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Music Samples
 
I play a couple of hundred different tunes, traditional Scots and Irish tunes, plus more modern compositions, and some pop tunes adapted for the pipes.  Here are some recorded excerpts of my playing.  These are examples of some of the tunes that are often requested for particular purposes, such as bringing in a bride.

If you'd like to request a tune or a song, please let me know;  I can adapt many tunes to the pipes. You should know, though, that not all songs fit nicely on the Highland bagpipes due to the nature of the musical scale on the pipes. Still, a good musician can work wonders sometimes!

About the music clips below:  If you have trouble getting them to play in your browser, you may want to download the clips to your computer (using "Save Link Target As ..." if you have that option).

Scotland the Brave
Garry Owen
Wearing of the Green
Loch Lomond
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Irish Lullaby - this Bing Crosby tune fits well on the pipes!
Mull of Kintyre - this tune was very popular with Paul McCartney's recording, where he uses a pipe band.
Auld Lang Syne - classic Scots melody!
I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen - a beautiful Irish song.

Processionals
Here are some tunes suitable for a wedding entrance, or a stately processional:

Here are some traditional wedding pieces I adapted for the bagpipes:
The Bridal March - so many folks have asked about this, I decided to make a recording so folks could see if they liked it on the pipes. What do you think?
Bagpipe Voluntary - Some customers requested the "Trumpet Voluntary" for their upcoming wedding.  Well, it's not quite Masterpiece Theater, but here it is!
Water Music, Handel
Ode to Joy - the theme from Beethoven's Symphony #9.

and here are some wonderful Scots and Irish tunes I've used for processionals:

Wedding Music from Braveheart - there's a lovely flute/tinwhistle theme, followed by the Irish pipes; here they are on the Scottish Highland pipes. If your ears are good, you can detect I added just a little reverberation electronically - it just seemed to call out for it!
All Those Endearing Young Charms  - often used for a bride's entrance, or the bridesmaids.
Flora MacDonald's Love Song - I heard two fiddlers playing this lovely melody and I adapted it for the bagpipes.
Highland Cathedral - a wonderful, stately melody
Setting a Course for Lewis - this beautiful melody tells the story of a young man encouraging his fiancee to journey with him back to the Isle of Lewis where they were both born.  The evocative strains of the song suit the the occasion of bringing a bride down the aisle, don't they?
The Rowan Tree - a traditional Scots song, lovely and stately.
Flower of Scotland - this is a slow air in 3/4 time, a lovely melody.
Bells of St. Marys - from the Bing Crosby film. A customer requested this for her wedding, and it's such a pretty tune!
Titanic Medley  - here's a set of melodies I adapted from "Titanic" - the first theme is played in the background a great deal during some of the emotional moments.  "My Heart Will Go On" follows.  (Note:  I added a little electronic reverb here, it just seemed to call for it!)
She Moved Through the Fair - here's a lovely Irish tune often used for processionals.

Recessionals

When the wedded couple is presented to the congregation and the piper plays them out to the front of the church, a joyful, sprightly tune is called for.  Tunes like "Scotland the Brave" (above) or  "Rab's Wedding" are just the thing - a happy, foot-tapping tune to accentuate the joy of the occasion!

Playing Before and after the Wedding Ceremony
When I'm asked to play as the guests arrive, and after the ceremony is over, I play medleys of Scottish and Irish tunes - all sorts of marches, dance tunes (waltzes, hornpipes, jigs), separated by slower songs to vary the music for the listener. I've made a couple of mp3s of representative medleys, to give some idea what I end up playing. Since I know a couple hundred tunes, what I play for you probably won't be exactly the same, but it'll have the same musical flow. 

Note: the following mp3s only contain portions of the tunes mentioned, to make them shorter to listen to.

Medley 1:  Here, I start out with a slow air "Come to the Hills", and follow it with a 3/4 march "Lochanside", followed by another march (4/4) "Flora Duncan"  followed by another march (6/8/) "John Burgess".  I slow it down with a slow air "Classical Bob" (don't ask me about these titles!), then into a couple of quick jigs  "Kesh Jig/Rockin' the Baby" followed by a fast "Carnival Reel" with a fancy ending.

