more than ever in my life. Bill had such an epic impact on me as a person and as a music lover that is exploding in me right now. Tom Dowling and I were with Bill to set up a Cathall concert in the City and Steve and I were with him as well at one of the Piper's Gatherings in Killington, VT. A gentle yet fierce advocate of all that is right and just and kind, he will be missed ever so much more in these particular times. I haven't spoken with him in several years and regret that I was so distracted as to not even try to contact him till now. He meant more to me than I realized and I will miss him greatly. Until we meet again, rest in peace Bill, and thank you for giving so much.
"This is this; this ain't something else. This is this." - Robert DeNiro, "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
User avatar
Steve Bliven
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Steve Bliven »

Does anyone recall the date for the celebration of Bill's life? I think I remember that it was scheduled in New York City some time in early spring but given my memory these days....

Thanks and best wishes.

Steve
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
User avatar
PhilO
Posts: 2931
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: New York

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by PhilO »

Steve - I was looking to you for that information. Tom and I would like to attend if we can get the time and place; all I've seen so far is "early spring." Thanks.

Phil
"This is this; this ain't something else. This is this." - Robert DeNiro, "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
User avatar
Steve Bliven
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Steve Bliven »

Phil (and others) —

I've been advised that it will be on the 22nd of April (Earth Day) at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan at 1.30. I'm hoping to be able to get there.

Best wishes.

Steve
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
User avatar
Tom Dowling
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Well, I've been a contributor and visitor to this site since 2001. At one time or another, one of my photographs was the opening page photograph. My teacher was Bill Ochs. I play the Penny Whistle. Not a lot else to say.
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Re: Bill Ochs, RIP

Post by Tom Dowling »

Steve:

Thank you for that information.

Tom Dowling
Post Reply