Gary Thomson

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About Gary

Pipe Major with many years of experience offering a friendly, professional service for any event.
Public liability insurance of £5 million
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I am Piper Major Gary Thomson, an award winning Bagpiper from East Kilbride. I have many years of experience playing the Bagpipes offering a friendly, professional service personally suited to you for any event. Weddings Funerals Events Private Tuition I am currently the Pipe Major of Milngavie Pipe Band. This season the band has performed exceptionally well in major competitions under my leadership. Throughout my Bagpiping career I have won many competitions for both band and solo performances. Through my Private Tuition, I have transformed beginner and intermediate Bagpipe players of all ages into highly skilled Bagpipers. I have been vetted by the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. I can travel to any locations throughout the UK for your event.

Encore badges
Lightning fast responses
Average response time under 2 hours
Saved the day!
Booked for an Encore gig with less than 24 hours’ notice
Most booked musician of 2021!
5th Anniversary
This act has been working with Encore for over 5 years
50 gigs
Veteran: 50 bookings through Encore
Folk, Classical, Traditional Scottish folk
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Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Fluent improviser, Instrumental teaching, Fluent sight-reader, Theory teaching
See all skills

Song list

Popular Wedding Tunes:
Highland Cathedral
Mhairi’s Wedding
Flower of Scotland
Amazing Grace
Scotland the Brave
Rowan Tree
Old Rustic Bridge
Murdo’s Wedding
Muckin’ O’ Geordies Byre
Bonny Dundee
Cock o’ the North
Northern Lights of Aberdeen
I love a Lassie
Funeral Tunes:
Flowers of the Forest
The Dark Isle
My Home
Going Home
Skye Boat Song
Mist Covered Mountains
Never Walk Alone
May your Heart Still Go On
Unlawful Tunes on Unlawful Pipes
Military Tunes:
The Black Bear
Highland Laddie
Popular Burns Tunes:
A Man’s a Man for A’ That
Scots Wa Hae
Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin
Battle of Killiecrankie
Bonny Lass o’ Fyvie
Aye Fon Kiss
Corn Rigs are Bonny
Auld Lang Syne
Highland Dancing Tunes:
Ghillie Callum
Devil in the Kitchen
Marquis of Huntley
Battle of the Somme
Christmas Carols:
Hark the Herald
Come o ye Faithful
Jingle Bells
We wish you a Merry Christmas
6/8 Marches:
Glenderaul Highlanders
Leaving Port Askaig
Angus MacKinnon
Donald McLeans Farewell to Lewis
Lily Christie
Rab’s Wedding
Jean Mauchlin
Auld Adam
Crossing the Rhine
3/4 Marches:
Greenhills of Tyrol
The battle’s o’er
Colin’s Cattle
Castle Dangerous
Bloody Fields of Flanders
4/4 Marches:
Dawning of the Day
Flett from Flotta
Caber Feidh
Battle of Waterloo
Garden of Skye
Pipe Major Robert Martin
Lord Lovatt’s Lament
9/8 Marches
Heights of Dargai
Battle of the Somme
Bathgate Highland Games
12/8 Marches:
Ian Macmaster
Brigadier Snow
2/4 Marches:
Highland Wedding
Lord Alexander Kennedy
Hugh Kennedy
John MacDonald of Glencoe
The Conundrum
John MacFadyen of Melfort
Atholl and Breadlebane Gathering
Craig- n- Darroch
Loch Katrine
Leaving Lunga
Drunken Piper
Farewell to Redcastle
The Brown Haired Maiden
Anniston Castle
Susan MacLeod
Dora MacLeod
Atholl Cummers
Shepherd’s Crook
Ewe With the Crooked Horn
Cameronian Rant
Maggie Cameron
Caber Feidh
Inveraray Castle
Highland Harry
Captain Horne
Braes of Mar
Mollie Connell
Fiona MacLeod
Caber Feidh
Major Manson
MacAllisters Dirk
Thompsons Dirk
Mrs MacPherson of Inveran
John Morrison of Assynt House
The Smith of Chilliechassie
The Sheepwife
The Mason’s Apron
Lexy MacAskill
Sleepy Maggie
Blonde Haired Maiden
Easy Club Reel
The Gravel Path
Banjo Breakdown
Irish Washerwoman
Paddy’s Leather Breeches
Paddy Be Easy
Donald Cameron’s Powderhorn
Jig of Slurs
Glasgow City Police
Dirty Lough
The Fuddler
John Pattterson’s Mare
Fiddler’s Rally
Willie Gray
Man from Skye
Crossing the Minch
Beverley’s Wedding
Train Journey North
Tam Bain’s Lum
Stevie’s First Bar
Joanna’s Hornpipe
TheWalrus House of Edgar
Pumpkin Fancy
House of Edgar
Lucy Cassidy
The High Drive
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I try my best to be flexible as I know things often change on the day. If timings change just let me know and I’ll fit in with your requirements.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?


