• Bagpiper Ally McKinnis

    Traditional highland bagpiper for weddings, funerals, charity events, holiday parties, education, graduation, golf tournaments, public safety, and birthdays in North & South Carolina

  • Events


    A bagpiper playing as guest are arriving, leaving, or at the graveside is a common sight.  Bagpipers in full traditional Scottish uniform make any funeral or memorial ceremony a special one.


    Some brave lasses want to go down the aisle to the tune of a bagpiper.  Bagpipers at weddings make everything lively and grand.  Brides usually like to have a piper play as guests leave the ceremony or as they arrive at the reception.  

    Other Events

    I can play in a variety of settings.  Previously requested events include:
    • St. Patrick's Day
    • Independence Day
    • Memorial Day
    • New Year's Eve
    • Robert Burns parties
    • Golf tournaments
    • Charity events
    • Convocation & Graduation
    • Birthday parties
    • Ribbon cuttings & grand openings
    • Church events & fundraisers
    • Athletic events


    Sharing the history, physics, and science behind the great highland bagpipes is one of my passions.  For two years I have been honored by teaching a session on Scotland's history, music, and modern culture as well as on the bagpipes at North Carolina State University for Dr. Alison Arnold's Celtic Music Honors class.  Other previous opportunities have included:
    • Middle & High School functions
    • University functions
    • Music courses
    • Radio stations
    • Newspapers
    • Senior centers
  • Reviews

    "Made the occasion so special."

    "It was our pleasure to have Ally play at the dedication of our new worship center. Her performance was just the added touch that made the occasion so special. She is a true professional and plays with heart and conviction. I can highly recommend her for your consideration."


    Dr. David F. April 28th, 2013

    Houston, Texas

    "It was touching and beautiful."

    I hired Ally to play an "Amazing Grace" as a surprise for a friend at a local business. Having lived in Scotland for three years, I heard a lot of Scottish bagpipers on the streets and at special events. Ally's ability is equal to one of the most experienced bagpipers I have an opportunity to meet! As Ally was playing, few tears were shed. It was touching and beautiful. I will definitely hire her again in the future!


    Olga D. April 11th, 2017

    Mooresville, North Carolina

    Always outstanding!

    Ally played for our event again this year and was fabulous - again! She’s such a pro and pleasure to work with. Her musicianship is top-notch. She delivered the perfect atmosphere and mood thanks to her special knack and abilities to get things just right. She’s always on time and ready to go. We love having her play and visit our church and look forward to seeing her again next year!


    Carol B. February 24th, 2019

    Gastonia, North Carolina




    Glen H. May 12th, 2018

    Traphill, North Carolina

  • Music

    There are hundreds of tunes for the bagpipes that vary in style, tempo, and mood. Traditional music for the bagpipes include strathspeys, reels, jigs, hornpipes, marches, slow airs, and piobaireachd, the traditional lament-style of bagpipe music. Here is a list of commonly recognized piping tunes:

    • Amazing Grace
    • Scotland the Brave
    • Green Hills of Tyrol
    • Danny Boy
    • MacRae Meadows

    Some non-traditional tunes are requested as well:

    • We Will Rock You
    • Happy Birthday
    • The Wedding March
    • Going Home
    • University of North Carolina/Peace University Alma Mater
    • North Carolina State University Fight Song

    If you are interested in having a specific song played please contact me well in advance. Not every song is compatible with the bagpipes and the range of notes is limited.

  • Background

    People often ask how I got into playing the bagpipes and if I have Scottish blood.

    Family Roots

    The name 'McKinnis' is derived from the ancient Hebrides clan of 'MacInnes', which means son of Angus.  Despite my ancestors being from America since the middle 1700s, I claim Scottish blood from most of my family.  My kilt and uniform are woven in the traditional MacInnes ancient hunting plaid.  I have traveled to Scotland once, when I was 10 years old, and that is when I first became interested in learning the bagpipes.  I began playing on the practice chanter for the pipes at age 11.

    Piping Career

    In addition to competing in solo competitions all around the United States, I was a member of the North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums corp for four years.  I have been a professional bagpiper for three years and I have been playing the bagpipes for a total of six years.
    Music has always been a huge part of my life.  I was first introduced to playing music when my grandmother, a piano and guitar teacher, encouraged me to play piano.  In addition to being a piper, I love playing my other instruments: shuttle pipes, Irish tin whistle, and my Appalachian dulcimer.
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  • Contact Me

    If you are interested in having live bagpiping music for your event please contact me below. Alternatively, you can find me on GigSalad.com under the name "Bagpiper Ally McKinnis"


    Ally McKinnis

    919.800.1404 (call or text)