Give the gift of a piper! Since 1983 I have performed at all sorts of events from weddings, funerals, private parties and educational shows. Often I am the gift of music. I take great care in helping the client select the best tunes for their event. Listen to samples here in the audio section.
Walter Mattheau's 75th Birthday Party
The Blue Man Group recording & party
President Bill Clinton at University of Chicago graduation
Personal piper for 2 years for The British Counsul General, Roger Carrick.
George Killian (Killian's Irish Red): piper for one week tour of Chicago.
Memorial service for Woodward A. Wickham former V.P. of Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Mary piped at my father's funeral last week. Her assistance with selections for the church and gravesite were most helpful and hearing the sound of the pipes as we lead my father from the church to the coach was both beautiful and heartbreaking. She also played at the gravesite on an exceedingly cold and windy day.
A piper was Dad's request and we were fortunate to find Mary.
"Bagpipe Mary" dresses, plays, and acts as the proverbial piper of all clans!
The guests at the Wedding of my eldest son marveled at her performance. Each remarked on her attention to detail in the authentic Tartan dress. Her playing captured the memories of each in attendance who remark on her performance. My relations from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada frequently attend Saint Anne's College of drummers and pipers and daily hear pipes across the glens ranked her with the legendary pipers of the Island.
With her flaming red hair streaming behind her, the pipes respond to her caress as if all the pipers before her immersed within her. She represents the best of the best of Pipers.
Making memories results from her playing of the bagpipes.
Response from Bagpipe Mary:
It was a an honor to be a part of this very special day for you and your family. It was a stunning ceremony with such great attention to every detail.
I'm not a client of Mary's, but another piper on this site. Her playing is exceptionally good!! I listened to her audio samples and I am extremely impressed not only with her playing, but with her reed quality, instrument set up and miking of the instrument. She's definitely the piper I'd hire.
Response from Bagpipe Mary:
Thanks for the kind words, Victor! I want to put up more recordings but its hard to find the time. I have a demanding "day job". I use Husk reeds (Huskreeds.com) also on FaceBook. They take a while to get but they are worth the wait. Best, Mary
Mary's piping ability, which is very good, is complemented by her
professionalism, her charm and her sensitivity to the moment. I would
highly recommend Mary to anyone in need of her service
We have hired Mary many times for funeral services over the past ten years. She is punctual, charming, and a great bagpiper. She has always been accomadating to our families schedules and their wishes. She is always the first bagpiper we call.
As the above headline indicates, I am exceedingly well versed with Mary
Tallman and her piping ability, which is very, very good... and... and the
more importantly... with her demeanor and her comportment at events.
Both in her music... and in her bearing... she is above reproach.
I recommend her to you, without hesitation, and unreservedly... and I
most happily look forward to future piping engagements with her.
Mary was great! She was very open and sensitive about all our needs and requests for the wedding.
She did over and above what we asked her to do and everyone not only loved her but they are still talking about her talented performance.
I was asked by the widow of a great friend of mine to find a bagpiper for his memorial service a year and a half ago. He was a wonderful old fellow who loved people and his own Scotch/Irish roots. His wife wanted something that he liked played on bagpipes and I knew Mary so I arranged for her to play. She was no less than wonderful in all ways playing the requested pieces and ending with a great rendition of "Scotland The Brave" blasting across the room. I wish I had arranged for a drummer as well as Mary's performance was spot on.
Mary was also extremely gracious and kind to the relatives of my friend and greatly impressed all of them with her sensitivity. So much so that she was asked to stay as a guest after her playing for the repass.
I cannot recommend someone as both performer and person more highly.
Mary stole the show on a last minute booking. An important client asked for a bagpiper at the very last minute at an event and Mary was a dream come true for us. She was on time, totally professional, and an incredibly talented musician on an unfairly off hour and inconveniently located event. She really saved us!
My husband and I thought Bagpipe Mary was so much fun and her performance was fabulous!! Made for a very entertaining night. We would love to see her play anytime!! I highly recommend her.
I own Kolssak Funeral Home in Wheeling, Illinois. Mary is my first call for every life celebration that requires Bagpipes. She is very prompt, responsive and talented. She is often the little touch that makes an event perfect. Mary's resume is full and her willingness to please is welcomed. If anyone ever needs a musician Mary is just a phone call away.
I was at a party that Mary showed up for as a surprise. She was amazing and the songs she chose where perfect! Shes very professional and looks the part as well! I highly recommend her for and party or event!
