AT A GLANCE

 

  • I provide bag-piping services throughout the Baltimore, MD metro area.
  • I started learning bagpipes in 1979 as a student of Pipe Major Jim Quigg of Baltimore. My first parade was the Opening Celebration Day of Harbor Place on July 2, 1980.
  • In the mid ‘80’s I was a pupil of Roddy MacDonald (E. Rutherford, NJ). I competed in solo bagpipe competitions on the east coast as a member of the EUSPBA (Eastern United States Pipe Band Association), and also with Delmar and District Pipe Band both at Grade III level.
  • Late ‘80’s, I started my long hiatus from bagpiping to concentrate on my art career.
  • Presently: started piping again by joining the John F. Nicoll Pipe Band in Towson, MD in 2014. I am also now playing as a professional solo piper for local events such as parties, funerals, memorials, etc.
Contact MeLearn More

The misty after-effects of the storm were clearing on the Ocean City, New Jersey  shore as the five year old me walked hand in hand with my father northward towards Atlantic City. It was early on a late summer morning and the beach was completely empty – yet there swept a strain, oddly delightful to my ear, music of which I had not heard before that moment…my dad and I stopped in our sandy tracks and looked outward towards the ocean – there on the windy jetty stood a man, with a grizzled beard, facing out towards infinity, squeezing something in his left arm and creating music of the heavens. I asked my father what the beautiful sound was and he answered plainly, “Those are bagpipes, Christine.”

I was hooked from that moment on. A decade passed and one day my mother had an article in her hand to show me. It appeared in a small local newspaper-the subject matter being that of one Pipe Major Jim Quigg’s giving free bagpipe lessons within two miles of my home. I was at that time too shy to call for myself to sign up for lessons. I’ve never forgotten standing next to my mom in the kitchen as she dialed. I nervously awaited the call to be received. The Major’s mother answered the call, my mom inquired, and then she had a funny, confused look on her face. Apparently there was a bit of a language barrier in play! Mrs. Quigg had such a thick Scottish brogue, and my mom couldn’t understand what she was asking! To this day, I still laugh when I think about her question for us: “Hawldshenoo?”  “What was that?”, my mom asked. Mrs. Quigg repeated her query. Then finally the light went on, “Oh! How Old Is She Now!” A very important question to ask because it seems like the earlier one starts the bagpipe, the better.

And the rest is history. I started the lessons with glee in the late summer of 1979 – played my first parade with the Baltimore City bagpipe Band for the July 2, 1980 Opening Ceremony of the world renowned Harbor Place, Baltimore’s waterfront jewel. I played many parades, parties, functions, and funerals with the band and by the side of my Pipe Major Quigg who took me under his avuncular wing. Then, after a number of years, and taking his advice since I was still a young piper, I left the Baltimore band to pursue a more serious piping in the competition world.

In the mid-eighties under the tutelage of Pipe Major Roddy MacDonald of Rutherford, NJ, a small group of us took intense lessons in his smoky basement every Tuesday night – a very long commute from Baltimore, but well worth the effort. I learned the nuances of the 2/4, 6/8 competition marches, the history and tradition of Piobrachead, and the rhythms and timings of Strathspeys, Jigs, Hornpipes, and Reels. I learned how to play in a circle with a Grade III competition band. Then I competed in Eastern United States Bagpipe Band Association Highland Games with our Del Mar and District Pipe Band. We even competed as far away as Canada.

During this time, though, my first calling, as an artist, took center stage. I was beginning to make a living from my paintings after graduating from Baltimore’s Schuler School of Fine Art. Showing locally, my dog paintings in particular seemed to attract the most attention – and sales. In 1989, I was fortunate to have been tapped to have a one man art exhibition at the William Secord Gallery in new York City. I then laid my pipes down in their box under the bed in the guest room for 25 years – bringing them out only occasionally to play at parties or to scare my dogs.

But the pipes were always in my heart. I never really gave up loving their sound. One late summer evening in 2014, my husband just happened to go to the American Legion in Towson on a Thursday night instead of the usual Friday or Saturday – and there miraculously, in the parking lot was a group of pipers and drummers practicing. He got their card, and the rest is history!

In the last two years I have joyously returned to one of my first loves. I have played in more than 30 parades, performances, and this winter was made Lance Corporal of the John F. Nicoll Pipe Band.