I can play "Happy Birthday" at your party, "Three Blind Mice" for your children or a Piobaireachd at a formal Highland Dinner. Share the vision you have for your event and together we will achieve it.
My love of the bagpipe started when I was eight and I was lucky to receive tuition from some very accomplished players. A formal grounding meant that my musical skills were built on firm foundations and this is strongly reflected in the quality of my instruments and playing. The bagpipes have given me some fantastic opportunities and I am particularly proud of my long association with Clan Donald, The Highland Field Craft Association and The Royal British Legion. I began my performing career in primary school and have since played at countless events, I therefore feel confident to offer clients help and advice should they wish.
Every wedding is unique depending on the type, location and personal choices of the bride and groom. Here are some ways you might use a piper at your wedding.
Play for the arrival of your guests
Play for the arrival of the bride
Play the bride down the aisle
Play the bride and groom out of the ceremony
Play until all the guests exit
Play for couple leaving the ceremony venue
A clear break before the arrival of the bride tells everyone they should be inside. The next time the pipes are heard heralds the arrival of the bride.
Play for the arrival of your guests
Play for the arrival of the bride and groom
Play top table into wedding breakfast
Play bride and groom into wedding breakfast
Some couples may want less, some more, why not have bellows pipes inside to welcome guests to a venue or drinks reception. Don't worry if this format isn't quite what you want I can help you find the format that works for you. I'm always available on the day for photographs or to play tracks for your videographer.
Talks, Events, Demonstrations and Entertainment
For anyone and for any reason. I've provided talks and demonstrations to many visitors and groups from a simple history and explanation of the instrument to a more in depth hands on experience. My customers have included The Highland Folk Museum, tour groups, corporate and educational groups. The list of events and reasons for entertainment is only constrained by the reach of our imagination. Product Launches, Grand Openings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Breakfast, Parties, I've even walked 3000 feet up a mountain to play for a couple reaching the summit of their last Munro.
You don't need a formal or corporate event to have a piper at your dinner nor do you need a large numbers of guests, a piper can provide an excellent start to any evening. Many clients engage me to entertain their guests for 30-40 minutes before piping the party into dinner. This may sometimes take the form of a talk and demonstration of the Highland and bellows pipes. On other occasions I might pipe for the arrival of the party or play bellows pipes during a drinks reception. Haggis can of course be enjoyed at any time of year and it's certainly something that every visitor to Scotland should try. Why not make it a bit more special by having it piped in, as host you may wish to address the haggis but if not I can do that for you, explain a bit about the poem and the origins of the noble haggis. Performances by highland dancers at various times throughout the evening can be the icing on the cake should you really wish to impress.
Highland pipes can be overpowering in certain circumstances for that reason I use bellows pipes where appropriate. I would not recommend them for piping your guests into dinner or piping in a haggis but for demonstrations, playing for dancers in smaller rooms or background music they are ideal. The bellows pipes are quieter and more mellow than Highland Pipes the volume being equivalent to two fiddles.
For me it's always an honour to be entrusted to play at a loved ones funeral and there are many different formats depending on location, personal choice and local custom. I'm always delighted to assist undertakers or families with any enquiries.
No two events are ever the same so the prices given here are only for guidance.
Weddings - From £150
Dinners, Talks, Demonstrations - From £100
Breakfast Calls or other very short events - From £80
Walking up another 3000 ft mountain - you can't afford it!!
Contact Sandy MacDonell on 07974 814625