About Me

My name is Joe Sommers, and I'm the Milwaukee Bagpiper.

I learned to play the pipes as a child, with the Kilties in Stevens Point in the 60s. When I came to Milwaukee for work in the 80s I honed my skills by playing for the Milwaukee & District and Billy Mitchell bands for over a dozen years. These were years of playing as a group in parades, shows, and competitions. I enjoyed the challenge of competition both solo and as a band. My love is to play solo. I have played in the wilderness of the Minnesota Quetico, at fly-ins in Canada, for Scouting events, around State Parks at dusk, in Scotland (including the Glencoe Mountains, often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, just above Clachaig Inn), and at many family gatherings. I play because I enjoy it, and because people love to hear me play. My pipes are strong and clear, with an even tone, and evoke strong 
emotions in those who hear them. Pipes make a happy event like a wedding even more joyful and an event like a funeral all the more dignified and honorable.

Although I normally play in the greater Milwaukee and Chicago areas, I have also traveled to Ohio, Iowa, northern Wisconsin, and Minnesota for professional events.

The tartans displayed in the header represent the three bands I have played with, and the Ancient Mitchell tartan I currently wear. The Ancient Mitchell tartan is also the official tartan of Milwaukee County.