Born in Falkirk, Scotland my family emigrated to the United States in 1968. I was just 4 years old. I was raised and attended school in Durant, Iowa. After graduation I enlisted in the United States Army. My basic training was at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. I also served at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky (101st Airborne Division) and the Republic of South Korea. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1987. I met Sue Merle in 1988 and we were married October 1990. We decided on a Scottish theme for the wedding and had piper Bill Lee at our wedding and reception.
In 1991 family friends Kenneth and Margaret MacLeod were retiring to Scotland. Kenneth had played bagpipes and I was lucky enough to acquire them for what at the time seemed quite 'dear' to a young newly married man. Not knowing how to play them I contacted Bill Lee and joined him for lessons at his home. I got more serious about practicing and becoming a 'piper' when the Blackhawk Pipes & Drums were formed in 2000.
I work at our family printshop Minuteman Press in Davenport, Iowa. Sue and I are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bettendorf, Iowa and the Scottish American Society. I am a member of Knights of Columbus Fr. Conroy Council #4403, 4th Degree Loras Assembly #260, and American Legion J.L. Shryer Post #430 in Durant, Iowa.
I enjoy traveling to Scotland to visit my sister and brother in law, family, friends, sightseeing and learning about Scottish History. In 2014 I attended the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo for my 50th birthday. In 2019 I attended an authentic Burns Night Dinner in Alloa, Scotland.
I began playing solo for weddings, funerals and special occasions in 1996. I'm very mindful of each occasion and play appropriate tunes for the mood of the event. Including Irish classics such as... Danny Boy and Irish Eyes Are Smiling. I am honoured to be the piper at QC Honor Flights and play the service songs for the Veterans and at military funerals. I also joined Electric Shock the AC/DC Show for the bagpipe instrumental on Long Way to the Top in commemoration to former AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, RIP.
I look forward to piping at your special event!
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