Hi there!

If you're reading this, you're probably either A) Interested in hiring a bagpiper or B) you at least have questions about hiring a Bagpiper... Either way I can probably help!

First of all, my name is Patrick Willock, and I live in Washington County, MD.
The Bagpipes I play are the Great Highland Bagpipes: the most famous variety of bagpipes. The Great Highland Bagpipes (or GHBs) come from Scotland and are used for a great number of occasions, both there, and over here in America. Funerals, Weddings, Engagements, or Parties to name just a few.

There are a few important things to know when considering hiring a Bagpiper for your event. One is that the GHBs play only nine (9) notes, and they are not in a standard musical scale. That being said, the GHBs do not "play nice" with other instruments, and it could cause trouble if, for instance, you wanted a bagpiper to play along with an organ at your wedding. It is very possible for the GHBs to play along with other instruments, but keep in mind it will be extra hassle to coordinate. Another important and obvious (but sometimes overlooked) factor is that the GHBs are very, VERY loud. Steps can be made to make them slightly quieter, but regardless, they are an instrument designed to be heard for miles. That said, it's probably not the best idea to (for example) have a piper play in a steel walled, steel roofed warehouse or in a small enclosed country Church...

All that said, when ARE the Bagpipes a good choice? Answer: almost always! The bagpipes are a fantastic instrument for most occasions! The bagpipes are great for emotional events such as Funerals or Weddings. It takes a hard, hard person not to tear up at the sound of a lone piper in the distance playing Amazing Grace. GHBs are also very festive instruments, and are great at getting the toes tapping and the feet dancing! As long as you have a large or outdoors place for the GHBs to play, the bagpipes will crown any event.

Enough about whether you should hire a bagpiper, what do you do when you WANT to hire a bagpiper? Well i certainly hope you'll come to me first, and even if i am already booked or am other wise unable to perform at your event, I can get you in contact with other bagpipers in the area who can!

To contact me
You can either call me or send me an email.
Home phone: (240)-329-4924
Email: bagpiper@willock.net


"How much will a bagpiper cost me?"
That is a very broad question. the short answer is probably between $100-$300. The long answer is it really depends on what you want from the piper. If you want him to drive 5 minutes, play for 10 and then go home, it'll cost you maybe $100 max. if you expect him to drive 2 hours, play for an hour straight, buy his own hotel ticket and then get home? It'll cost you a lot more than $300. Most events of course are about in the middle though, and you can contact me for an estimate.
*NOTE: It's appreciated (but not necessary) that any photos taken at the event that I am in would be emailed to me so I can continue to update and better my website and my personal database.

"What will a bagpiper wear?"
Well first off, a Kilt almost always. The rest depends on the occasion. For a Wedding he may wear a Prince Charlie Jacket with Gillie Brogues and his nicest Sporran. For a class reunion or a party in the park he may wear a simple leather sporran, sneakers, and an Irish jacket or sweater. This will also effect your price: it may cost you a bit more if you want your piper to dress in his Easter best than if you let him go casual. Here's a couple examples of what I might wear. For more information see Highland Dress or Scottish Attire.

"What songs can you play? What songs can't you play?"
There are literally thousands of songs out there written for the bagpipes and thousands more that can be played by the bagpipes. The only limiting factor is the scale. Most any song with a scale broader than 10-11 notes cannot be played. Also, any song that relies on multiple C Major scales (no sharps or flats) is difficult to play because the GHB's scale goes G A B C-sharp D E F-sharp G A. There are things that can be done to slightly flatten the C and F notes, but they'll never hit perfect natural. Also there are a few songs that just plain don't sound nice on the bagpipes. 

Have anything you think I should add to the website? Send me an email!