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Matthew McIlree

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About Matthew

Church organist and jazz pianist: available for weddings, events and functions.
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Bridge of Weir

Matthew McIlree is a joint piano and organ scholar at the University of St Andrews. Prior to this, he studied at the Music School of Douglas Academy, after being awarded a place in 2012; and in 2018 he gained a Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, with distinction. He has been a multiple prize winner at both the Glasgow and Inverclyde music festivals , including twice winning the Glasgow Society of Organists' Trophy at the Glasgow open organ class; and three times winning the top piano award, as well the 2016 overall prize, in Inverclyde. Matthew has extensive experience playing organ, having played for weddings in several churches in the Glasgow area, and he regularly plays at services in St Salvator's chapel, St Andrews (during term time), and St Colm's, Kilmacolm during the holidays. He has also been played light, jazz, and background piano music for functions at several venues across Scotland, including the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, and the Army reserve centre, Glasgow, as well as at carehomes and Day centres. His repertoire is varied, including classical, traditional jazz, and modern film and pop music. His sight-reading ability also allows him to take requests, before or even during a performance.

Performance details
I have my own portable piano/keyboard
My equipment is PAT tested
Encore awards
1st Encoreversary
Christmas, Contemporary Christian, Traditional church music, Classical, Baroque, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, Early music, Fanfare, Film / TV music, Medieval music, Musical theatre, Opera, Renaissance, Jazz, Ragtime, Avant garde, Easy listening, Light music, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, Blues, Dixieland, Modern jazz, Originals
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Event types:
Church service, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, Accompanist
See all skills

Song list

A few examples (non exhaustive):
Dizzy Fingers - Zez Confrey
Four Aces Suite - Billy Mayerl
Marigold - Billy Mayerl
Honky Tonk - Billy MayerL
Hedwig's Theme - John Williams
Married Life (from UP) - Michael Giacchino
Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin
The Entertainer - Scott Joplin
Elite Syncopations - Scott Joplin
Tocatta in D major - J.S. Bach
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy
Sonata No. 8 "Pathetique" - Ludwig van Beethoven
Skyfall - Adele
The Tom and Jerry Show - Hiromi Uehara
The Bare Necessities - Terry Gilkyson arr. Johnny May
Grandpa Spells - Jelly Roll Morton
Handful of Keys - Fats Waller
Traditional Scottish Songs
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
Tocatta - Widor
Artistic Rag - Aaron Robinson
War March of the Priests - Mendelssohn
Bridal March ("Here comes the Bride") - Wagner
Overture: The Phantom of the Opera - Andrew Lloyd Weber
Customer questions

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

I'm usually fairly flexible within the same day, and will often be able to do several dates. The earlier you let me know, the better!

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

I'm afraid this is not something I do - but quiet background piano can work for between bigger sets.

How much time do you need to set up?

If you have a piano - no time at all! 5-10 seconds perhaps to sit down and get music out. Ideally though it would be good to have 30 minutes to warm up beforehand, and if you need me to set up my own digital piano, up to an hour.

If I have a piano at my venue, are you happy to perform on that?

Yes. Even if your piano is out of tune, some styles can work well regardless, for example, ragtime and traditional jazz

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

Yes, and if you want a piece not on the list, just ask, and I'll usually be able to find it. If it's a complex classical piece I may need to know several weeks in advance.

Are you able to bring your own piano or keyboard?

Ideally an acoustic piano should be at the venue, but in certain circumstances I can bring my own digital piano. I may need to charge extra for the transport costs of this, however.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

Yes, absolutely. Just let me know. If it involves collobarating with other musicians (singers etc.), I charge £20 per hour for rehearsal time.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

I think people like to hear a good mix of music, and with a background in both classical piano, jazz and the church I have the ability to play a wide variety of styles. My live background piano adds a bit of class to dinners or drinks reception, and people have come up to me at the end of events to tell me how much they enjoyed it.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow The Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews Govan Old Parish Church St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews The Army Reserve Centre, Glasgow Kilmacolm Flower Festival at St Columba's Church Marcus Humphrey House, Quarrier's Village

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

I love Billy Mayerl, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller and other "Old-Time" jazz musicians. Current pianists I enjoy listening to include Jonny May, Lucas Sestak, Donna Oxford and many other "Youtuber" musicians.

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

Kelvingrove Art Gallery has been the largest scale performance. It's a very popular venue with more than 1.3 million vistors every year.


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)£20
Up to 1 hour£80
Up to 2 hours£160
Up to 3 hours£240


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From Encore customers:

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Brian G, 23 days ago

Very impressed. Arrived even earlier than expected to prepare. Everyone was impressed by his performance.

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Kieran M, 1 year ago

Matthew was fantastic, helpful and friendly. I highly recommend him for any kind of booking

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Chris B, 2 years ago

To whom it may concern Matthew McIlree has the unique distinction of holding both organ and piano scholarships at the University of St Andrews. In both capacities he has proved himself to be an adept and capable musician and we have no hesitation in asking him to represent the University as a performer. In this capacity he has undertaken as diverse as (extensive) liturgical organ accompaniment and solo organ performance, as well providing piano music for commercial events at the Fairmont Hotel. He is an excellent pianist and jazz musician and a capable and talented organist. CHRIS BRAGG Head of Programming, University of St Andrews Music Centre

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Major B, 4 years ago

Dear Matthew I write to thank you for providing a musical accompaniment for our 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday 1st April. It was a highly successful dinner and clearly enjoyed by all, with many of our guests commenting appreciatively on your playing. Your efforts were particularly noted by our guest of honour [Brigadier D G Hardie, DLL of Dumbartonshire]. Your piano accompaniment selection of tasteful and entertaining music played a key role in this success. It was very clear that you put considerable hard work into your preparation and rehearsals despite the short notice of our request. We are very grateful that you were able to play for us and thank you for your excellent support. Major D G Bertram RA Battery Commander 207 (City of Glasgow) Battery