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Bagpiper Cost

How Much Does a Bagpiper Cost?

 average costBagpiper: $200-$1,000+ 
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  Typical costs:
  • The cost for a bagpiper depends on skill and experience level as well as the amount of music played and whether the event involves multiple locations. Bagpipers usually start at $200 or less for a one-hour stint that typically would involve 15 minutes of actual playing. Rates can go up to $1,000 or more for a highly sought after professional bagpiper or multi-location events, multiple stints of playing and multiple bagpipers.
  • For example, Chicago bagpiper Paul Palmer's rates for weddings and funerals start at $200, and most programs[1] last about 15 minutes and include one to six songs or a medley. His charge for weddings averages $250. For a full funeral package, including playing at the funeral home, church and graveside, he charges $350. Chicalba Bagpiping, also in Chicago, charges $175 to $250 for bagpiping at a wedding ceremony[2] or reception and charges $275-$350 for both.
  • Tennessee bagpiper James Weinberg charges $250 to play bagpipes[3] at an event, $350 for an event with two locations, such as playing at a wedding ceremony and reception or a funeral and graveside service. He also charges $350 to attend a wedding rehearsal and play at the ceremony. Rates for Atlanta bagpiper Brad Beaton[4] start at $260 with an additional $180 to attend a rehearsal. A second bagpiper to play a duet costs an additional $180. A highland dancer and a drummer would each be an additional $180 -- for a total of just under $1,000 for the whole ensemble.
Related articles: Live Ceremony Music, Organist, Wedding Music Band, Wedding DJ, Dance Floor

What should be included:
  • A bagpipe player should consult with the customer ahead of time to determine specifics -- such as the location, length of time and pieces that will be played. The player also should meet with the wedding or funeral professionals to coordinate logistics.
  • Bagpipe playing typically is done in short spurts rather than for an extended time because it is a physically demanding instrument to play and because it tends to command the attention of all the guests, according to Chicago bagpipe player Paul Palmer[5] .
Additional costs:
  • Some bagpipers charge travel fees. For example, Tennessee bagpiper James Weinberg charges a base travel fee[6] of $50 plus 40 cents per mile for weddings more than 20 miles from his location. Some highly skilled bagpipers will play anywhere in the country.
  • Some bagpipers might offer discounts in certain circumstances. For example, New Hampshire bagpiper Alexandria Knox offers a 10% discount[7] to members of the military and police and fire professionals.
Shopping for a bagpiper:
  • It's important to assess the skill level of a bagpiper before hiring. One way to do this is to ask about the piper's grade. Grade five, the lowest grade, signifies an amateur bagpiper while grade one is near professional level. There also is a grade called "professional" or "open," and bagpipers of this grade can be hard to find, according to the Boston Pipers Society, which offers a description of bagpiper grades[8] . It is recommended to look for a bagpiper of at least grade two.
  • For weddings, and even funerals, it's a good idea to try to book a bagpipe player as early as possible. Chicago bagpipe player Paul Palmer takes wedding bookings[9] a year in advance and funeral bookings several days before the event.
  • has a bagpiper locator[10] by state and city.
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