Brad Beaton


ATLANTA'S MOST WANTED ENTERTAINMENT would like to offer you our professional Musical Entertainment services of Brad Beaton for that special event!



Imagine the magic, majesty, and surprise a beautifully played bagpipe will bring to your event. I have nearly 30 years of experience providing just that - beautifully played bagpipes. To see for yourself, please call and request a demo video of me playing at 2 weddings. I have decades of experience satisfying customers at weddings, funerals, golf events, parties, parades, etc. I have music and experience tuning for and playing duets with church pipe organs and other instruments. I have successfully competed at many highland games as a soloist and band piper. I've played in good bands such as the Dallas pipe band and Grandfather Mountain pipe band. I can entertain with Highland pipes and small (fireside) pipes. I have taught students that have become excellent pipers. My grandfather played the pipes and I have had great teachers such as Seumas MacNeil and Sandy Jones. I've also taught my son to play and we've played harmony together at many engagements. I look forward to bringing the majesty and magic of beautifully played pipe music to your event.




Everyone who saw the movie "Braveheart" will remember bagpipes at the wedding of William Wallace and his beautiful bride. More recently, you may remember the highland bagpipes at Madonna's wedding (and also more recently at Ashley Judd's) in Scotland at Skibo Castle in Dornoch.


The bagpipe is a musically complex instrument that has evolved over several millennia. An ancestor to the highland bagpipes is even mentioned in the Old Testament (Daniel 3:5), being played in a processional. When you hear the sound of the highland bagpipes, you are actually listening to four musical reeds. A double tongued reed in the chanter provides the musical melody when the piper fingers the notes. The bass and two tenor drones (on the piper's shoulder) each contain a single tongued reed. Keeping four reeds in tune with one another takes a good ear, well maintained pipes, knowledge of reed adaptation, and, of course, lots of experience.


The pipes can be accompanied by other instruments. Notably, a church organ can join and harmonize with the pipes, which often causes goosebumps and tears of awe in the audience. I've witnessed this many times, and I've even considered offering a "tears-of-joy-or-your-money-back" guarantee. Most pipers experienced in playing for weddings will have harmonic arrangements for the church organ. Tuning the pipes to match the organ usually requires extra expertise of the piper, above and beyond just the ability to tune the pipes. Different combinations of chanters and reeds may be needed, depending on the tuning of the church organ. The tuning of church organs differ more widely than you might expect. Of course, the bagpipes can be accompanied by other instruments as well, such as the piano, strings, or brass. In all cases where the pipes are to be played with other instruments, it is very important to rehearse together to ensure proper tuning



Bradford Beaton: Started playing bagpipes at age 14 and has over 30 years experience. Father and grandfather also played the pipes. Has competed successfully as a solo piper at many highland games such as Dallas, Grandfather Mountain, Stone Mountain, Charleston, and Savannah. Has played and competed in several excellent bagpipe bands such as Dallas and Grandfather Mountain. Has played hundreds of weddings in Columbia, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia over the last 20 years. Also has played many other types of engagements including funerals, golf course events, parties, etc. Very experienced and qualified to tune the bagpipes to play in harmony with church pipe organs (and to other instruments). This often requires a selection of multiple bagpipe chanter/reed combinations to suit the range to which organs can be tuned. Photos at left include Brad Beaton and son, Daniel Beaton, now serving in the Marine Corps.


Weddings and Receptions

In most cases, brides select "Highland Cathedral" or "Hyferdol" as the processional. Both of these tunes are played in both weddings on the video tape. Amy Grant has a CD with an incredible arrangement of "Highland Cathedral" using bagpipes, strings, and brass. "Hyferdol" is a tune used for several hymns of different names (such as "Love Divine"), and especially lends itself to 2 bagpipe harmony (not shown on the video), and harmony with a pipe organ. Sometimes "Amazing Grace" or "Ode To Joy" is chosen. It is important to think about how much time each part of the ceremony takes. Usually, the actual bridal procession takes about 2 minutes, which is almost exactly the length of Hyferdol, played once through. Some brides choose to have bagpipe music play to process the groom, the groomsmen, and the bridesmaids. This usually takes more than 5 minutes. A single playing of "Hyferdol" lasts about two minutes. After the third playing of "Hyferdol" the audience is ready to listen to another tune, unless there is harmony from a second instrument (see above). Highland Cathedral lasts about 4 minutes and has two parts, thus it is suited for long processionals. Many times brides choose "Highland Cathedral" for the groomsmen/bridesmaid processional, and "Hyferdol" for the bridal processional. About half of the brides prefer to reserve the bagpipes for the bridal procession and either tune will do nicely. However, "Highland Cathedral" is selected a little more often than "Hyferdol". It is good to invite the musicians to the rehearsal to practice the tuning, timing, positions, and cues. Depending on the length of time between performances and several other factors, the piper may deem it necessary to slip out and tune the pipes between performances.


