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About Me

Larry Samuels plays the Great Highland bagpipes.  He is a Grade 1 soloist and has won  first place awards at the major West Coast piping competitions (including Costa Mesa and Pleasanton) as well as winning the 2002 Grade 1 Angus MacDonald Memorial Western Regional Championship (see this link).  He has played pipes for 30 years, playing with bands such as Dunvegan Pipe Band (Alameda, CA) and the Cameron Highlanders of San Diego, and as a soloist.

Piping Resume

1968-73
Studied pipes with James MacRae, author of "Tutor for Great Highland Bagpipes"; played in the Gary Kilty Band (Gary, Indiana)
1977-79
Played with Honolulu Pipes and Drums, Hawaii
1979-81
Played Navy ceremonies on board ship (USS Cushing, DD-985)
1983-85
Played with Grade II band, Dunvegan Pipes and Drums
1995-99
Played with Cameron Highlanders of San Diego
1996-98
Studied with Aaron Shaw, professional level piper and member of  "Wicked Tinkers"; at this time, I competed at Grade III and II levels
1997-99
Attended weekend workshops with world-champion Simon Fraser University pipe band, along with workshops at the G.S. McLennan Invitational Competition, presented by world-class competitors.
1998
Studied with Ian Whitelaw, professional level piper and member of New Zealand Police pipe band and world-champion Simon Fraser University pipe band. At this point, I competed at Grade II and I levels.
1999
Won Grade I Piobaireachd and Hornpipe/Jig events at Costa Mesa Games;  won Grade 1 Piobaireachd at Pleasanton Games.  Hired by Miller Brewery for St. Patrick's Day publicity tour, Pasadena/Pomona, CA.
2002
Won Grade 1 Angus MacDonald Memorial Western Regional Championship.
2003
Taught piping classes "Introduction to Piobaireachd" and "Smallpipes" for  Helix High School (San Diego) Pipe Band.
2004
Appeared with San Diego Symphony, playing "An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise".  Won Grade 1 Angus MacDonald Memorial Western Regional Championship for 2nd time.
2002
-Present
Fulltime professional bagpiper, San Diego and surrounding areas, performing for weddings, parties, memorials, corporate affairs. etc.


Notable
Appearances
2003 & 2004 - appeared on San Diego TV channels 8 and 7/39 to publicize the San Diego Highland Games.
May 2004 - coordinated (and performed with) a group of 5 pipers for TaylorMade Golf equipment's 25th Anniversary party at the San Diego Convention Center


In addition to playing pipes, Larry has written articles for the prominent piping magazines "Piper & Drummer" and "the Voice":

"The Perfect Instrument"
Short fiction, Piper & Drummer  August 1999
"Piping Harmonies"
Analysis of harmony as used in pipe music, Piper & Drummer, March/June 2003
"The G.S. McLennan"
I reviewed the 1998 G.S. McLennan competition for 'the Voice", the magazine of the Eastern US Pipe Band Association


Testimonials

All vanity aside, here are some of the nice things customers have written to me:

Weddings

"Your music was so beautiful and added the perfect touch to our ceremony!"
Michelle and Scott

"Everyone who attended our wedding continues to tell me that the highlight of the ceremony was you and the pipes. People said it gave them chills and brought them to tears when you lead me in the church. I can't thank you enough for making my day everything that I hoped it would be"
Bridget L.

"We want to thank you not only for the fantastic music but also for the way you seemed to make it an "event", from your entrance to the way you know where to stand and what to play.... Not only did our guests love it, but the Bride and Groom said it was the "frosting on the cake"!
George and Kris

"Your playing made our wedding memorable and enjoyable. I just loved the grand entrance!"
 (I led the couple into their reception playing the pipes! Larry Samuels)
Betsy

"
Thank you so very much; I was told several times the bagpipes were a nice touch and how wonderful you played. "
Jen

Parties

"Thank you so much for your contribution to our party. Friends and family are still talking about your beautiful music and how completely handsome you looked! It was a grand day for all of us."
Mary M.

Symphony Performance

"piper Larry Samuels – in colorful regalia – made a vivid contribution to the program"
Valerie Scher
UNION-TRIBUNE CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC

"
This is about 12 minutes of sheer fun, with tipsy wedding guests careening about as a string quartet tries to get serious, then surrenders to a forest of blats and trombone smears before a climax featuring a genuine bagpiper _ the resplendent and haughty Larry Samuels _ marching in through the audience. Anything with a bagpipe in it can't be all bad"  (well, I agree with that!: Larry Samuels)
Welton Jones
sandiego.com