For centuries the Great Highland Bagpipes have been used to inspire warriors, celebrate victory, and welcome royalty. They have been used as a symbol of love, a symbol of peace, and a symbol of mourning.

This powerful instrument provides passion whatever your occasion and will lend an emotional contribution that is rousing, yet undeniably haunting.

Playing at The Cedar Tree for the Ballyclare May Fair.

Events

A Piper in Full Highland Dress provides both an audible and visual spectacle that is sure to attract attention at any event. It is truly a feast for the senses that provides an indomitable presence amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

For some ideas about tune selection and to hear some examples from my repertoire, take a quick look at my SoundCloud profile.

Corporate Events

Whether you are welcoming guests from overseas, launching a new product or simply want that element of tradition and vibrancy at your event, there is no better way to do it than with the skirl of the pipes.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is never complete without hearing the Rabbie Burns classic, Auld Lang Syne, on a resonating set of Highland Bagpipes. In addition, a piper can be a great way to add to the pomp and ceremony of the evening by playing for guests as they arrive or entertaining throughout the evening.

Burns' Night

A Burn's Night without out a piper is no Burn's Night at all. Greet your guests with that robust, welcoming sound that is the Great Highland Bagpipe and have the Haggis enter the room in style, lead by a piper resplendent in Full Highland Dress and his magnificent instrument. Entertain your guests after dinner with the music of Robert Burns' native Scotland and end the evening with that incredible piece, Auld Lang Syne.

Birthdays/Anniversaries

You know the bagpipe tunes Scotland the Brave and the Salute to the Chieftain (Highland Laddie). But have you ever considered hearing Happy Birthday or Congratulations from the resounding skirl of the pipes? The Great Highland Bagpipe can give the main guest(s) a welcome fit for a king as they arrive at the party or can create a grand entrance for the cake or presents.

Playing into the distance at Carnmoney Cemetary, Newtownabbey.

Funerals

I believe that an invitation to play at a funeral is a great honour, as it is perhaps one of the most difficult, and vulnerable moments in the lives of the family and friends left behind. The Great Highland Bagpipe can go some way to marking this transitional moment with a sense of closure and finality. It provides an enclave music, an envelope of mourning that blocks out the noise of the passing world and gives you a senses of privacy in your final moments at the graveside.

At this difficult juncture, when the piper should play is the last thing you would like to think about, and so I would humbly suggest one or two of the following options:

  • Leading the cortège to/from the service
  • Leading the cortège to the graveside/memorial
  • Playing into the distance as mourners pay their final respects

I can cater for any religious denomination, spiritual belief or ethnic background. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your exact requirements and how I can best meet them, please feel free to contact me.

Donald MacLeod Collection

Private Lessons

I believe in lifelong learning and a continuous approach to self-improvement. My students have ranged from 10 years old to over 60, so whether learning to play the Great Highland Bagpipe has been on your bucket list for years, or you have only just discovered their magnificence, I can set you on the road to cultivating a new hobby and potentially a new passion. I offer tuition to all those seeking:

  • graded examinations
  • personal development
  • or just some fun!

Lessons can be tailored to suit all requirements and all ages or skill levels are welcome. I offer the first 30 minute lesson for free and my rates are competitive thereafter. My most recent Access NI check was in December 2013 and I can produce this upon request at any lesson.

Tuition Projects

Campbell College Pipe Band

Campbell College Pipe Band was formed in 1909, and is currently one of the oldest active pipe bands in the country. Having developed my passion for piping here as a student, I have now returned in the capacity of Band Master to ensure the continuation of this wonderful tradition.

Ashfield Boys' High School

I am currently working in Ashfield Boys' High School, Belfast on Monday mornings teaching a mixture of students the rudiments of playing the Great Highland Bagpipe.

Monkstown Community Association

I am working with the Monkstown Community Association and Newtownabbey Borough Council to deliver free piping and drumming tuition to all those living in the Monkstown area.

Whiteabbey Community Group

I am working with the Whiteabbey Community Group and Newtownabbey Borough Council to deliver free piping and drumming tuition to all those living in the Whiteabbey area.

Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band

The Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band is based in the Torrens Hall, Doagh and competes at RSPBA competitions in Grades 4A and 4B. I am Pipe Major of the Grade 4B band which consists of all young and not so young learners that are part of the organisation and assist all members with musical interpretation and technique.