• Bagpiping by Van– Learn to Play the Pipes

    March 28, 2013

    Some of you might remember a little interview from a few weeks ago involving the Desert Skye Pipes and Drums. A few months prior to that interview, you might also remember a post with some portraits of Piper Van Frazier who is a member of the Desert Skye Pipes and Drums. Van loves to also teach bagpiping and solo performing. Enjoy his interview!

    CHECK OUT: Bagpipingbyvan.com

    What inspired you to play the Great Highland Bagpipes?
    I started playing the pipes about 13 years ago and people always ask, “why?” Well, I love the enormous, beautiful sound of the Great Highland Bagpipe. I also love the wonderful traditions of the great country of Scotland. I have to admit, I enjoy playing a musical instrument that very few people in the world can play!

    red rock portraits photography

    Tell a little bit about yourself…
    I live in Henderson, Nevada and I am available to play the pipes and entertain at any event or special occasion such as weddings, funerals, parties, conventions, school assemblies or events, and Eagle Scout Court of Honors. One of the things I enjoy most is solo piping at any and all special events. The pipes can change an “OK”
    special event into an “outrageous” special event! I always arrive at the event dressed in one of my casual, formal, semi-formal, or historical kilt outfits. After a performance, I quite often receive a nice thank you or acknowledgment, such as the following:

    Mr Frazier,
    “Thank you, again, for your performance Friday at Mendoza Elementary School. The kids are still talking about it and the teachers enjoyed it also. We are grateful to have wonderful talent in our community that is willing to share their gifts with our students. Thank you very much for your presentation, professionalism, and excellent organization. It was fabulous!”
    Darrell Crowther – Music Specialist
    Mendoza Elementary School

    Along with my solo piping, I play with the Las Vegas’s only competition pipe band, Desert Skye Pipes and Drums. I also serve as the Band Director. We have traveled all over California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah to perform at Scottish Highland Games and compete against other pipe bands. In 2008 and again in 2010, my piping abilities were put to use as I was asked to serve as the Pipe Major of the Nauvoo Pageant Pipe Band for the historical Nauvoo Pageant that takes place each year in the city of Nauvoo, Illinois.

    Las Vegas red rock photos

    What do you feel is the biggest appeal of you and your music?
    Someone once said, “Nothing sparks emotions like a bagpiper in full Highland regalia.” I’ve found that to be true, especially at a wedding. The most requested service for the Wedding Piper is the “Piping In and Piping Out” of the Bride and Groom and the Wedding Party. Often, the Bride and Groom requests a piper to play outside the church before and after the wedding ceremony. This is a letter I received after playing at Tara’s wedding:

    Hi Van!
    “Married life is amazing! We are so very happy. I can’t thank you enough for being a part of our special day. You were PHENOMENAL! We are so thankful you were there. Everyone just loved it. The family was so surprised and thought it was the best! I can’t believe we were actually able to keep it a secret from everyone. My favorite part was when me and my Dad were in the cocktail room “hiding” before the start of the ceremony and you began to play. We were just talking and getting ready for the ceremony to begin and he said “I think I hear pipes!” And then he said “Is that for you?” and I said “No, it’s for you!” It
    brought tears to both of our eyes. He was blown away. You made our wedding so very special and meaningful. The pipes are an important part of our heritage and I’m so glad we found you! I hope our paths cross again. We all really enjoyed your tunes. You are very talented! It was the icing on the cake!!!”
    Take care,

    las vegas bagpiping scottish

    What about playing for the Boy Scouts of America? Tell a little bit more about that…
    Another event that screams out for a bagpipe is an Eagle Scout Court Of Honor! Imagine the surprise of the guests as a piper appears dressed in traditional Scottish attire, playing American and Scottish tunes. Imagine the excitement as the Color Guard is piped in with a medley of patriotic tunes. Now, you no longer have to imagine how it would be. I am available to create that excitement for these young men on their special day.

    “Thank you so very much for coming to Zach’s Eagle Court of Honor. It really meant a lot to him that you were there. Thank you, Van, you did a FABULOUS job and everyone loved you! You are great. Thank you for all that you do!”
    Marcie Peterson

    Are you available for funerals?
    One of the occasions that I am most fulfilled playing my bagpipe music is at funeral ceremonies. Music is the universal communicator and it allows for a sense of closure. Many family members and friends of those that have passed have expressed gratitude to me for providing the music that gave them comfort during that time of deep sorrow..
    One of the most requested and meaningful tunes I perform is Amazing Grace. I also have a great variety of other music suitable for all religions and ethnic groups to make each memorial service unique. And of course, I will come professionally dressed in the traditional formal kilt.

    To check my availability to play at your special event, you can call me at 702-994-5314 or email me at bagpipingbyvan@live.com. Or for more information, check out my web site at: bagpipingbyvan.com.