Medley 2: Here I start off with some classic Scottish 6/8 marches, then into a charming waltz "The Ass in the Graveyard". From there, it's into a bouncy hornpipe, "Bruce Gandy's Dusty Chanter", followed by a jig "The Judge's Dilemma" with a fun ending.

Memorials
Amazing Grace is often played at memorial services, of course. 

I've played at many military services where the Honor Guard was not able to bring a bugler, and offered to play "Taps" for the service:

The Navy Hymn, also called "Eternal Father, Strong to Save", is often played at military memorial services, for Navy veterans.

Danny Boy sounds wonderful on the pipes and I'm often asked to play it at memorial services.

If you're looking for someone to play bugle at a ceremony (for instance, "Taps" at a memorial), you might contact Bugles Across America:
 http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org
They're an organization providing buglers to play "Taps" for veteran's ceremonies.  Their local representative in San Diego is Michael Timson, 85 863 3370. Also, Roy Zanni, 858 566 8123, is an active member of Bugles Across America.

Other tunes:
At memorial ceremonies, I often play beforehand, as folks are arriving, and sometimes after the ceremony is over, as folks are chatting and remembering. I tend to play a whole series of Scottish airs and songs of a memorial nature - classics Scots songs like "Flowers of the Forest", "Will Ye No' Come Back Again",  and "Lord Lovat's Lament" (not a sad tune, despite the word Lament in the title), Irish tunes like "Minstrel Boy" and "Let Erin Remember", songs that commemorate men and women ("Fair Maid of Barra", "Hector the Hero"), and many songs that have to do with moving on ("Skye Boat Song", "Setting a Course for Lewis").  The titles aren't so important, but I try to provide pretty and "not-sad" tunes for background as people assemble. etc.

Patriotic Tunes

Here are some American patriotic tunes, suitable for ceremonies:
God Bless America
America the Beautiful
My Country 'Tis of Thee

and some military songs:
the Marine Corps Hymn
Army anthem ("When the Caissons Go Rolling Along")
Anchor's Aweigh

National Anthems

Often,  I'm asked to play a nation's national anthem, when appropriate; here are a few that I've adapted:

The Star Spangled Banner - we know how hard it can be to sing this, it has such a wide range.  Adapting that range to the 9 notes of the bagpipe is tricky, but I believe I play a very nice version of it. Certainly the US Marine and Navy ceremonies that have had me play it for considered it a good adaptation.

Canadian national anthem  (Oh, Canada) - again, a few notes have to be changed to conform to the bagpipe's scale, but the melody is all there.

Irish National Anthem

British national anthem (God Save the Queen)

New Zealand national anthem (God Defend New Zealand)

Australian national anthem (Advance, Australia Fair) 


and of course, I'd be happy to check out other anthems, if folks request.


Military Dining-In Ceremonies

I've played at many dining-in ceremonies. (Since I was in the U.S. Navy, I feel particularly at home at one of their functions.) Traditionally, the bagpipes play the tune "The Roast Beef of Old England" to bring in the main course, and I've learned the tune so I can play it at these functions.

Parties
Recently, I've done a lot of birthday parties; now, not everyone knows that Happy Birthday can be played on the bagpipes - give it a listen!  I usally tell the folks at the party that I've been asked to play a special, ancient Scottish air to celebrate the occasion - then I play Happy Burthday for them!  It gets a laugh or two. -)

College Ceremonies

Pipes are sometimes used at college graduation ceremonies. Recently I was asked to play for a school rally and freshman orientation ceremony, playing the school song.  It's nice how often a song fits onto the bagpipes as well as this does - the range of the bagpipes is similar to the human voice, so a singable melody usually fits well on the pipes!

