Julia Read - Quality Scottish Piper
Quality Scottish Bagpiper. Highest levels of Professionalism. I will do everything I can to meet your expectations and make your event extra special for your guests. I play from a vast repertoire of traditional Scottish tunes, but can also learn new tunes in very short notice.
Based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Been playing for over 30 years. Taught by ex-Army pipers in New Zealand. Both my mother and my grandfather were Pipe Majors. My mum inspired me to learn the bagpipes and the highland dancing, country dancing, drumming and throwing the mace! With a vast array of experience under my belt I am sure that you’ll be satisfied booking me for your event.
Play at Weddings, Funerals, Birthday, Burns Night, Hogmanay, TV appearances, Military dining out.
Range of uniforms, mainly play in a Royal Stewart full pipers outfit. Also offer Black Watch (appropriate for funerals). Other options include a Blue Bonnet Prince Charlie uniform. So I can colour coordinate for brides in a Red, Green or Blue theme.
Thank you for viewing my profile page and I look forward to hearing from you. Julia.
Rachelle Cornel• Jan. 24, 2019
Julia was fantastic - would highly recommend!
Rachael MacKay• Dec. 8, 2018
"Julia was excellent. She arrived super early and looked and absolutely fantastic. She was very accommodating with my daughter who wanted to ""help"" and about the cramped space in a small old beamed pub.
Wish we'd asked for another dance !
Laura francis• Nov. 17, 2018
Very professional, extremely accomplished musician , friendly and accommodating to meet our requirements on the day . I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending her for any event , we will book her again . Julia is delightful , she genuinely cared about making the day very special for my elderly Scottish parents and her extra suggestions of when / where to play were really helpful ! Thank you Julia
Steve Maddern• Oct. 5, 2018
"Julia was amazing!!
I booked her a surprise for my husband for our wedding. Julia communicated excellently ahead of date, checking out which outfit to wear and what songs to play. Julia liaised directly with the venue to keep everything a secret from my husband.
Being from a Scottish family - julia’s playing certainly brought a tear to the eye of my new husband and many family members!
Julia looked amazing in her traditional uniform and played the pipes amazingly well. We even had an opportunity to pose with julia for some photos before she played us into our wedding breakfast.
Julia, thank you! You certainly did not disappoint us!! I would highly recommend julia!!"
Unsure of the above date! I needed a piper to play at a funeral that I was arranging. When offered Julia, to my shame I was dubious about employing a female piper. I need not have had concerns - Julia was superb, truly superb. I would recommend her wholeheartedly. A true professional. Personable and approachable. Thank you
Heather Piper• Oct. 13, 2018
"Hi. I would rank Julia higher than 5 if it were possible! She was superb. My daughter had the unusual request of asking if Country Road by John Denver could be played at the wedding on the bagpipes. Julia happily agreed that it was possible. She went to the trouble of recording and sending a clip for my daughter's approval. It was perfect!
Julia arrived before everyone. Made friends with everyone and was certainly a hit.
She performed more tunes than we initially requested and made suggestions of when and what would be good to play.
I would most certainly recommend Julia to anyone and everyone.
Thank you so much, our day was even more perfect than we ever imagined."
- How long do you play for?The quote that I provide for you always covers the timings specified by you when you requested a quote. I can play for as hours (such is my repertoire and stamina!), but typically this isn't needed. Weddings for example might take 2 hours if I'm playing for your guests arrival and also piping you up the aisle and back down again. A funeral typically sees me at the location for an hour and will include piping the hearse to the chapel of rest, piping the coffin in and piping afterwards. It is really up to you and what you want, but I'm here to help guide you in terms of what I've done at other events.
- Do you have your own PA and lighting?As a bagpiper, PA and lighting are not part of my performance. I will fit in with whatever is available at your venue. For example I've been lit up when playing as a solo piper on Leeds castle at the end of the summer music festival. In regards to a PA, the bagpipes are certainly loud enough not to need a PA, so that has never been a problem.
- Do you have Public Liability Insurance and PAT tested equipment?I do sometimes get asked about liability insurance, which I don't have. This is never a problem because I am self sufficient and don't have any electrical equipment that needs PAT testing or could potentially do any damage.
- How much space do you require?I will play in the space that is most relevant for your event, but generally I only need standing room. At a Burns night supper then we typically parade the Haggis around the dining area. At a wedding then I often play to attention at the entrance to the church or reception venue. I am very used to marching whilst playing, having performed in many pipe bands over the years. So I can navigate most spaces, including low head height ceilings in pubs.
- My favourite tune is not on your list. Will you be able to play it?Absolutely! If you want it played, then I will do my very best to play it for you. The bagpipes does have some limitations in terms of the notes that it can reach, but we can give it a go. You make the request and I'll let you know if it can be done on the Pipes.
- How many breaks do you take? How long are they?I don't tend to take breaks because it is rare for me to be asked to play for longer than 40 minutes in one go, for example for guest arrival before a wedding ceremony. Other parts of my performance are much shorter, for example piping in the birthday cake to Happy Birthday. After which I stop, congratulate the recipient and then play a 5 - 10 min medley set, depending on what you want. I have a special performance that I've worked out for Birthday parties that always gets rave reviews - book me and you'll find out what it is! It helps everyone to enjoy the playing and get involved.
New Years Eve
Burns Night (I also perform the address to the Haggis if that is required)
Traditional Scottish tunes from the Army piping books
Modern Scottish tunes composed in the 20th and 21st century, eg Highland Cathedral
Film medleys, eg Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Lion King, Game of Thrones