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Your email will never be sold, and I won't burden you with tons of meaningless drivel (just an occasional spoonful!) I will keep you posted a couple times a month on upcoming shows, music releases,and the occasional free download for fan feedback! I look forward to writing you. Mike "Pops" McGee

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here Comes the Bride

Bagpipers are becoming more popular at weddings. Many people are unsure of what the role of the piper at a wedding is, when he should play and what tunes are best.

The Wedding

The bagpiper (at the entrance to the chapel) traditionally pipes guests in and out of the ceremony playing medleys of traditional Scottish marches and aires including Scotland the Brave, etc. It is also traditional but not always requested for the piper to pipe the bride down the aisle, maybe play during the signing of the register and then pipe the newlywed couple out of the ceremony. In my experience the bride has always had a tune in mind for being piped down the aisle and in this part of the world that tune has generally been The Wedding March (“Here comes the Bride”). If asked to play during the signing of the register it is almost always Amazing Grace or occasionally Highland Cathedral.

Afterwards

The next point of call for the piper is to have him play during the taking of the photos (off camera and in the background). Traditionally what the piper plays is at his discretion and will include medleys of marches, jigs and reels to entertain guests. It is often required of the piper to pose in several photos, usually just with the bride and groom and any photos of just men wearing kilts.

At the Reception

The piper is not always required to play at the wedding reception but if he does it is traditional for him to pipe in the guests and then pipe the bride and groom to the top table (and be presented with a whiskey for doing so.) The tune he will pipe the bride and groom in with is usually one that will get guests clapping. Scotland the Brave never fails or Gerry Owen and neither do numbers such as The Minstrel Boy or The Rising of the Moon (AKA The Wearing of the Green).

More is less

As with all piping you must remember the pipes have a loud and commanding presence. Used even slightly to excess they will detract from any service. Therefore this is the most I would consider using a piper at a wedding. Many opt for much less, using the Piper to punctuate the event at one or two key points.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Piper's Field of Dreams


“Build it and they will come.” Great premise for a movie, but a little out of touch with the real world. If you’re looking to turn a buck with your music you need a strategic approach that will expose the maximum number of people possible to all aspects of your performance, clubs, parties, events, and yes recordings. Each is a facet of your profession that must not only shine, but must seamlessly interlink to every other facet.

Your pub performances should be a platform for promoting your party gigs and recordings, etc. just as your recording should promote your pub gigs and parties and your party gigs should promote everything as well.

Do this on the Web with your various sites and you will go “viral”. That is what you want to do with your music. Use the web as a tool or tactic to help link yourself together into a package that everyone wants a piece of.

Then, play your a$$ off! It’s what you love doing anyway, and that is contagious. Your linked out persona will result in as many opportunities as you need to be in front of your market. Give your performances away if you must in order to be out there. If you build the following, the following will in time take care of you.

That is what must be built and if it is then the dollars will come.

Monday, June 07, 2010

2010 1000 Stand

2010-1000 Stand is a charitable initiative which provides developing nations access to fresh water via Play Pumps (manually operated water well pumps). Please read more about their efforts at http://1000stand.com/.


To support these efforts I have released a single of Amazing Grace (Amazing Grace / Michael Neal McGee) that will be available through CDBaby, Amazon.com, Itunes, and almost every other source of digitally deliverable tunes. It will cost $0.99, of which $0.70 will go to me. The direct website is: http://cdbaby.com/cd/MichaelNealMcGee

I in turn will donate 100% of all monies received between now and July 16th (my Birthday) to 2010-1000 on July 16th, 2010.

It doesn’t take a government to help your fellow man, just a heart.

Pops