I've gotten some requests for various college football songs.   Here's the Michigan Fight Song, adapted for the pipes!  Other songs I've played have been the "Iowa Fight Song" and "On Wisconsin", as well as the "Notre Dame Fight Song". Heck, if a group of folks can sing it, I can play it. -)

Customer Requests

Here's where I'll mention some of the songs that customers have requested for various ceremonies:

"As Time Goes By" - from the great  film "Casablanca", with Humphrey Bogart.   I keep picturing Ilsa stepping up to the piper (!)  in Rick's Scottish Cafe, saying "Play it, Angus; play 'As Time Goes By' ". -)
"Let It Be Me "
"Irish National Anthem "
"The Gael"- this is the theme from "The Last of the Mohicans"
"Star Wars theme"     - as long as a tune sounds decently on the pipes and is playable, I'm happy to play it for you!
"What a Wonderful World "
"Yellow "

May 2010: I've been arranging a lot of tunes for the bagpipes recently:
    When the Saint Go Marching In, to lead wedding guests to the reception.
    Semper Fidelis by John Sousa  & Sea Soldiers for a US Marine dining ceremony  (it turns out there are a number of John Sousa marches that seem to fit well on the bagpipes!)
    A John Denver medley - "For Bobbi", "Country Roads", "Rocky Mountain High"
    the Irish National Anthem for a wedding and the Canadian  National Anthem for a US Navy dinner with some Canadian officers attending.

July 2010
A few more interesting tunes that fit on the bagpipes:
  Gaudeamus Igitur  - this is the 'academic tune' that's used in movies behind graduation scenes (also in Brahms' Academic Overture!)
   Love Me Tender - Elvis's song!

Nov. 2011
Recently a customer requests "Ave Maria" (by Schubert) for a memorial. Although there are some notes that don't fit the bagpipe scale, I think I was able to make a nice arrangement of it!




Performances, Questions and Answers

There's a very useful webpage with commonly asked questions and answers about employing a piper and requesting music:
              Steve MacLeod's Bagpipe Questions and Answers:
the sections on "Hiring a Piper" and "Music" are especially helpful.


Surprise!

Often, I'm asked to come in as a surprise for the guests; it makes a wonderful effect, and I'm always happy to oblige! It'd help me if you let me know ahead of time that this is what's wanted, so I don't end up tuning for five minutes down the street, before the performance, and ruining the surprise. -) 

Sometimes, though, the piper ends up waiting  for a long time with no place to set down the pipes, no clue as to how the ceremony is going, standing in a back room, or behind a hedge, or around the street corner, or - well, you get the idea.   Give some thought to providing some comfort for the piper when asking them to be a surprise for your ceremony!


Weddings Ideas

Recently a customer asked where piping could fit into a wedding service. I performed at many weddings and have seen where folks seem to enjoy hearing the pipes during such a service, so I wrote a short description of various ideas for using pipes during a wedding service:

1. I may pipe before the ceremony, as guests arrive, providing background music.  It also lets the guests know just where to go if it's a large place!

2. Often, I'll play music while family, groom, officiant, groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls, etc. enter, then I'll stop for a moment (for dramatic impact!)  and play for the entrance of the bride (the "Processional").  I may literally lead  the bride in, or simply play staying in one place.  I usually play a stately march, or "The Bridal March" if that's desired  (listen to the  sound clips above).

3. Often I'll play the Recessional - after the bride & groom are presented to the family, I play a lively march for them and the rest of the wedding party to exit on.  Once again, I can lead the bride & groom back down the aisle, or just play standing in place.  "Scotland the Brave" is a great march and very popular for this moment.

4. I can play afterwards as guests mingle, photos are taken, etc. once again playing in the background.

5. One popular thing is to have me lead the folks from the ceremony to the cocktail area or the reception area. Folks really seem to enjoy being "led" by a marching bagpiper!  At the destination,  I'll keep on playing fun and lively tunes for a while.

Any other idea is welcome. I haven't been asked much to play during the ceremony, probably due to the strong sound of the pipes. But I'm always open to ideas.  Any tunes requests, I'll be happy to do my best to oblige, as long as they can fit nicely onto the bagpipe scale (not all tunes do).  The tunes listed on my website are just the one's people might recognize or ask for; I play literally hundreds of tunes, so I've always got something lively to play, or a pretty air for a more relaxed moment.