Below is Greg Waller’s profile. He is a local piper to us in Hitchin and has worked with us on many occasions before.
I have been piping since the age of 12 and now pipe full time at a variety of events across the south and east of England. Among those occasions are funerals.
I can pipe according to the wishes of the family at points of their choosing. I have a choice of uniforms and different kilts/tartans available.
I always speak to confirm arrangements with the family and other parties such as the funeral director.
Please find below details about my piping history and how I can pipe for funeral services.
Although born and bred in England, my mother is a Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Skye and I have spent many years in Scotland. I began the pipes aged 12 with the Birmingham Scottish pipe band and then went on to compete with other bands in both England and Scotland.
1979 to 1983 – Birmingham Scottish Pipe Band
1983 to 1987 – Wolverhampton Pipe Band
1987 to 1989 – Denny and Dunipace Pipe Band
1989 to 1993 – 42nd Highlanders Pipe Band
While studying at Stirling University I was with Denny and Dunipace Pipe Band. The band was 1987 Grade Two Champion of Champion pipe band – winning the British and European championships and I played a further two years with the band in Grade One, the highest level of pipe band competition (there are no Grade One pipe bands in England). I was Denny and Dunipace Bandsman of the Year in 1989.
I piped with the band when it won the Prix du Public at the Dijon International Folk Festival in 1987.
From 1998 onwards I have been piping full time at a variety of functions such as:
- Corporate events
- Burns suppers
My solo performances have included:
- 1990 – lone piper, Birmingham International Military Tattoo, NEC
- 1998 – lone piper, 10th anniversary memorial service for the Lockerbie disaster, Heathrow Airport
- 2005 – lone piper, Saga Cruise, Azores
- 2010 – piper, Ronnie Scott’s jazz club Burns supper
In addition, I have piped for functions at Goldsmiths’ Hall, Sandhurst military academy and many other locations through the country.
Piping for a funeral service:
The pipes can be used according to the wishes of the family. I can play as many or as few times as required. I have experience of piping at many different locations – including places of worship, crematorium services and at burials. For example, I can play at times such as:
- When mourners gather for the service
- To lead bearers as they carry the deceased in to the place of service
- To pipe out at the end of the service
- To pipe a lament after the final words of committal
At a burial service I can, if required, pipe mourners to the graveside – or be standing to one side playing as they approach – and then pipe again as people gather their thoughts after the service.
I can play tunes of the family’s choosing. Many popular melodies are associated with the pipes such as Amazing Grace, Flower of Scotland, Going Home, The Skye Boat Song and Highland Cathedral.
Traditional laments include Lochaber No More, Sleep Dearie Sleep and Flowers of the Forest.
Irish favourites include The Fields of Athenry, Danny Boy, the Galway Shawl and the Cliffs of Dooneen.
For more information, visit Greg’s Website.
All Images and Information reproduced with kind permission from Greg Waller.