Matthew McIlree

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About Matthew

Versatile and experienced pianist and organist, ready to play Jazz, Pop, Rock, Trad, and Classical music, for events, weddings and services.

Matthew McIlree is a graduate piano and organ scholar from 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 in piano performance, 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. He was also the 1st place winner of the competitive New Piano Stars competition in Glasgow 2019, as well as the overall winner of the University of St Andrews soloist competition in 2020. Matthew is a versatile performer, happy to adapt his repertoire to any event's requirements. He performs his arrangements with energy and enthusiasm, and he is as comfortable playing recent chart hits as he is with Pop classics and Jazz standards. Matthew has provided entertaining piano music at several venues across Scotland, including the Metropolitan Cocktail Bar, Glasgow, the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, as well as care homes, day centres and even an Army Reserve Base! His sight-reading ability also allows him to take requests, before or during a performance. With a professional Yamaha p515 digital piano, and a high quality 1K PA speaker, Matthew is able to play at any venue whether or not there is a piano. Matthew also has extensive experience playing organ, having been Senior Campbell Watterson Organ Scholar of St Andrews University. He has played for a large number of weddings, baptisms and funerals in several churches in the Glasgow area, and he has regularly played at Sunday services in St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews, St Colm's, Kilmacolm, St Brides, Glasgow, and Cardonald Parish Church. His organ playing is always meticulously prepared, with proper organ technique using all capabilities of the instrument, including foot pedals and registration changes.

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This act has been working with Encore for over 4 years
10 gigs
Experienced: 10 bookings through Encore
Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classical, Scottish music, Traditional church music, Blues, Ragtime, Top 40, Light music, Swing, Modern jazz, Postmodern jukebox jazz, Gypsy jazz, Latin jazz, Dixieland, Jazz fusion, Gospel, Easy listening, Funk, Soul, Disco, Rock 'n' Roll, Classic rock, Ceilidh, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music
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Event types:
Wedding, Church service, 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, New Year's Eve, Virtual event, Christmas party
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Other skills:
Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, Accompanist, Arranger, Composer, Songwriter, Transcription, Lyricist
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Matthew's Song list

NB: This list is by no means exhaustive. I know many more songs than this and I am very happy to learn specific songs/pieces for your event.
- Africa
- All of me
- Always look on the bright side
- And I Love You So
- Another Love
- A Thousand Years
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Caledonia
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
- Can't Help Falling in Love
- City Of Stars
- Climb Every Mountain
- Dancing in the Moonlight
- Dancing Queen
- Don't Stop Believing
- Einaudi (Any)
- Fields of Gold
- Good Thing
- Kiss from a Rose
- Hallelujah
- Hello Young Lovers
- Here comes the sun
- Home (Edward Sharpe)
- How Deep is Your Love
- I do, I do, I do
- It Might as Well be Spring
- I will survive
- Just The Two Of Us
- Killer Queen
- Kiss the Rain (Yiruma)
- Moondance
- My Heart Will Go On
- Piano Man
- River Flows in You (Yiruma)
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered
- Smile
- Some Enchanted Evening
- Somewhere My Love
- Superstition
- Sweet Caroline
- Viva La Vida
- We are the Champions
- We've Only Just Begun
- Yesterday
- You are so Beautiful
- Your Song
- You Raise me Up
- You'll Never Walk Alone
- You'll Be Back
- Younger Than Springtime
- 12th Street Rag
- Aint Misbehavin'
- All of me
- All the things that you are
- Bare Necessities
- Black Coffee
- Black Orpheus
- Blame Game (Luca Sestak)
- Blue Bossa
- Boogie Woogie Stomp
- Boogie Woogie (General Improv)
- Cherokee
- Death By Glamour
- Dizzy Fingers
- Dream a Little Dream of Me
- Elite Syncopations
- Fly Me To The Moon
- Graceful Ghost Rag
- Grandpa's Spells
- Happy Birthday in
- Handful of Keys
- Have You Met Miss Jones
- Heart and Soul
- Honeysuckle Rose
- Key Engine (Luca Sestak)
- Maple Leaf Rag
- Misty
- Nardis
- Satin Doll
- Stella By Starlight
- Sugar Cane
- Summertime
- Take Five
- Take the A Train
- The Bear Necessities
- The Entertainer
- The Girl from Ipanema
- The Jazz Master (Billy Mayerl - Various)
- The Tom and Jerry Show (Hiromi)
- What a Wonderful World
- Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)
- Ave Maria (Schubert)
- Canon in D (Pachelbel)
- Clair de Lune (Debussy)
- Fur Elise (Beethoven)
- Grand Walse Brilliante (Chopin)
- Bridal Chorus "Here Comes the Bride" (Wagner)
- Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 (Liszt)
- Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)
- Panis Angelicus
- Preludes and Fugues - Various (Bach)
- Preludes and Nocturnes - Various (Chopin)
- Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart)
- Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
- Sonata No. 8 - Complete (Beethoven)
- Sonata No. 10 - Mv. 1 (Mozart)
- The Girl with The Flaxen Hair (Debussy)
- Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (Grieg)
- Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
Scottish Traditional:
- Auld Lang Syne
- Ashokan Farewell
- Dashing White Seargent
- Flower of Scotland
- Farewell to Stromness
- Highland Cathedral
- Mairi's Wedding
- My Love is Like A Red Red Rose
- Scots wha hae
- Skye Boat Song
- Cinema Paradiso
- Dawn from Pride and Prejudice
- Disney Music (Any)
- Harry Potter (Various)
- Game of Thrones (Theme)
- Ghostbusters (Theme)
- Glasgow Love Theme from Love Actually
- Married Life from Up
- Portuguese Love Theme from Love Actually
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Theme)
- Skyfall (Theme)
- All I want for Christmas is You
- Away in a Manger
- Baby It's Cold Outside
- Carol of the Bells
- The Christmas Song
- Deck the Hall
- Ding Dong Merrily on High
- Do You Hear What I Hear
- Jazzy Jingle Bells
- Jingle Bell Rock
- First Noel
- Frosty the Snowman
- God Rest Ye Merry
- Happy Xmas (War is Over)
- Hark the Herald
- Here Comes Santa Clause
- Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
- It's Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas
- Let it Snow
- Santa Baby
- Santa Clause is Coming to Town
- We Wish You A Merry
- Wonderful Christmastime
- Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
- Here Comes The Bride
- Canon in D
- Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)
- Liebster Jesu (Bach)
Any hymns
- Abide with me
- Amazing Grace
- Ave Maria (Schubert)
- Le Coucou (Daquin)
- Miroir (Ad Wammes)
- On Eagle's Wings
- Preambulum (Vierne)
- Rhosymedre ("Lovely")
- Tranquilly (Parry)
- The Vesper Voluntaries (Elgar)
- Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
- Tocatta (Widor)
- Finale from Guilmant's Organ Symphony
Customer questions

