My first paid Drive-by

Last Friday was my first paying gig as a piper. I have started the Drive-by Piping service as as alternative to the more involved piping service usually offered by pipers for weddings. Having piped for free for family and friends, I have come to a couple of conclusions regarding piping at social gatherings:

  • People love pipe music, especially the tunes they know (Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace)
  • However, in many situations, there is a limit to how long people want to listen. They can’t really talk while the piper is playing. It’s just not background music.

My solution – a Drive-by Piping. I show up, hit them with about 15 minutes of tunes, including their favorites, and I’m done.

Friday evening I played a wedding. When I showed up at the reception everyone was relaxed and having a good time; they were completely receptive to what I had prepared. I had lined up about six or seven sets of tunes. During set four I began to see a little restlessness on the part of some of the guests. So I closed with Amazing Grace, bid them farewell and everyone was happy. The bride and groom thanked me profusely, many guests came up to me with compliments and I gave out several business cards.

So, Drive-by Piping number one was a great success. Keep watching and I will post some pictures.

I Am Proud to Play a Pipe!

Hello everyone, and welcome to PiperPride.

I am indeed proud to play the bagpipe. Few instruments can match its effect on listeners, but it’s also an incredible instrument to play. If you are a fellow piper, then you know what I am taking about; if you just like to listen, then I hope to convey to you some of the excitement I feel every time I pick up my pipes.

As this is my first post, here is a little information about me: I was born and grew up in England, but in 1995 I moved to Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. In November 2005 I moved again and I now live in the spectacular Salt Lake Valley, in Utah. I began piping while in Buffalo in 2003, so in many ways it still feels very new to me. I will write more on my path through piping in later posts.

The title of this post is taken from a piobaireachd (or ancient highland pipe tune) of the same name, and I chose it because it sums up nicely how I feel about this instrument. I have been a singer since I was a child. I have played the piano, the violin, the saxophone and the oboe, amongst other instruments. I have enjoyed all these, but none of them compares to the bagpipe.

The bagpipe is the instrument I am proud to play and I look forward to sharing that pride with you.