I have been playing bagpipes for the last 20 years. I received a full tuition bagpiping scholarship to Monmouth College where I graduated in 2000. I have traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Europe to compete in bagpiping competitions.
I have performed for hundreds of thousands of people, locally and nationwide, including hundreds of private and public events over the past 20 years.
Past Clients Include:
B96 Morning Show with Jay and Julian
US99 Morning Show with Lisa & Ray
CBS2 Morning Show
NBC Today Show
Dublin Ohio Irish Festival
Ryder Cup 2012
Various Local Parades and Festivals
Hundreds of Private Events (Funerals, Parties, Weddings)
Michael played the pipes in our front courtyard as our guests arrived for the St. Paddy's Day party. It set a great tone for the entire evening! Michael is an accomplished bagpipe player. He was professional, on time and enthusiastic about playing the pipes. I would highly recommend his services for an event.
Michael played beautifully and was a wonderful part of our mother's 80th birthday.
Response from Michael Forkan Bagpiper:
Pam, it was my pleasure to play for your mother's birthday. The home made scones were also delicious!
He was on time very professional the crowd loved him. Would happily rehire for another event.
Michael came on time, did a fantastic job and was super professional. Best party bag piper! Would highly recommend!
Michael greated our guests at the church and escorted them to the Reception! Beautiful music and professional service! One of the highlights of the day!
We hired Michael to play two songs at our wedding (processional and recessional). He never responded to my last emails confirming meeting location and how to finalize payment, which created some confusion on the event day. He was unwilling to go up and down stairs while playing to lead us in/out. We worked around it. Given that he only had to play two songs for a total of 5 minutes of work, we would have liked to have gotten more participation. His rendition of Highland Cathedral was fine. His rendition of Scotland the Brave devolved into a different song by the end. which was strange and unexpected given that it is such a standard song. Overall, it was a nice touch to have had a bagpiper, but there are better options out there.
Response from Michael Forkan Bagpiper:
Ken, I am sorry you didn't feel I participated to your liking. The issue of marching up and down the stairs was one of safety. I explained this to your wedding planner and they told me that was fine. If you read my other reviews, you will note that I have gone above and beyond for many of my clients. However, I will simply not put my safety at risk for anyone. As for payment, the balance is always due on the date of the performance. I have performed thousands of engagements and have never had any issues with payment on the day. I was in contact with you a week before the event to confirm the tunes and time. I did play a few extra tunes than you requested as they are standards that are often played with Scotland the Brave. It is neither strange or bizarre for traditional music to be played in sets. I did enjoy playing for your wedding and wish you the best of luck in the future.
Michael was professional and entertaining. He put on a great show at our cocktail event.
Michael was respectful and made a solemn occasion very touching with his beautiful music.
We contacted Michael on short notice for a funeral. Michael responded quickly and we were able to work out all of the arrangements easily. Michael was already at the burial site when we arrived. He led our funeral procession to the grave site while playing "Amazing Grace". It was really emotional for us. After the minister spoke, Michael played "Wings", which is a more upbeat piece. Michael was very professional and easy to work with. He played flawlessly and we would recommend him for any occasion.
We hired Michael to serenade our mother on her 75th birthday. He was great about communicating with us prior to the event and asking what favorites he should play. The day of, he was timely, looked great and played beautifully. She was thrilled and so were we!
Michael did a wonderful job; he was timely, played beautifully and was a great addition to our celebration.
Michael played during my mother's burial. We all thought he played a very good selection of songs and played them very well.
Response from Michael Forkan Bagpiper:
Thank you very much for the opportunity to help in remembering your mother. I am glad that I could be a part of the service.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 15 - 60 minutes
Insurance: $1,000,000 - General Liability Insurance
What to Expect
I work with my clients to help choose music and place the bagpipes in the right moment for the event. I have extensive performance experience and can offer insight as to the appropriate music and duration of play for your day. I can offer a link to video of various traditional tunes performed by me upon request.
I have been playing Highland Bagpipes for the past 20 years. I have played competitively since I began learning and have been fortunate enough to win many competitions across the US, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. I am still very active in the Chicago area and currently act as Pipe Major for a local band, in addition to being an instructor with a local piping and drumming academy where we teach Chicago area youth to keep the art of Highland Bagpiping and Drumming alive.
Some of my more memorable performances outside of competition have ranged from private weddings to large scale events such as the Ryder Cup. The bagpipes are a unique sound and will add impact to whatever event you have planned.
Additional Booking Notes
I don't have any requirements for performance except the occasional need for a separate room to tune my instrument.
Past Booked Events
|March 16, 2019 • 8:00pm - 8:30pm||House Party|
|March 16, 2019 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Cocktail Party|
|August 10, 2018 • 9:00am - 9:15am||Birthday Party|
|March 17, 2018 • 8:30pm - 9:00pm||Holiday Party|
|March 17, 2018 • 5:30pm - 6:00pm||Dinner Party|
|March 17, 2018 • 4:00pm - 4:45pm||House Party|
|August 26, 2017 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm||Birthday (Adult)|
|May 20, 2017 • 5:00pm - 6:30pm||Wedding Ceremony|
|March 17, 2017 • 3:30pm - 4:15pm||Cocktail Party|
|March 17, 2017 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm||Corporate Event|
|March 17, 2017 • 6:00am - 8:30am||Holiday Party (Other)|
|March 14, 2017 • 1:00pm - 1:30pm||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|April 21, 2016 • 3:30pm - 3:45pm||Corporate Event|
|April 15, 2016||Nonprofit Event|
|April 08, 2016 • 12:00pm - 12:15pm||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|March 21, 2016 • 10:00am - 11:00am||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|March 17, 2016||Nightclub Event|
|March 12, 2016||Holiday Party (Other)|
|March 12, 2016 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm||Surprise|
|October 24, 2015||Wedding Ceremony|
|October 09, 2015||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|October 03, 2015||Festival|
|September 12, 2015||Wedding Ceremony|
|July 25, 2015||Birthday (Adult)|
|July 24, 2015||Sporting Event|
|June 30, 2015||Birthday (Adult)|
|June 12, 2015||Wedding Ceremony|
|June 12, 2015||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|March 19, 2015||Ethnic Celebration|
|February 07, 2015||Birthday Party|
|March 01, 2014||Fundraiser|
|November 30, 2013||Wedding Ceremony|
|August 18, 2013||Birthday Party|
|July 13, 2013||Funeral Service|
I have an extensive repertoire including most of the standard traditional bagpipe tunes. I can also learn music upon request and if it is feasible.
Influences & Inspiration
City of Chicago Pipe Band
Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band
St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band
No special equipment needed
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