• Author:Palmer Shonk
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Funeral Run-around!

I wanted to pass along a piece of advice for anyone thinking about starting to play bagpipes for funerals, weddings, etc. Recently I played my pipes at a funeral in the northern pan-handle of West Virginia. The funeral had been booked with me a week and a half ahead of time and I was told the name of the funeral home, the town, and the street that it was on. I thought to myself, OK, this should really be easy enough to Google and find out the location. For some reason I didn’t write down the name of the road that the funeral home was on, just the name of it and the town.

A week and a half goes by, and I’m arriving that the funeral home to begin warming up about 25 minutes before the service is set to start. All of a sudden, a funeral home employee approaches me and says the family just arrived and they didn’t request a piper. I began to panic. I gave them the last name of the people who had hired me, which they wrote down, so they could see if that funeral was happening at one of the FIVE other funeral homes they had in the area!! Sure enough there was another service about 10 minutes away starting in oh, about 10 minutes! I drove quickly and arrived just as they were about to start the service. Fortunately my clients weren’t upset and had me play for a few minutes to kick off the service. All’s well that ends well I guess, BUT remember to write down the address of the funeral home when booking the gig!!