Bay Area Bagpiper Jay Salter
Jay Salter, Bagpiper jaysalter @ cruzio . com 831.818.0906

Parties and Other Events

An exciting use of the pipes is for those other occasions where music can set the tone, indoors or out, conjuring an atmosphere of festivity, tradition, and celebration. Some of the unique events I perform at are house parties and garden parties, where the sound of the pipes greets arriving guests, showing them the way to the event, guiding them through a majestic corridor of music. Or where the piping wafts through the grounds, as in courtly times, entertaining the gathering, evoking a festive, magical mood.

The pipes may also be used effectively at those events where surprise is of the essence, such as birthday and anniversary parties. At those, I’ll often start up my pipes at some distance from the door, to generate some mystery and interest, and then march into the banquet hall or dining room, to the surprise and delight of those to be honored. If desired, I can also create a musical entertainment around a particular theme, playing and talking about tunes which have relevance to the occasion and the participants.

Other outdoor events I perform at which combine high ceremony and a sense of fun, include housewarmings where I lead the guests in processing around the dwelling and grounds: circumambulating with the pipes as a traditional form of blessing. Piping for golf tournament ceremonies always creates a special atmosphere, with the powerful sound of the pipes weaving landscape and participants into an old-world unity. And for classic motor vehicle concours events, the pipes evoke an appropriately elegant mood.

Some of the Scottish-themed events at which a piper is traditionally expected to play are Robert Burn’s dinners, where the piper might greet the guests with tunes as well as to pipe in the haggis, and at St. Andrew’s Day services, where piping is an integral part of the ceremony. A whiskey tasting is another special social occasion that calls for the pipes. And of course St. Patrick’s Day events are amped up into something really special with the addition of the pipes.

Graduations are another event at which the pipes contribute to the special sense of ceremony. These include school, college, and academy graduations.

I am also often called upon to play for marathons, and for charity walks and runs, where the stirring sound of the pipes inspires and heartens the participants, providing as well an unmistakeable, musical orientation for beginning and finishing points.

Other events I have played at include entertainments for retirement centers and nursing homes, polo matches, solstice parties, banquets, fund-raisers, open houses for visitor centers, store openings, publicity events for new products, employee seminars, motivational and inspirational meetings for businesses, office parties, baptisms, and bar mitzvah celebrations.

©2016 Jay Salter