As a wee lad, I started playing bagpipes when I was 5 years old on the Isle of Skye near Dunvegan Castle in Scotland.
I received my advance piping instruction from the "Great Ones!" - Donald Shay Ramsey & John D. Burgess/Willie Ross - Revolutionary bagpipers of their time that brought "Rock & Roll" into piping in the early and mid-20th Century.
I was born into a Scottish Family of musicians and my piping career really catapulted at the age of 13 in San Francisco, California under my piping instructor, J. William Merriman, of the Prince Charles Pipe Band.
In America, I was extremely lucky and honored to be taught by a World Champion Piper - Ian Whitelaw - a pure traditionalist and a lover of wolves and kindred spirits. He regularly emphasized the necessity to continually hone one's technical skills in order to evoke the true elegance of the highland instrument.
During my college years, I competed professionally in what is now called - "Open." And in 1983, I performed for the Queen of England at a state visit in Seattle, Washington at the Westin Hotel. Over the next several years, I piped for a candidate running for President of the United States; let alone many other domestic and foreign dignitaries and celebrities.
Over the years I've been honored to perform and compete as a corp piper with several premier Grade-1 Pipe Bands at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. I've won many international solo piping competitions and was a member of pipe bands that won several major pipe band competitions. But what I really love is winning the hearts of my audiences.
I play genuine Silver and Ivory “Henderson Bagpipes” made in 1912.
With over 40 years of bagpiping experience, I guarantee a beautiful sounding instrument and the very best of the best musicianship on the planet.
(Máel Coluim MacMhurchaidh)
Any special occasion, whether private, corporate or public, is enhanced by the presence of an expert piper in full regalia. "Bagpiper Bill's" music stirs emotions at weddings, funerals, and life celebrations. He knows how overwhelming planning an event can be and his promise to you is to make his role as easy as possible. Before you agree to hire him, he can play tunes over the phone or Skype for your selection choices. About a week out, he can touch base and re-confirm the event details. Bill will help make your event successful and something beautifully memorable to look back upon.
Any special occasion, whether private, corporate or public, is enhanced by the presence of a professional piper in full regalia. Bill's music stirs emotions at weddings, funerals, and life celebrations. He will help make your occasion successful and something beautifully memorable to look back upon. Fees vary based on time and distance.
The cost of hiring a bagpiper depends on many factors including length of performance, travel distance and time, any costs (tolls, gas, taxes), special tune requests, etc.
Additional factors like the bagpiper's years of experience or the local market supply and demand might influence the quote. Each bagpiper will have their own method for determining the final cost but knowing it's a combination of factors can help explain some differences in price range.
Especially if it's your first time hiring a piper - it's somewhat natural to associated the quoted cost directly to the time spent performing. Because it's easy to subconsciously form this association - a price quote can sometimes result in some sticker shock; but it's important to understand the full context in terms of preparation, travel time, and the actual performance.
Even if the musical performance itself only lasts 15 minutes, the bagpiper is still investing time "behind the scenes" starting with the phone or email consultation and including bagpipe maintenance, dressing in uniform, traveling to and from the venue, any pre-event rehearsals, learning or practicing any requested, non-repertoire tunes, etc. (not to mention the financial investment to maintain the $10,000 (+) instrument and uniform!) So what on the surface might appear as a 15 minute engagement could in reality add up to several hours in total.
To give an example, the cost of dining out at a fancy restaurant isn't limited to the short period of time spent actually eating, but rather takes into account the cost to the restaurant in purchasing the food, the skills of the chef and their many years of practice and refinement, the quality of service provided, etc. Re-framing the quoted cost in this context offers up a new perspective on the quoted rates of many top-rate, professional bagpipers.
"Bagpiper Bill" is a professional piper, available anytime and on SHORT NOTICE.
Call "Bagpiper Bill" to discuss your event & reserve your very own Piper today!
Grace your wedding with a highly-skilled, professional bagpiper.
Weddings are so special, and I have had the privilege to perform for more than 500. I know I'm doing something right when I'm playing for a young couple's wedding and I was the bagpiper at their parent's wedding.
Whether your ceremony takes place inside a chapel, church or historic building, or outside in the mountains, by a lake or rushing river, the Great Highland Bagpipes add a timeless beauty to any wedding ceremony.
Bagpiper Bill performs for over 25 weddings annually throughout Oregon and surrounding states each year.
Call him anytime; Bill would love to talk to you about your upcoming wedding, and to help you arrange music for your guest arrivals, ceremony processional, unity candle/ reflective moment, recessional, leading guests from ceremony to cocktail hour music and entrance into the reception music, or for any combination of the above.
Add the bagpipes for a special birthday SURPRISE, as the piper starts in the distance, walking towards and ending at the birthday person. Bagpiper Bill will march in as a surprise; performing for the honored person a selection of favorite songs (from Irish Eyes are Smiling to Scotland-the-Brave, to Amazing Grace) before playing 'Happy Birthday' on the bagpipes at the very end of the party - everyone joins in in singing Happy Birthday with the pipes!
