At what type of events can you play?

In my opinion anytime is a good time for bagpipes!  However, some events are more typical than others.  So far I have performed at:

How much does it cost to hire a bagpiper?

The fee varies from piper to piper.  I cannot speak for anyone else, but my base fee is approximately $275.  This may vary depending on the nature, duration, and location of the event.  For example a funeral in my local area might be $275, but if I was asked to play at the funeral service then drive to the grave site and play again, that would be more due to the added distance and time.  Weddings typically require a longer time commitment due to the length of the service, so they often are higher than the $275.  Events on high demand days, like St. Patrick's Day or Memorial Day may be more expensive due to higher demand.  Rates are negotiable.  I am happy to work with you to stay within a reasonable budget.

Price estimator*

*Subject to change, for estimation purposes only.  Details of event and piper availability will determine final price.

Will you play at ________ for free?

Again the answer is maybe.  I do play gratis for time to time depending on the event. So please feel free to make and inquiry.  Often my gratis playing is for public events (police, fire, military memorials) or for public figures (the Doolittle Raiders Final Toast, etc...).  But please ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable asking a photographer, florist, or caterer to provide their services for free for this event?"  If yes, ask away, if no, then contact me anyways and we will work out a price that works within your budget.

Why does it cost ____ for my event?  I only want _____.

It is important to remember that a piper cannot snap his or her fingers and magically appear at your event in appropriate highland dress, in tune, and hit all the right notes.  Learning the music takes many hours of practice, so you are paying for the skill of the piper as well as his or her time.  In addition, a lot of preparation takes place even for short events.  The piper must dress, assemble the pipes, drive to the location, meet with the event coordinator for last minute instructions, tune, and then wait for their cue.  After playing the piper then drives back home, cleans the uniform, and performs routine maintenance on the pipes.  All in all, even for a single tune, I estimate I spent at least three hours on every event I play. 

But bagpipes are only for people of Scottish decent, right?

The pipes are an ancient instrument and many ancient cultures used them.  The version I play found its final form in the highlands of Scotland, but in reality, piping is for everyone.

Can you play _______ (name of popular tune) on the bagpipes?

Maybe...The traditional Great Highland Bagpipe (GHB) chanter has only 9 notes.  This gives me the ability to play 1 octave plus a note.  Furthermore it does not have the ability to play extra sharps or flats.  Due to these limitations, the GHB often is just not capable of playing many modern musical tunes.  In some cases a note can be substituted or transposed to fall within the GBH's limitations, but not always.  If the GHB is capable of producing the right notes then it comes down to a question of my ability.  When in doubt, please ask and I will do my best to accommodate.