Donald K. Ross, Bagpiper

..when you want the best!

When you want the best

Before Hiring

Before Hiring

Choosing a bagpiper for your special event is a difficult task.  Just because a bagpiper has a kilt and a bagpipe does not qualify them to be a good player.  Some bagpipers call themselves professional players only because they receive money for their performances, not because they perform at a professional level.  Years of experience, while a good indicator of someone's passion for the instrument, can also be misleading.  There are thousands of bagpipers out there who have played for twenty years or more.  The best bagpipers in the world are those that have honed their talents and become world class performers.  The only way to do this is through competition. Two thirds of bagpipers do not perform competitively.  Through competition a bagpiper receives a graded skill level, providing an assessment of their skill set.   Grades range from a beginner level of 5, near perfection at Grade 1, to the consistently outstanding performance of a professional.  Only 1% of bagpipers reach true professional status.   

The five questions you need to ask your piper before you hire them.
  1. Do you enter competitions at the Highland Games?
  2. If so, do you play at the higher level of professional and Grade 1 or the lower amateur levels of Grade 3, 4, or 5?
  3. Do you have experience playing the tunes required for highland dancers to perform?
  4. Have you ever played Amazing Grace with a pipe organ?
  5. If so, do you tune your bagpipes to concert B Flat to be in tune with the pipe organ?

All these questions need to be asked even if you are not having a highland dancer or the need for Amazing Grace on the pipe organ.  As the consumer, the answers to these questions will give you a better idea of the skill level of the bagpiper.  You can now make an informed decision and answer this question....

Will I receive the quality performance I want?

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