Memorials and Funerals
Grace your family's service with skilled bagpiping at an affordable price. Bagpiper Bill can help you add a selection of beautiful tunes to your funeral service. With over 50 funeral services annually throughout Oregon and surrounding states, Bill adds a soulful beauty to any service.
Bagpiper Bill, for example, can pipe as mourners gather for the funeral; lead the cortege to the place of service; lead bearers into the place of service; or pipe a lament after the final words of committal.
Recently Bill performed at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia as a solo piper for a Marine Corp Sargent killed in Afghanistan, the family flew him to Washington DC to perform at the conclusion of the full military honors ceremony.
Tunes can be selected from a wide variety - such as Highland or Lowland Scots songs or perhaps melodies with military or geographic associations. Many Irish tunes can also be played with the Highland Bagpipe.
Popular tunes include Amazing Grace, Skye Boat Song, and Flower of Scotland - Scotland's National Anthem. Traditional laments include Flowers of the Forest or Lochaber No More. Gaelic airs include The Mist Covered Mountains and My Home. Irish melodies include Danny Boy, Fields of Athenry, and The Galway Shawl.
You can be assured that you are in good hands. Whether in a church, a cemetery service, a formal Military service, or a scattering of the ashes, Bill's pipes will add a soul-lifting and a profoundly emotional ambiance to your family's service.
Celebrations, Golf Tournaments, Anniversaries
Bagpiper Bill will bring an element of surprise to your guests or even a tear to their eye. He is sure to make your day extra special and one not to be forgotten. Bill has a range of different colored kilts and Scottish regalia that he can wear to your event. Also, there will be no shortage of tunes for your event as Bill has a repertoire of over 3000 tunes, so there will surely be music that fits your needs. He is also more than willing to work with last minute requests.
Add the sound of the bagpipes to your event and make the day a great day to remember. Bagpiper Bill performs at a wide-range of festivals to private, intimate ceremonies. Bill has an ability to be creative and instantly adaptable to the needs of his clients guarantying the events success. He loves to perform and any event becomes alive with his melodic and dynamic music.
School Events/ Cultural Days/ Boy Scout Troops
Bagpiper Bill performs for schools in his continued commitment to help culturally educate the next generation about Scotland and Ireland. Having lived as a boy in Scotland, Bill entertains children with a fantastic video show called "A Wee Trip to the Old Country - Our Beloved Scotland " while performing on his soothing, electronic bagpipes in the background. He gets the children dancing and marching to the Great Highland Bagpipes afterwards - they love it !
Add the sterling harmonic sound of "The Great Highland Bagpipes" to your event to make it Amazing !
Bellingham Scottish Gathering debuts Saturday June 2, 2018 at Hovander Homestead Park
"The Bellingham Scottish Gathering brings traditions of Scotland back to Ferndale on Saturday, June 2, 2018 as a new group hosts Highland Games at Hovander Homestead Park.
Bellingham native Heather Richendrfer leads the organizers promising a revamped festival celebrating Scotland’s culture. Included are competitive dance, bagpipe bands and athletic events; and displays of Scottish animals, vendors and traditional crafts.
The Bellingham Scottish Gathering was recently named a Whatcom County Lodging Tax grant recipient for 2018 providing means to reach potential visitors to the community.
Richendrfer has been at the center of the local Scottish community through ownership of her Highland dancing school for 43 years; the longest established dance school in Whatcom County. She is no stranger to organizing large events. She began her Scottish festival experience while organizing the dance competition at the Bellingham Highland Games during its long run at Civic Field many years ago.
She is well-versed in all aspects of Scottish festivals having planned events for over 40 years. She has directed 25 open Championships and is an adjudicator for the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. Her travels as a judge have included being on the panel at the Canadian, Australian and World Championships. “My life-long involvement in Scottish events as a competitor, teacher, adjudicator and organizer will help solidify the Gathering on the circuit of Highland Games,” Richendrfer said.
Richendrfer said “The Bellingham Scottish Gathering allows me to use my expertise to establish this event as a world-class festival of Scottish culture while promoting and enhancing tourism in Whatcom County.”
“Great piping! The Scottish contingent were very, very impressed by your skills! They’re a tough crowd too!”
Karen Hoffman, Manznaita, OR
"Bill is committed to excellence...a dedicated professional, yet personable bagpiper who delivers a terrific performance...time after time."
Andrew Christie-Funeral Director, Wilhelm Park Funeral Home
I booked Bagpiper Bill for my destination wedding in Sisters, Oregon. We wanted to add a touch of home to our ceremony (my husband and I are both Scottish). We were abundantly delighted with Bill's performance. He played our song choices perfectly. I had kept one of the song choices a secret from my husband and Stephen did a fantastic job with the surprise. Our guests who had mostly all travelled from Scotland were overcome with emotion and there were a few happy tears when he gave a magnificent performance of 'Rowan Tree' as he played me up the aisle. Communicating with Bill from overseas was seamless via email (and at times by Skype!) and he also kept in touch on our arrival in Oregon. Not only did he ask what I wanted him to play, but he asked what colors he should wear that would best suit my wedding. He showed up early on the wedding day with a huge smile, he introduced himself to my family, who loved that, especially my nana who was visiting from Scotland for my wedding. She loved it, and he took personal pics with them before the ceremony even started. His professionalism and kind manner made him a pleasure to work with. My guests absolutely loved his presence there, his piping was spot on and amazing! Everyone commented on how cool it was to have a bagpiper there, and not only how great he was but how friendly he was too! If anyone is looking for a bagpiper for any occasion I I would highly recommend Bill. He is the best! 5 Stars!!
