Alan's Solo Performances
Alan plays many different kinds of bagpipes, several diatonic accordions, and numerous other wind and
Alan began studying the music of the British Isles and Ireland soon after taking up the Highland bagpipe,
and has now mastered a sizable tune repetoire played on a number of different folk instruments of these
lands. The traditional music and instruments of continental Europe were also introduced early on to
Alan from his many encounters with other folk musicians. Instruction with the greats of European traditional
music both here and abroad has enabled Alan to master each instrument and musical style.
Alan's solo playing experience includes frequent performances at weddings, funerals, parties, dances,
festivals, and corporate events. He has also appeared a number of times in theatre productions and on
radio and television. Alan has been extensively involved in group instruction, workshops, lectures and
demonstrations at schools, music camps and festivals. This page contains recent 'thank-you' notes and testimonials
from some of Alan's many hundreds of clients.
If interested, Alan can supply and perform with other pipers and/or drummers, and can provide accompaniment
for his or your Scottish Highland and/or Irish step dancers. Also see Alan's
Group Performances Page.
Instruments and Musical Styles
As well as the most familiar of bagpipes, the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe or piob mor, there
are more than two-hundred others played around the world. Alan has collected, built, and learned to play
a number of different European bagpipes including three Scottish, three English, seven French, one Galician
(Spanish), one Flemish (Belgian), one Swedish and one Turkish (see Instrument Collection -
Bagpipes). Many of Alan's bagpipes are somewhat similar
in construction and function, but each one looks and sounds uniquely different.
A sizable repertoire of music uniquely linked to each individual piping tradition allows Alan to perform
at length on one or more bagpipes associated with a particular culture. In addition to performances
of a singular theme or instrument, Alan has on many occasions entertained audiences with his playing
of many different bagpipes. This type of performance can take the form of a demonstration, recital,
lecture or a combination of all of these. Note: There is no better instrument than the bagpipe
for getting people's attention and/or for leading them in a procession from one location to another.
The sound of the Highland Bagpipe in particular seizes the moment like no other instrument.
See: Alan's European & American Music Repertoire Page for a list of the more well-known
tunes that Alan plays on his Scottish Highland bagpipe.
Also see: The Wedding Tips Page, which gives
detailed information on hiring Alan to play bagpipes at a wedding.
The Funeral or Memorial Service Bagpiper Tips Page, which
gives detailed information on hiring Alan to play for a funeral or memorial service.
Melodious, rhythmic, earthy and gay - what's a waltz or polka without an accordion? After nearly
putting the bagpipe out of business in most of Europe during the last century, this product of the
industrial revolution has taken folk music for it's own and is here to stay. It's sound can be heard
around the world! Alan plays several different sizes and keys of one of the earliest forms of the
accordion; known throughout continental Europe as the diatonic accordion, it is commonly called
a melodian in Britain and Ireland, and a button-box in the U.S. (see Instrument Collection
In addition to demonstating different musical traditions, or entertaining at ethnic and cultural-themed
events, the accordion is also useful for accompanying sing-alongs, such as Christmas caroling, and special
songs associated with annual events such as Happy Birthday and Auld Lang Syne.
See: Alan's European & American Music Repertoire Page for a list of the more
well-known tunes that Alan plays on his accordions.
Misc. Wind & Percussion Instruments
Especially suited to Irish music, Alan plays several different sizes and keys of 'tin' or 'penny' whistles.
Alan's other reed instruments include various forms of folk oboes, a Renaissance crumhorn, harmonicas
and several types of mouth-blown reedpipes including the Welsh pibcorn. Percussion instruments in Alan's
collection take the form of various stick and hand drums, as well as more unusual friction drums.
(See Instrument Collection-Misc. Instruments).
Usually a performance by Alan involves his playing a specific instrument and style of music connected
to a particular tradition, ie., the Highland bagpipe at a Scottish or Irish wedding. Or the
instrument and music can be associated with a partiucular theme, such as the playing of accordion waltzes
and polkas for Oktoberfest, or the singing and playing of Irish songs and tunes on Saint Patrick's Day.
As well as playing the traditional music of each instrument, Alan usually makes his appearance in the
colorful folk costume associated with the instrument and it's culture. Here you will find links to photos
of Alan in a few of his different costumes:
|Centre France costume|
Some suggested uses for Alan's many talents:
- Weddings celebrating a theme, nationality or ethnicity, such as Scottish, Irish, French, etc.
- Civilian and military funerals, memorial services, and "life celebrations".
- Ethnic or national theme days, such as St. Patrick's Day, Robt. Burn's Night, St. Andrew's
Day, Bastille Day, or Oktoberfest.
- Holiday events - Christmas and New Year's parties.
- Corporate Events, such as IPOs, new product launches, and client and/or employee appreciation
- Organizational Events, such as concert series, fundraisers, and donor appreciation parties.
- Civic Events, such as parades, street fairs, festivals, peasant uprisings and public floggings. :-)
- Commencements - School and university graduation celebrations.
- Anniversaies, including birthdays, weddings and bar mitzvas.
- Family Gatherings.
- School 'International' theme days and assemblies.
- Concerts and recitals.
- Mass media programs (film, television and radio).
- Audio and/or video recording sessions.
- Any special event where festivity is a prime ingredient.
Recent Notable Solo Public Performances
- Redwood City's Heritage Day Celebration, Redwood City, CA
- "Drone Magic" Winter Solstice Bagpipe Festival, San Francisco, CA
- Great Dickens Christmas Faire, Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA
- "100 Years of Flying" Parade of Planes, San Carlos, CA
- Paramount's Great America, Santa Clara, CA
- September 11th Memorial Services (various locations)
- Lark In the Morning Music Celebration, Mendocino Woodlands, CA
- Tartan Golf Tournament & Dinner, Burlingame Country Club, Hillsborough, CA
- Sebasopol Celtic Festival, Sebasopol, CA
- 2000 New Year's Celebration Party, Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, CA
- Traditional Arts Program, California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
For booking information, or to request a free brochure and/or demo tape, contact Alan by email (use
the 'Contact' button on the navigation table below, or go to Alan's 'Home' Page for address),
telephone Alan at: (650) 391-5546
For additional hiring information, please refer to: Help For the Musician(s)
and Guide To Fees.
last update: 12/7/12