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John Gillies

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About John

An experienced, professional and punctual piper for every occasion.
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I am a Glasgow based Bagpiper, originally from The Isle of Skye. I have been playing the bagpipes for over 17 years, competing at local and national competitions both solo and with various pipe bands. I have a vast experience of piping at weddings and various other functions all over the United Kingdom as well as being the honorary piper for the Glasgow Skye Association. This consists of playing at events throughout the year such as ceilidhs, annual dinners and much more. If you would like me to play at your event please don't hesitate to contact me via the link below or through my contact section, where I will provide information on availability and cost. I look forward to hearing from you, Kindest Regards, John

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I can perform while walking around a venue
Encore awards
1st Encoreversary
Military, 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, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
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Other skills:
Instrumental teaching
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Song list

Scotland the Brave
Loch Ruan
Black Bear
Highland Laddie
Highland Wedding
Mairi’s Wedding
Green Hills of Tyrol
When the battler O’er
51st Highland Devision
Flett from Flotta
Battle of Waterloo
Wee Highland Laddie
Flowers of The Forrest
Amazing Grace
Highland Cathedral
Auld Lang Syne
Skye Boat Song
Flower of Scotland
Various 6/8 traditional marches
Various 6/8 Jigs
Various strathspeys and reels
I’ve been playing the bagpipes For 17 years so my tune selection is vast.
Customer questions

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

Contact me as soon as possible to let me know and I’ll do my best to see if I’m available on the new times!

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

As I am a bagpiper unfortunately I don’t provide a DJ service. You probably wouldn’t want to hear my playlists anyway!!

How much time do you need to set up?

I usually arrive at the venue around 15-30minutes before the arranged start time. I like to keep myself right and have a bit of time to tune up beforehand!

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

Feel free to have a look at my songs list. I can play a huge variety of traditional Scottish songs if there’s some not on that list, contact me and I’ll do my best to accommodate your preferences!

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes. Myself and my bagpipes. They’re loud enough so you don’t need anything else!

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

I can learn specific pieces as long as it’s possible on the bagpipes. Each song varies depending on practice times. A few of £30 in order to cover rehearsal costs would have to be added to cover this service.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

What’s not to love about the bagpipes?! Some of my Clients have commented on my bagpipes and the way I dress. My pipes are hand engraved Sterling silver with imitation ivory- save the elephants! I like to dress smart wearing a kilt! I’ve never played at a formal performance wearing trousers!! I have 2 different kilts I wear and take pride in dressing smart

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

St Paul’s Cathedral In London is definitely up there! Various places around Glasgow and the west include: Cottiers Theatre Oran Mor St Andrews Cathedral Trades Hall Of Glasgow Glasgow University Chapel Boclair House Hotel Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

My Great Grandfather was a piper in the Second World War for the Scots GuardsI grew up listening to my grandpa tell stories about his piping successes. It’s what inspired me to take up the bagpipes at a young age and continue to play them to this day!

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

I’ve played as part of a pipe band at the world pipe band championships but the most high profile gig must have been when I played for the Hollywood film Maid of Honour with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. The were really nice people and Patrick Dempsey was happy to listen to me drone on about Grey’s Anatomy!!


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From customers:

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Chris M, 4 years ago

John was a delight to have play at our wedding. His professional playing and friendly nature was a highlight of the whole day. We would thoroughly recommend him to anyone, Thanks again John!!

Javier F, 4 years ago

We were delighted that John was able to play at our wedding. He arrived early to organise the plan of action and was more than happy to play for all guests arriving to the Chapel as well as the wedding party. He then lead the wedding party and marched over to the reception in Bute Hall and piped in the top table. He was professional in playing throughout the day and was a joy to have, the guests loved him!!

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