Aussie-Scot Events

Bagpipes for All Occasions


Bagpipes for Special Events & Services

I have been fortunate to have been part of some wonderful and memorable events over the years, and my motto is Bagpipes for ALL Occasions!!!

I believe there is no occasion that can not be enhanced by the truly beautiful and haunting sound of the pipes. Events like birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, parties, parades, graduations and many more events can all be made even more special and unique with the addition of the pipes.

Some of the more memorable events that I have been fortunate to have been asked to play at have included playing Happy Birthday for a lovely lady who was celebrating her 102nd birthday.

For the last 2 years I have had the pleasure of piping the graduates from USQ Springfield, into their graduation service.

In 2009 I walked the Kokoda Track, and carried my pipes with me, and I was privileged to play the pipes at 3 memorial services on the track. That was a really special moment, and very emotional.

Each year for the last 5 years, I have played the pipes at The Lights on the Hill Memorial at Gatton, which is a tribute to the truckers who have lost their lives in service over the previous 12 months

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to "pipe in" some very high profile guests and dignitaries, to many events and functions, including Governor Penny Wensley, Premier Anna Bligh, Mayor Paul Pisasale, and many others. One of the most unusual would be piping Dylan Lewis into the Big Brother House, at the opening night of Celebrity Big Brother, and he went on to win.

Another highlight was in 2009 when Glasgow Celtic came to Brisbane to play at the Roar against racism football match against Brisbane Roar, and I had the privilege of being one of the two pipers who piped the teams onto the pitch. Later that year I was one of the cast of 100 Pipers and Drummers that played onstage alongside Andre Rieu.

In 2010, renowned poet and all round good bloke Rupert McCall was hosting a charity function prior to the rugby international between Australia and Ireland at Suncorp, and he wanted to have his guests piped into the function. The guests were James Horwill and Tony Shaw. I then piped the whole group across the road to Suncorp for the match. Later that year I also piped at Rupert's 40th birthday.

While on rugby, in 2003 the Rugby World Cup was held in Australia, and there were some interesting moments. The Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band were invited to be part of the stadium pre-match entertainment. However, in their wisdom, the Rugby hierarchy decided that the bagpipes would be banned from inside the stadium, as it was deemed that "the bagpipes would give the Scotland team an unfair advantage"…!!! This caused a huge furore, and the story even made the front page of the Courier Mail. Under intense pressure the organisers were forced to relent and allow the bagpipes to be taken inside. Prior to the first match in Brisbane, the pipe band members all gathered before the game at the Caxton hotel, and painted the St. Andrews cross on our faces, and then we marched down Caxton St to the stadium. It was fierce looking band that led hundreds of supporters down to the Wally Lewis statue, and formed up a circle. Within minutes there were a few thousand people all around, singing and chanting as the band played, and inside the band circle there were 4 TV cameras who were broadcasting it to other parts of the world. A really memorable occasion.

Perhaps my most memorable occasion was on 2nd and 3rd December 2010, when the famous F-111 was retired from service, and they had a passing out parade at Amberley air base. There was a guard of honour of 440 airmen and women lined the runway, as I had the honour of piping the F-111 through it. The following day, there was a flyover of the last 5 F-111's to take to the sky, where they did a display of all that is magic about the iconic plane that they affectionately called "The Pig". The last 2 planes to come in for the final landing performed the last ever "dump and burn" to an enthusiastic crowd of about 1500 invited guests. After the last of the planes came in to land, there were speeches from some notable people who have been involved with the plane. They then gave everyone a glass of champagne, and as they toasted a final "farewell to the F-111", I had the honour of playing Auld Lang Syne. It was truly a privilege to have been a part of history.

Apart from the many weddings, funerals and special events that I have played at, there is one particular regular event that I do that gives me enormous satisfaction and pleasure. I am referring to my "Morning Melodies with Piper Joe" concerts that I perform at many nursing homes, respite centres and aged care facilities. It is just such a wonderful morning's entertainment, and it brings so much joy and happiness to "our elder residents" that are no longer able to get out and about and enjoy the concerts that they used to go to. I get tremendous enjoyment from seeing the smiles on their faces and having them clapping and tapping their feet to the music, and singing along to the songs that we sing together, and to see the wide eyed looks on their faces as I tell them some of the stories and adventures that I have got up to with my pipes in many parts of the world. These Morning Melodies are very special.

I am also very fortunate that I have been able to perform some of these concerts at no cost to the nursing home, as I have been proudly sponsored by Queenslanders Credit Union to go along and perform at events like this, as an ambassador of the Credit Union. Mayor Paul Pisasale and the Councillors of Ipswich, and our State and Federal Members in our region have also sponsored some of the nursing homes in their areas. I have also been fortunate to enlist the support of some of the Brisbane City Councillors, as word has got around about the Morning Melodies concerts, and they in turn would like to be seen supporting their own local nursing homes.