Mary piped for my wedding as well as for my dad's funeral. She is professional, kind, appropriate and super talented. Guests at my wedding were completely wowed! She got big cheers! And everyone wanted to hire her for their event. Plus, she can hold her own with fun facts about pipers and humor. Hugely popular with my circle! Have Mary at your event and it will be remembered with a smile.
I Hired Mary to Come play Bagpipes at my Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary, She has made an everlasting memory for everyone who was there, My Irish Father was brought to tears of joy as he watched her play effortlessly, I will never forget that moment and will cherish it always. Mary brought so much Joy and Talent to the Party that people to this day are still talking about her performance and how much they enjoyed her, I would hire her again in a heartbeat! She really made the Party a great success! it would not have been the same had she not been there performing.
Response from Bagpipe Mary:
Thank you Laura for those kind words. You pulled off an amazing surprise with your siblings. I will always look back on that night with fond memories.
Mary was totally amazing! She helped me surprise my boss for his 50th Birthday and that she did. He loved every minute of it. Not only did she surprise my boss but a department of 35 people but the entire floor as well. She is very entertaining and I would hire her in a minute. Highly recommend her. She is professional and her ability to fill that bagpipe with those amazing sounds is incredible. Thanks Mary! Loved it!
I decided I wanted to add to the "normal" St. Patrick's Day party by hiring Mary. She was great.....All my guest's where stunned when she walked in playing the pipes! Mary was played for the crowd, gave a little history and even asked if I had someone in mind to help her teach them a lesson or two holding the bags! Mary arrived on time and even mingled with the crowd after she was done! Perfect night!
We needed a bagpiper for a memorial service and were very lucky to find Mary. Her professionalism and respect added so much to the service. I wouldn't hesitate to use her for any occasion that calls for a bagpiper.
Bagpipe Mary came out and entertained the masses at Bridie McKenna's St. Paddy's Day Party. Throngs of kids followed her throughout the pub and patio and gained an experience they will not soon forget. Her ability to engage people of all ages while exposing us all to some fantastic piping is something for which we are extremely grateful. We're looking forward to hearing her again.
AWESOME, that is what Mary was. She was polite, on time and went above and beyond to help us. She had the crowd cheering in delight. She interacted with the crowd, talked with the kids, I could have not asked for more. Not only did I hire a bagpiper I think I made a new friend. Mary will get antoher call when the time comes. THANK YOU MARY!!
I called Bagpipe Mary as a last minute addition to my mother's funeral services. I didn't expect that she would be able to take the job on such short notice, but she returned my call immediately and came the next day to play at the gravesite. She knew all my requests and she played beautifully! Her music added so much and gave us comfort at a sad time. I know my mother was smiling from heaven!
Response from Bagpipe Mary:
Thank you for your thoughtful words, Colleen. Best, Mary
Mary played at my friend's wedding a few years ago in Oak Park. The wedding was held in an old mansion, and her music sounded amazing echoing through the walls of the historic estate. It added a lot to the atmosphere of the event. I introduced myself to her after the service, as I live close to Dunedin, a small town in Florida that has a lot of Scottish settlers and large number of bagpipers. It turned out that she had been to Dunedin to study bag piping. Small world!
Response from Bagpipe Mary:
Thanks for the great review Dave. I'll never foreget that day as It was an amazing venue and so romantic.
You have quite the memory for details. You would make a great script/continuity supervisor!
i can't say enough about Mary and her professionalism and talent. Mary recorded bagpipe music for our puppet production of "Hans My Hedgehog." She was able to suggest a number of pieces for the score and played them all with the greatest of skill. Besides being technically proficient in her craft, I found her to be a pleasure to work with and full of positive energy. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of her service.
Price Range: Usually $175 - $350 depending on time & travel
Unions: Studio Mechanics Locals 476 & 161
What to Expect
Every event is special. Here are some examples.
For Weddings I usually play the recessional for the bride & groom. And then play outside as the wedding party and guests exit. The bride selects the tunes from my SoundCloud account or here on GigSalad.
For a funeral/memorial service I play the casket into the church with a tune the family selects, or "piper's choice". The most popular tunes are "The Mist Covered Mountains"which was played at JFK's funeral and "Lord Lovatt's Lament" which has a lovely melody. For the casket recessional into the hearse another tune per the family request. If they request me at the cemetary then I play the casket from the hearse to the gravesite; processional tune per the family's selection, or piper's choice. At the end after the funeral director announces the luncheon I play "Amazing Grace" and slowly walk away. "Amazing Grace" is best for the very end since it can make everyone cry, Some more tunes: "Taps" "Danny Boy", "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", "For Ireland I Will Not Tell Her Name", "Hector The Hero.". It depends on what the family desires. I have a list of tunes with Youtube links that families can listen and pick from.