Pipes work wonderfully for outdoor weddings, as no sound system is needed. Indoors, the pipes can be played even in small chapels, if the piper has a set of quiet reeds. A large cathedral may require louder reeds, or even multiple pipers, if the space is very large. A second piper can also play harmony against the melody of the first piper. Another native instrument to the highland bagpipes is the Scottish snare drum. A well played Scottish snare drum can make the music more interesting and rhythmic.


Pipe tunes are sometimes also selected as interlude music during the wedding. Common selections to be played during the wedding include "Amazing Grace", "The Flower Of Scotland", "The Skye Boat Song", "The Ash Grove", and other traditional slow airs. A slow air is slow and stately tune that is usually hymn-like. However, some slow airs have a haunting quality.


For the recessional, the most popular tune is "Scotland The Brave". It is upbeat, happy, and well recognized. Sometimes other tunes are chosen such as an upbeat "Ode To Joy", "Mari's Wedding", or other traditional marches and retreats.


In some cases the pipes are played as the guests arrive, before the wedding, inside or outside. If piping inside, slow airs and hymns keep the mood solemn and worshipful. If the piper is outside, marches might be added.


The pipes are also very appropriate for leading the way to the reception hall after the wedding, if the reception hall is within walking distance. Or the pipes can be used to announce the arrival of the bride and groom at the reception. The pipes can also provide some good reception entertainment with a good selection of lively music that includes jigs, strathspeys, reels, and hornpipes. A highland dancer can also provide great entertainment at a reception dancing traditional Scottish dances to the bagpipes such as the sword dance, the Scottish fling, the Irish jig, the Scottish lilt, the hornpipe, and other traditional dances. The bagpipes can play an occasional waltz, if the reception guests would care to dance to the piper's music.


Many other "Slow Airs" such as "Skye Boat Song" and "Flower of Scotland" nicely as interludes, or as guests arrive. Similarly, there are many other upbeat "Marches" and "Retreats" in the same style as "Scotland the Brave", "Mari's Wedding", and the "Band March Medley", that work nicely as a recessional and/or to "march" the guests to the reception, or to announce the arrival of the bride and groom at the reception, or simply as guests depart.


As guests arrive, I usually play the slow, stately music, or at most some regular marches. The idea is to entertain the guests as they arrive, but above all, to set the tone for the wedding.


The piper may play some of more upbeat and entertaining Celtic tunes categorized as jigs, strathspeys, reels, and hornpipes to entertain the guests in the courtyard, as they are talking and leaving, or as entertainment during the reception. Each category of tune has a different rhythmic feel. For instance, when entertaining in the reception, I almost always start with a slow air, move to a march or retreat, and then move on to the jigs, strathspeys, reels, and hornpipes. At receptions I almost always play the hornpipe "The Clumsy Lover". It is a very upbeat and enjoyable tune, and it seems appropriate for the occasion.


Although this page is dedicated primarily to weddings, from time to time I play memorial or graveside services. Of course, I never play exuberant "Scotland the Brave" at a funeral! However, I believe the best references I can have are the funeral home directors that call me repeatedly. They've heard many pipers and they call me because my pipes consistently sound great, I'm easy to work with, I'm dependable, I'm professional, and my price is reasonable.


Other Occasions

On March 26th, 2005 I was honored to play at the memorial services of Travis Stewart. Travis Stewart played an important role in the Democratic party in Georgia and was a powerful Washington D.C. lobbyist for many years. Travis had 5 children. One of Travis's lovely daughters, Rebecca Stewart, was accompanied by her very significant other, Ted Turner. The memorial service at Druid Hills Baptist church was very touching. I played the family in and out of the chapel, and played "Amazing Grace" as an interlude. Bill Stewart, Rebecca's uncle, sang a beautiful solo for his brother bearing a powerful witness for Jesus Christ.


After the church service, everyone drove to Rebecca's gorgeous fishing lodge. I played my pipes by the river for probably 30 minutes as quests arrived and prepared for the riverside ceremony. Each of Travis's 5 children had a portion of his ashes to sprinkle in the river. However, just before they sprinkled the ashes, I played "Amazing Grace" and everyone sang along for two verses. As everyone sang, a remarkable and astonishing spiritual event occurred. Although the singing was average, literally dozens of fish leapt repeatedly out of the water, and continued leaping for the entire verse. When the singing stopped, the fish stopped jumping out of the water. It was truly amazing.


I then played "Taps" and Travis's children began sprinkling his ashes in the river. Later I had my picture taken with Ted and Rebecca, who were extremely gracious hosts



The bagpipe is an ancient, beautiful instrument. It is a rich symbol of Celtic heritage which has been played at special occasions in my family through countless generations. My father and grandfather played, as mentioned in the following article that appeared on the front page of "The State" newspaper of South Carolina on July 19, 1993 (center picture, below). The first picture shows my grandfather, Joseph Beaton, as a young talented piper from Nova Scotia. He immigrated to Boston and raised a family, including my father, Ronald Beaton. The middle picture shows (left to right) my son Daniel, myself, and my father.






























So, give us a call and book
Brad Beaton
for your upcoming event and you will experience why we are


Call or Email us now !