A Piper for Your Special Occasion or Event

I am often asked to play for occasions that fall outside the predictable “weddings and funerals” expectations of a piper.

Among these are: Birthday parties, anniversaries of all kinds, and even engagements where, quite often, “I” am the surprise for someone who is passionate about their Scottish/ Irish/ Celtic ancestry or just the bagpipe, and, yes, “Happy Birthday” works fabulously on the pipes! 

A particular holiday might be the reason: St. Patrick’s Day (of course!), Halloween (Samhain-Celtic New Year), St Andrew’s Day (Patron Saint of Scotland), New Year’s Eve (THE big winter holiday in Scotland), and more recently, for patriotic reasons like Independence Day and September 11th. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is virtually impossible on the pipes for a lot of reasons, however, “God Bless America” happens to work reasonably well.

Christmas and the story of the birth of Christ is a holiday traditionally associated with the bagpipe.

Christmas Carols, many of them simple, old folk tunes work on the bagpipe with varying degrees of success. Please see the “Tone and Tuning” section of  The Nature of the Beast.

Some of the best songs for the bagpipe are:

Angels we have heard on High

Away in Manger

Deck the Halls

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Good King Wenceslas

Hark! The Herald Angles sing

Here we come a wassailing

It came upon a midnight clear

O Christmas tree

O come All Ye Faithful

O come, O come Emmanuel

O Holy Night

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Silent Night, Holy Night

The First Noel

The Little Drummer Boy

We Three Kings of Orient are...

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

What child is this?

What child is this on Earth?

Speaking of the holidays, everyone in the English-speaking world sings “Auld Lang Syne” at New Year’s. Many are surprised when they hear the pipe music arrangement of this ubiquitous Scottish Anthem. Please see the “Tone and Tuning” section of  The Nature of the Beast.

Sometimes I have been hired simply as a pragmatic tool: At a business convention, to lead 200-300 people from the showroom floor to the lunch being catered in the dining room down the hall and around the corner… 

Sometimes the reason is more obvious and self-explanatory: As a very visible as well as audible symbol of golf’s firm connection with Scotland, the home of the game; At whiskey tastings where a variety of the better “single-malts” as well as blended Scotch whiskeys are featured; Burn’s Nights (to remember and celebrate Robert Burns, champion of the Scottish tongue), and family reunions.

In truth, the sky is the limit on reasons to hire me for your event, outing or special occasion.