Oregon Piper - Portland Bagpiper, bagpipes, bagpipers, bagpipe, and pipers for hire in Portland

"Professional piping for the people"

A bagpiper for any occasion: enliven your wedding, wake, or special event with the energy of the great highland bagpipe.


A thank you from afar...

Today something happened that has never happened before (which is rare in the world of bagpiping). I received a thank you note from an individual I'd never met, who heard me piping from a distance (because, ya' know...bagpipes) at a completely separate funeral service.

Here's an excerpt:

"Dear Mark,

This is a heartfelt note of thanks from a Canadian of Scottish decent, thanking you for your beautiful bagpipe music which was a great comfort to me recently. At the time I couldn't see where the music was coming from so later I asked at the cemetery office and was given your name.

...when I came back for the internment, I was alone. It was a sad occasion without any associated ceremony or service and without other members of the family along as witness or support. As I was sitting on the steps by the columbarium after the internment wishing for some better way to have marked this final event of her life, I heard beautiful bagpipe music nearby...it seemed as if it was a tribute to my sister as a member of the Ronald clan, a sect of the MacDonnell clan of Keppoch.

I am glad to know that the art is alive and well in Portland through people such as you...thank you for your time on behalf of veterans and their loved ones.

Phyllis T."

I find it remarkably generous that she took the time to write a letter to someone she had never even met.  I've always known the bagpipe is loud and the sound carries over a great distance, but I usually assume those hearing it in the distance were annoyed by it, not enjoying it! Randomly enough I'm also a half Canadian of Scottish and Irish decent, so the note hit a little close to home.

As someone who has witnessed many funerals over the years I actually see the situation of the one-person-funeral fairly often. A few times I've even played for zero-person-funerals, where it's just me and the funeral director paying our respects with no one else physically there to hear it. I think it shows great stoicism and commitment to be that sole family member present at the funeral, and good on Phyllis for being there.

When I first started out I always threw away any thank-you cards I received from clients, but now I keep them (years worth of them...is this creepy?) tucked away in a folder. Maybe someday before I finally pass away from a brain aneurysm (caused by playing too many hard reeds over the years) I'll pull them all out and make a giant...thing.