How much time do you need to set up?

Normally I take 10 minutes to set up.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Yes of course, the set list is an example of popular tunes I can play, I have many more, too many to list. Whatever piece of music you would like I will most likely be able to play.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes, I bring my own instrument.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

I can if the specific piece can be played on the bagpipes.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

My high standard of performance, my full regalia of uniform and my friendly personality.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Brig o’ Doon, Forter Castle, Dundonald Castle, Burns Cottage, Grand Central Hotel, Edinburgh Castle, Marr Hall, World Pipeband Championships and many more venues.

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Iain MacFadyen and Kenny MacDonald, two of my piping tutors.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

I played for the beginning of Britain’s Got Talent, filmed on October 2018 and aired on April or May 2019.


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£120
Up to 1 hour£160
Up to 2 hours£180
Up to 3 hours£200
Welcome package
Piping for 1 hour to welcome guests arriving for wedding ceremony.
Welcome and Ceremony package
Piping 1 hour to welcome guests arriving for wedding. Piping bride up the aisle and then bride and groom back down the aisle.
Full package
Piping for 1 hour to welcome guests arriving for wedding ceremony. Piping bride up the aisle and then bride and groom back down the aisle. Pipe in top table then bride and groom for evening dinner.
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5 out of 5
56 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

Derek M
1 month ago
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5 out of 5

Gary was fantastic! From the initial call to go through choices, to piping in the rain, Gary was tremendous! Everyone in our wedding party commented on how good he was with the pipes and also how immaculate he looked and was a very welcome part of our wedding. Thanks very much Gary! Can’t recommend highly enough.

Reply from Gary
1 month ago

Thank you Derek. That was a stunning place to have your wedding and your guests were very friendly. Thoroughly enjoyed piping at your wedding. I wish you both all the best for the future.

George O
2 months ago
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5 out of 5

Many thanks for playing at our wedding! As expected you were fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed all the music you played. I’d highly recommend Gary for anyones future events.

Reply from Gary
2 months ago

Thanks George, What a beautiful place to get married at, absolutely stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed playing for your wedding. I wish you both all the very best for the future.

Linda C
2 months ago
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5 out of 5

Excellent Bagpiper, good communication. He will not disappoint. Thank you Gary!

Reply from Gary
2 months ago

Thanks Linda, I’m glad I could help to give Dougie a lovely send off.

Michelle H
2 months ago
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5 out of 5

Gary was amazing .. he stayed longer due to times being behind with everything all our guest had something lovely to say about him. We cannot thank him enough.

Reply from Gary
2 months ago

Thank you Michelle, it was a pleasure to play at your wedding. Really enjoyed playing at Rowallan Castle, absolutely stunning venue and everyone was so friendly. I wish you and Donna all the best for the future.

Read all 47 reviews

From other customers:

Anne M
4 years ago, for a Burns night in Burns Statue Square
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5 out of 5

We at Ayr Burns Club are again indebted to you for being with us yet again to enhance our tribute to Robert Burns . Gary your music is so lovely and everyone enjoys our ceremonies as you lift them with such warmth and spirit, simply because it comes from your heart. From our hearts we thank you, Kathleen, Robbie, Anne, and the members of Ayr Burns Club.

Gillian P
4 years ago, for a Charity event in Cedar Dr
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5 out of 5

It has been my pleasure to hear Mr Thomson play his bagpipes at different occasions for both friends and colleagues. Mr Thomson piped a friend into her wedding at Brig o' Doon House Hotel creating a wonderful atmosphere for her very special day. Mr Thomson also piped the Primary 7 children around the school where I work as an ASN Primary Teacher on their last day of primary school, which evoked different feelings and emotions ranging from excitement at starting a new chapter in their young lives to sadness at leaving their primary years and memories behind. Mr Thomson is a wonderfully accomplished piper who takes pride in his profession which is reflected in his playing by creating the appropriate atmosphere for which ever occasion he is playing at. Regards Mrs G Peden

Read all 12 reviews