    Vegas bagpiping piper

    If I wanted to learn to play the pipes, who do I speak to? Do you teach others to play the Great Highland Bagpipe?
    Yes I do, and now you can learn to play the unique and very popular musical instrument that few people in the world can play, the Great Highland Bagpipe! You don’t need a set of bagpipes to start learning to play! All beginning lessons take place on a “practice chanter.” I will guide you through the start up process and help you choose the proper practice chanter and even advise you when it comes time to purchase your own set of pipes.
    I am a very patient instructor and I work equally well with both children and adults. You can start learning to play the pipes at any age, but the earlier you start, the better. Ten would be perfect, but you’re never too old to start. I currently have a student that is 71 years young!

    You will immediately begin playing the practice chanter and based on your ability, you will soon start playing the Great Highland Bagpipe. When you learn to play at a sufficient level, I will help you join, and play with a local bagpipe band! In the past few years that I have been actively teaching the bagpipe, ten of my students have successfully played with the Desert Skye Pipes & Drums Pipe Band. You also can join that special group of pipers.

    For more information about lessons, call 702-994-5314 or email me at: bagpipingbyvan@live.com

    I have included some comments from a few of my current and past students:
    “I don’t ever show it, but I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. You are the reason I am playing today, and I just wanted to tell you “Thank You.” Thank you for your patience and understanding. I will never forget…
    What a wonderful world this would be if every student’s life could be touched by a teacher as caring as you. Thanks so much.”
    Angel Hinojosa
    “Van is one of the best instructors I’ve had the pleasure to learn from. He has such a vast knowledge base of bagpiping. He’s a professional in every regard and has the ability to make the more difficult aspects of piping easy to understand. I highly recommend Van to everyone interested in learning to play the coolest instrument on the planet!!”
    Chris F.

    “Van’s ability to teach piping combines his personal mastery of piping with his inherent ability to get inside of his students’ minds and adjust his teaching methods accordingly. It’s one thing to play the pipes well. It’s quite another to teach piping well. Van has mastered both playing and teaching.”
    C.T. S.

    “Van has been providing me (a beginning piper) bagpipe lessons over the past 5 months. He is excellent in his teaching methods and patient with my progress. His direction has been constructive and his willingness to help me improve has been encouraging.
    Van’s competence in demonstrating techniques that are easy to understand and improve my skills and in playing ability while not making me feel inferior at my stage is appreciated. Finally, I find his teaching rates to be very reasonable and a great value for the money spent.” – Ron W.
    “Van Frazier is an excellent bagpipe instructor for all ages. Van helped me get back into piping after 7 years of no practice. He started working with me regarding the basics and within about 6 months I was back to playing tunes on my pipes again. His lessons are very focused, but Van makes it enjoyable with his easy going nature. Also, he is really knowledgable. Do yourself a favor and try at least one lesson with him, you won’t regret it.”
    Evelyn H.

    For more information about lessons, call 702-994-5314 or email me at: bagpipingbyvan@live.com

    red rock canyon photography las vegas



  • Cupcakes in the Desert

    March 20, 2013

    Do you like cupcakes? Ok, that was a stupid question. A better question would be, who DOESN’T like cupcakes? Unless you live in a remote, unexplored region of Alaska in some village with a tribe of people that time forgot, I’m going to go ahead and say that EVERYONE likes cupcakes!

    If you live in Vegas, Henderson (Hendertucky) or Boulder City, you’re going to want to read this fun little interview I had with the owners of a little placed called Lil’ Brown Sugar’s Cupcake Cafe http://www.lilbrownsugarscupcakecafe.com/

    1) Tell a little bit about your business…
    Lil’ Brown Sugar’s Cupcake Cafe is a family owned business (Myself, My husband Vyron, and my 5 kids). We are located at 55 South Gibson, Henderson. We have a variety of delicious treats, not just cupcakes.

    cupcake shop owner portrait
    2) What inspired you to start your own company?
    Three years ago I became unemployed (being a union Laborer) and decided I wanted my next job to be something I would enjoy and something my family could be involved in. And who doesn’t love sweets?

    las vegas food photography

    3) What do you feel is the biggest appeal of your business?
    The sweets of course are our biggest appeal, but our customer service is something to brag about. We strive to make every person feel special.
    4) What do you consider your big break—turning point?
    When we started getting recognized by the Henderson Police Department, City Hall and other City Officials

    5) What is your deal breaker?
    Offering a gourmet cupcake at a reasonable price would be the deal breaker.

    Lil Brown Sugar Cupcakes Shop

    6) Have anything special planned for 2013?
    In 2013, we see major growth. offering a wider selection of baked goods such as Cupcakes, cakes, a variety of Gooey Bars, Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, Breads and don’t for get the Cake Pops are to die for!

    Come into  Lil' Brown Sugar's Cupcake Cafe  the Mention TNG Photography and get one CAKE POP for FREE! http://www.lilbrownsugarscupcakecafe.com/ 55 South Gibson, 89012, 702-203-7376

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...