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 creates a great ambiance at dinners or drinks receptions, and people frequently tell me at the end of events how much they enjoyed it.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Metropolitan Cocktail Bar, Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow The City Chambers, 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've always liked musicians with a bit of pizazz. Classical Pianists I love include Lang Lang, Evengy Kissin, Martha Argerich and Glenn Gould. For Jazz, I'm a huge fan of Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner; and more recent Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists like Jools Holland, Luca Sestak, and Jörg Hegemann.

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 visitors every year. The fanciest venue though has got to be the illustrious Glasgow City Chambers, where I played for a Civic Dinner hosted by the Lord Provost!

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?

If I am bringing my PA speaker, depending on the venue and timings I'm happy to play your playlist through it (can connect a phone via Bluetooth) until the end of the event, for an additional charge.

How much time do you need to set up?

If you have a piano - no time at all. 1-2 minutes 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 / PA, up to an hour.

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

Yes, no problem!

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 almost always be able to find it. If it's a very complex piece (e.g. Chopin, Liszt) I may need to know several weeks in advance, but the vast majority of songs I can play and improvise on with very little preparation.

Are you able to bring your own piano or keyboard?

Yes, I have a professional Yamaha p515 digital piano, along with a stand and a high-quality 1K PA speaker. Depending on the distance I might need to charge a bit extra to cover transportation costs.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

Yes, absolutely! Just let me know - even if the song isn't on my list, there's a good chance I can already play it and it's also no problem at all for me to learn new songs specifically for your event. If you have other musicians (e.g. singers) you'd like me to collaborate with, I usually charge £20 per hour for rehearsal time.

Matthew's Prices

Last updated: 2024

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)£50
Up to 1 hour£175
Up to 2 hours£225
Up to 3 hours£300
Wedding ceremony
This includes music before the service begins, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave. Also includes consultation on hymn choices, organ voluntaries for church services, and supply of a digital piano and PA speaker for venues without a piano/organ.
Wedding/Event with Singer
I collaborate with classically trained vocal scholar Sarah Greer, member of St Salvator's Chapel Choir and the prestigous National Youth Choir of Scotland. If you are interested we can organise a piano and voice duo, providing a Cantor for church services, or a singing/piano performance including classical, jazz and pop songs.
Wedding ceremony + Drinks reception + Dinner
- Music before the service begins, hymns/church music if desired, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave (Piano or Organ) - 2 x 45 min performances at the drinks reception. - 2 x 45 min performances as dinner is being served.


PA Speaker use after sets
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5 out of 5
15 verified reviews
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Matthew's Reviews

From Encore customers:

Nisha R
2 months ago
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5 out of 5

Matthew was amazing, the music was perfect and our guests are still saying how beautiful the piano music was. Thanks Matthew!

Reply from Matthew
1 month ago

Thanks for the lovely review Nisha, and thanks again for having me! All the best.

Stephanie K
3 months ago
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5 out of 5

Matthew was a massive hit at our wedding - we loved him and so did all of our guests! I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a fantastic pianist and complete professional!

Reply from Matthew
3 months ago

Thank you very much! Glad you and your guests enjoyed, and congratulations once again 😊

Stephen S
6 months ago
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5 out of 5

Very pleased that Matthew could support us at a difficult time.

Reply from Matthew
6 months ago

Thank you Stephen. All the best to you and your family.

George G
7 months ago
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5 out of 5

Matthew was an excellent performer who arrived in lots of time to survey the instrument and music. He performed brilliantly and was very friendly. I cannor reccommend him highly enough,

Reply from Matthew
7 months ago

Thank you for the kind words, and thanks again for having me! Hope the rest of the day went well.

Read all 13 reviews

From other customers:

Chris B
4 years ago, for a Corporate event in KY16 8PN
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5 out of 5

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

Major B
6 years ago, for a Private event in 369 Crow Rd
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5 out of 5

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