Fiona (McDougall) Henderson, New York, NY
Bill was a wonderful surprise! Personable and talented beyond my hope. I booked him to pipe at my Father's 90th birthday party. Dad had tears trickle down his face and was trying to tap his feet on the wheelchair foot rests. Bill the Piper was all he spoke about after the party. I am grateful to Bill for making such an impression and providing such great entertainment for all of us. Thank you for your talent.
Judy Ray, Seattle, WA
Bagpiper Bill was absolutely phenomenal. He was very accommodating to perform at our out-of-town wedding 3 hours away, was extremely helpful upfront in the planning process, and everything went off perfectly without a hitch on our wedding day itself. Bill was a special addition to our wedding ceremony that we will never forget !!!
Billy Luke, Seattle, WA
Dear Bill, Thank you so much for your beautiful playing yesterday. I got tears in my eyes when I heard you start playing outside. I’ll never forget it! I could just see my Dad marching up and down our street in a kilt with “Scotland the Brave” blasting on the stereo. He was very proud of his Scottish ancestry. My brother was worried about how loud the pipes would be and that’s why you were outside – if it were up to me, I would have had you in the main hall with us! If I ever need a bagpipe player again – and I have birthdays from time-to-time, so this can certainly happen – I have your number.
Janet Rivera - Astoria, OR
Bill was sensational. Every single person at our Corvallis, OR wedding (185 people) was blown away by this surprise. I had Bill play "Highland Cathedral" on the bagpipes as a solo after the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. It was a total surprise that no one expected. Everyone's jaws dropped when he began "Here Comes the Bride" on the pipes. I then followed him with my father down the aisle after he had walked down by himself. At the end of the wedding, for the recessional, he played "Scotland the Brave" and it gave everyone chills. Best idea ever! He was PERFECT in every way! Would recommended him to everyone!!!
Michael O’Connell, Beaverton, OR
Bagpiper Bill was hired as a surprise for my bride on our wedding day. He arrived early enough to meet with the wedding coordinator and the pastor. Over all communication with him was very easy and he was always prompt to return emails and phone calls. The music you played was exceptional and the walk from the alter was world class. I would recommend Bagpiper Bill to anyone! My wife and her family all thought he was a great surprise addition and all were choked up with tears. Thanks for making my wedding such a special occasion.
Paul Hamilton, Eugene, OR
Bill was easy to work with at our pub and restaurant. The set up was effortless. He arrived on time and knew exactly what to do. Bill engaged in conversations with our employees who wanted to know more about the bagpipes and his experience. Funny, entertaining, witty, and an awesome bagpiper (and I have heard many here in our establishment over the years), Bill is a true professional and passionate artist. Last but not least, his music was fun and flawless for our St. Patrick's Day event! Thank you, Bagpiper Bill. We will most definitely have you back next year!
Michelle Marshall, Hood River, OR
Bill is an amazing bagpiper and exceeded all of our expectations. He took the time to come to our daughter's wedding rehearsal so we could better understand what we wanted him to do. He played outside of the church before and after the wedding, played and led the bride in the processional, and led the bride and groom in the recessional. Everyone commented on how wonderful he was, and he attracted quite a few passers-by with his amazing talent. He played the tunes we requested, then ad-libbed the rest. His selection pleased both our UK & Irish families. I would give him the highest recommendation. Thanks Bill!
Kevin Finnerty, Spokane, WA
Two words to describe Bagpiper Bill - " fabulous and spectacular " My family and friends all thank you for the performance that you gave. My mother-in-law from Scotland's final and last request was to be brought to Florida where she could face Scotland and sit in the sun. Piping her to her last resting place was everything that my wife and family could have hoped for. Bill you are truly amazing, a rare commodity, you accommodated us in every way possible and worked around our crazy schedule. Thank you again, you'll be performing for us again soon ... From the house of MacKenzie and Galloway, God bless you and your family.
Paul Peters, Spokane, WA
Bagpiper Bill offers significant discounts to non-profits and often times performs pro bono for the needy. In addition, Bill offers a 15% discount to members of the military and police and fire professionals.
Bagpiper Bill plays "The Great Highland Bagpipes" for Weddings and Funerals in Portland Oregon and the Greater Northwest Region, including Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
Can you play Amazing Grace?
What do you wear under your kilt?
IT'S BAD LUCK FOR A PIPER TO SHOW & TELL, BUT IT CAN'T HURT TO ASK
What do you charge?
THE LOWEST RATES FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE PIPER IN THE NORTHWEST
Contact "Bagpiper Bill" for a Free Quote