A "Bagpipe Telegram" is a popular at office or home parties. "Happy Birthday". Depending on the guest of honor and what their friends and family want it can be a great photo opportunity when I let them try to squeeze the bag! I tell some humorous scottish and irish jokes.
Give the gift of a piper! Often my services are given to the a family by a group of friends for a wedding, funeral or birthday surprise.
I wear a kilt with the Campbell of Argyl tartan, from my mother's side of the family. I was taught classical highland bagpipe as a teenager. For several years from 1986-2006 I competed in solo and pipe band competitions all over North America and Scotland. Years later I taught beginners in the Chicago area. Currently I prefrer to performing as a soloist. Listen to some tune samples here on my Gigsalad page.
We can discuss the details of your event and customize the tunes to suit your tastes. I have some sound samples here. There are too many tunes to record so if you don't see it just ask. I probably know the tune, can learn or transpose it. The following are some popular tune by event type.
Processional: Highland Cathedral, Ode to Joy, Wedding March/Here Comes The Bride
Recessional: Scotland The Brave, Glendaruel Highlanders, Murdo's Wedding, Bonnie Dundee, Garry Owen or any requests.
Amazing Grace, Lord Lovat's Lament, Danny Boy, Irish Eyes, The Mist Covered Mountains, For Ireland I Will Not Tell Her Name, The Gael, Taps, Hector The Hero, The Dark Island, Going Home, Will Ye Nae Come Back Again, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Flowers of the Forest, I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen and others.
Birthdays & special requests that I've played In the past:
Happy Birthday, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, It's A Long Way To The Top (By AC/DC), Smells Like Teen Spirit (By Nirvana, for Blue Man Group's lobby pipe exhibit), This Must Be The Place (By The Talking Heads for a wedding), Notre Dame Fight song, Bear Down Chicago Bears (for a sports fan's funeral). I piped a two hour pub crawl last year that was a blast!
Taps, Marine Hymn, You're A Grand Old Flag, My Country Tis Of Thee, Yankee Doodle and more.
Oh Come All Ye Faithfull, What Child is This, Auld Lang Syne, 12 Days of Christmans, Silent Night ..and others.
I am proud that many of my clients are repeat clients. I pipe for all of their family parties: Reuinions, weddings, birthdays and of course funerals. I'm looking forward to meeting you and your family. Contact me through GigSalad to discuss your event.
Additional Booking Notes
No special technicalrequirements. The pipes sound best when the temperature is above 40 degrees. But I have played gravesite in blinding snow, and it was good.
Past Booked Events
|September 06, 2014||Wedding Cocktail Hour|
|June 21, 2014||Funeral Service|
|June 09, 2013||Other|
|June 09, 2013||Wedding Ceremony|
|December 16, 2012||Festival|
This varies per type of event, of course. If you don't see a tune you would like, please ask.
• Scotland The Brave/Wings
• Lord Lovat’s Lament (can be played as a slow air as well)
Slow Airs/Jig Set
• Irish Eyes
• Danny Boy
• Rocking The Baby
• The Green Hills of Tyrol/When The Battle is O’re
• J.K. Cairns /Balmoral
• Fanny Power
• Cap Lachlan MacPhail of Tyree
• Colonel MacLeod
• Sandy’s New Chanter
• Glasgow Police Pipers
• Garry Owen / Bonnie Dundee
• The Glendaruel Highlanders
• Miss Lily Christie
• Farewell To The Creeks
• Kelsey’s Wee Reel
• Irish Traditional Reel
The Mist Covered Mountains (played at JFK’s Funeral)
For Ireland I Will Not Tell Her Name
Hector The Hero
Flower Of Scotland,
Irish Eyes, Danny Boy (and others.)
Lord Lovat’s Lament
For Weddings: see 4/4 and 6/8 marches
|Mary Tallman||solo piper|
Influences & Inspiration
I like the Chieftans and celtic music. I think it's important to know the history behind the instrument and the music since people are often curious and ask questions. I used to compete in bagpipe band competitions with The University of Chicago pipe band. I competed in Canada, the Midwest and Scottish championships. We took several awards including "Best Overseas Band" in Glasgow 1993. I admire my teachers that gave me a good foundation of piping technique. I always strive to keep my piping level up to par with those ideals they instilled in me.
I wear tradional highlnad dress and bring my own instrument. No special additional equipment required.
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