I'm a traditional Scottish great highland bagpiper for weddings, funerals, charity events, holiday parties, education events, graduation, golf tournaments, public safety, and birthday parties in the Charlotte area and all of North and South Carolina. I wear my clan tartan, MacInnes, and I've been playing for 10 years. I am passionate about my instrument and bringing this beautiful music to any and every event. I work hard to accommodate as many music requests as are possible. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
For a quieter, more intimate indoor option, I also offer the shuttle pipes (video and audio coming soon) as an alternative to the great highland bagpipes.
Very honored to have Ally play for our non-profit event! Will absolutely ask her to play again!
Response from Bagpiper Ally McKinnis:
Charlene, it was so beautiful to be able to be at your event and play the bagpipes! I can tell the one-star review was purely accidental; no worries!
Ally was great, she shared how the bagpipes are played, and the mechanics, with the residents.
Ally played for our event again this year and was fabulous - again! She’s such a pro and pleasure to work with. Her musicianship is top-notch. She delivered the perfect atmosphere and mood thanks to her special knack and abilities to get things just right. She’s always on time and ready to go. We love having her play and visit our church and look forward to seeing her again next year!
A PURE DELIGHT , QUITE A SURPRISE FOR THOSE ATENDING. THIS WAS A MEMORIAL EVENT FOR MY LATE WIFE. EVERONE LOVED THE MUSIC SELECTION. MANY THANKS........
Ally came to play for our Kirkin' O' The Tartans Worship Service and was FANTASTIC! Not only is she personable and friendly, she's incredibly talented and a joy to work with. She arrived on time and her music was perfect. Her performance was top-notch. I would recommend her to everyone. She's a "real pro!" We can't wait for the next time!
It was our pleasure to have Ally play at the dedication of our new worship center. Her performance was just the added touch that made the occasion so special. She is a true professional and plays with heart and conviction. I can highly recommend her for your consideration. Dr. David B Fannin, Senior Pastor, Nassau Bay Baptist Church, Houston, Tx
I hired Ally to play an "Amazing Grace" as a surprise for a friend at a local business. Having lived in Scotland for three years, I heard a lot of Scottish bagpipers on the streets and at special events. Ally's ability is equal to one of the most experienced bagpipers I have an opportunity to meet! As Ally was playing, few tears were shed. It was touching and beautiful. I will definitely hire her again in the future!
Price Range: $50-$400
Gig Length: 1 - 45 minutes
What to Expect
I always arrive 30 minutes early and ready to perform, already tuned up.
Costume: full Scottish uniform (traditional, formal), half uniform (cream chamise top with Scottish kilt and hose, good for beach events), and business casual (slacks and button down).
Funerals: A bagpiper playing as guest are arriving, leaving, or at the graveside is a common sight. Bagpipers in full traditional Scottish uniform make any funeral or memorial ceremony a special one. Please note: I cannot perform graveside services between November 1 and March 1 due to the extreme temperatures in the Carolinas and the risk of damaging the pipes.
Weddings: Some brave lasses want to go down the aisle to the tune of a bagpiper. Bagpipers at weddings make everything lively and grand. Brides usually like to have a piper play as guests leave the ceremony or as they arrive at the reception.
Demonstrations: Sharing the history, physics, and science behind the great highland bagpipes is one of my passions. I will be able to include hands-on items to show how the bagpipes work, how the music is played and the history behind Celtic music, and what the modern Scottish uniform looks like today.
Other: Get creative! I'm willing to work with you on just about anything!
The name 'McKinnis' is derived from the ancient Hebrides clan of 'MacInnes', which means son of Angus. Despite my ancestors being from America since the middle 1700s, I claim Scottish blood from most of my family. My kilt and uniform are woven in the traditional MacInnes ancient hunting plaid. I have traveled to Scotland once, when I was 10 years old, and that is when I first became interested in learning the bagpipes. I began playing on the practice chanter for the pipes at age 11.
In addition to competing in solo competitions all around the United States, I was a member of the North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums corp for four years. I have been a professional bagpiper for 9 years and I have been playing the bagpipes for a total of ten years.
In addition to being a piper, I love playing my other instruments: shuttle pipes, Irish tin whistle, and my Appalachian dulcimer.
Additional Booking Notes
Remember, this is a very loud instrument so bear in mind that for an indoor event this instrument will become the center of attention until I have finished playing! Outdoor events are much more easy to handle and therefore the instrument will be drowned out a little more. If you are worried about noise, the shuttle pipes that I also offer might be a better option. We can discuss.
Please keep in mind that I cannot perform outdoor events between November 1 and March 1 because of cold temperatures and the risk of damaging the bagpipes. They are a very fragile and sensitive instrument and are extremely difficult to keep in tune in cold temperatures. This includes graveside services.
Upcoming Booked Events
|May 26, 2019 • 4:30pm - 7:00pm||Wedding Ceremony|
|June 06, 2019 • 5:00pm - 6:30pm||Cultural Event|
|June 08, 2019 • 4:30pm - 5:30pm||Wedding Ceremony|
Past Booked Events
|May 19, 2019 • 2:00pm - 2:45pm||Nonprofit Event|
|March 16, 2019 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm||Campus Event|
|February 24, 2019 • 10:30am - 12:00pm||Religious Celebration|
|December 05, 2018 • 6:30pm - 7:15pm||House Party|
|May 12, 2018 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|March 15, 2018 • 11:00am - 1:00pm||Corporate Event|
|November 05, 2017 • 10:30am - 12:00pm||Worship Service|
|October 29, 2017 • 10:30am - 12:00pm||Worship Service|
Music: There are hundreds of tunes for the bagpipes that vary in style, tempo, and mood. Traditional music for the bagpipes include strathspeys, reels, jigs, hornpipes, marches, slow airs, and piobaireachd, the traditional lament-style of bagpipe music. Here is a list of commonly recognized piping tunes:
Scotland the Brave
Green Hills of Tyrol
Some non-traditional tunes are requested as well:
The Wedding March
University of North Carolina/Peace University Alma Mater
North Carolina State University Fight Song
If you are interested in having a specific song played please contact me well in advance. Not every song is compatible with the bagpipes and the range of notes is limited. I cannot do duets with other musicians or singers, as the bagpipes are too complex for this to be within scope of play.
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