Elise is terrific!
In addition to being a career soloist, Elise is also a 7-year bandleader of one the SF Bay Area's busiest Celtic bands, Charmas - a job which has taught her how to perform Scotland and Ireland's most beloved songs with authentic character and evocative phrasing.
Her professional recordings get streamed by many thousands of Spotify listeners each month, from all around the globe. She also competes with the award-winning Monterey Bay Pipe Band, and seasonally performs with Canada's 100-year-old Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band (from whom she has learned a huge repertoire of traditional songs that aren't commonly played in California).
All soloists have individual specializations, and Elise's specializations include performing over an hour and a half's worth of beautiful Funeral Music, Irish "Top 40," Scottish Songs of Glory, Palace Marches, Military Anthems, Old Scottish Ballads, Showy Competition Sets, and some novelty rock n' roll music. Given a month for learning a new tune, Elise can polish almost anything that might sound good played on bagpipes, and if she thinks your request won't sound good, she will tell you so right up front (even at the risk of losing a booking).
Her usual concert bagpipes are handmade MacLellans, while for ash scatterings at sea, as well as orchestral/band concerts, she keeps a separate set of dedicated MacLellans tuned to Concert Bb pitch. She also plays a top-quality set of smaller Garvie "border pipes," which can be nice for small venues in which full-size pipes would be too loud.
Bagpipes are a finicky instrument, requiring constant maintenance, precise tuning, extreme physical stamina, and vigilant daily practice. This is the reason why good bagpipers are never cheap, and why bagpipes have become the butt of many unflattering jokes. Please do not book the first/most aggressive/cheapest bagpiper who reaches you by telephone, without first listening to everyone's demos (seriously, 90% of Gigmasters clients fall into this trap). Remember that anyone can sign up to be represented by an online booking agent (there is no quality control), and most references can't be trusted as a measure of quality (only professionalism), because the majority of clients haven't heard enough good bagpiping to recognize lesser quality music (but if you have some savvy guests at your event, they will definitely know the difference). When you are evaluating the demos, please listen carefully for things like a consistently "sweet" tone (good tuning), steady drone pitches (good blowing technique), fast strike-ins (evidence of playing skill), and - for goodness sakes - if you hear a computer MIDI file instead of real bagpipes, ask yourself why a bagpiper would post fake demos!
As far as price goes, please add the amount of music you want (which often isn't much) to the amount of time you hope your piper will spend practicing (not just performing) during the weeks preceding your event, how far they will need to drive round-trip, and how long it will take them to put on and take off the fancy costume.
For reasons of being kind to our planet, it also makes sense to hire the closest bagpiper who can play up to your event's required standards, so please notice where each bidder lives. (If someone offers to drive a long distance for little money, please question the quality of music you'll be getting. Also, note that I've had numerous reports from clients who booked a cheaper piper that their budget-entertainer cancelled the booking and left them in the lurch. I am not that kind of bagpiper; I always bid full price, so that you can count on me never cancelling for any reason other than a family emergency (in which case I would try very hard to find you a topnotch replacement for the same price).
Finally, please keep in mind that, even if you "only" want your bagpiper to play Amazing Grace - of course, all bagpipers can play the tune - but only the best can reach deep into your soul and conjure the kind of deep emotions you are hoping to feel. Sometimes spending an extra $50 can make all the difference between getting the job done versus creating memories you will cherish for the rest of your life.