I was raised by my Scot/Irish grandfather. Learning early that "this is the music, and everyone plays", attitude of the Scot mentality. Did not start playing Bagpipes till I was 35 or so. I speak English, Understand bad Scottish , decent Irish and bad German. Grandfather said "If you make their hair stand up or make them cry, then you did your job right". I play an 80 years old set of Henderson bagpipes and pride myself in the "cold play" technique. Every job I do I pride myself in never minding how big or small it is. I learned quickly enough to play for my Grandmothers funeral. She had me play my list of funeral tunes and picked the ones to play and when to play them. Irish tunes and then Amazing Grace at the end. I was told when it was over by a relative, "I was OK until you played Amazing Grace, then we all cried". I just thought "Well Grandpa, I did it right".
I used to compete at piping highland games. I met a solo entertainer that altered my thinking. He said "I like bagpipe bands, competing is OK, but playing in a band never put food on my table, sorry". He also said "Grade one or no grade at all, people will only pay so much to hear Amazing Grace, so if I play it with more heart and less 'by-the-book' , and do it the way they want it to sound instead of the way I want to play it, well then thats it, I play for the people not myself and being a grade one piper dosen't really mean anymore gigs or money". Sounded harsh at the time, a lot of pipe majors, mine included hated the guy, but he was right. His words still influence me to this day.
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 15 - 60 minutes
Some piper once told me "Leave them wantin' more" , not on my watch. The people will always get a full view from me. If the want a concert, I play all I have practiced and can fit in my time slot. I never leave an audience wanting more , just craving it. I put my heart into every performance I play, being a concert or funeral. I do not play whats in the book that I learned it from , but more.
My biggest accomplishments to date are: Caesars Place , Las Vegas. 20,000 spectators on site, Obama and Telecast around the world. And Caesars has already called back for more.
Graveside in the pouring rain for MIA(missing in action) Vietnam veteran funeral 45 years to the day he died. Biggest funeral seen in 60 years in the east. Telecast on CNN, MSNBC and others. For this I was asked personally to play. I charged nothing.(I felt the family had already paid)
Weddings, Festivals, Funerals and other events comprise most of my schedule weekly.
As a piper I pride myself in giving the customer what they want. Some pipers say they cannot play a tune because "It dosen't suit the pipes", dosen't suit the piper is more like it. Some bagpipers tell you what they will do and stick to it. I tell you what I have done in the past, make suggestions as to what might be better. If you want a certain tune , I'll try my best to give you that tune. I am an American businessman and pride myself in giving the customer just what they want, not what I want.
I carry with me in my arms all I need to play, my bagpipes. I do not need sound equipment . But if I am at a Festival and it is available I will use it depending upon the crowd.
I know all of the tunes needed for any event. I always ask the customer before hand if there is anything that they want to hear or better yet, not hear. There are some tunes that just will not work on bagpipes, I have a list of those also. I can play all of the traditional tunes and then some. Most Christmas tunes and others that are seasonal. I also have a vast library of tunes to reference to. If I don't know it I will learn it before the said event.
Past Booked Dates:
05-12-2012 — Wedding
11-26-2011 — wedding, Grandview
11-12-2011 — Vet. day ceremony trenton ga
11-11-2011 — Parade, Trenton Ga
10-29-2011 — wedding , roswell DT
10-22-2011 — wedding, downtown chattanooga
10-21-2011 — Cancer walk for the cure
10-20-2011 — Funeral
10-15-2011 — Wedding, Fairyland Club
10-15-2011 — Graduation V. College
09-20-2011 — Funeral Vietnam MIA
09-11-2011 — 9/11 firemans memorial
07-25-2011 — Caesars Palace , Las Vegas
Available for Your
Awards Night, Casino, Christmas Party, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Ethnic Celebration, Fair, Festival, Funeral Service, Graduation, Grand Opening, Holiday Party, Parade, Religious Celebration, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Workshop
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