Terry Hartzell with uilleann pipe

Terry Hartzell

Uilleann Pipe, Irish Flute, and Whistle

Traditional Irish Music

Christmas Carols with an Irish bent

Instruction for beginner level tin whistle and uilleann pipe

Based in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

 Contact Me
Photography by Hub Willson

Bands, Groups, Ensembles, Combos

Piper's Request

Lively traditional music and songs of Ireland

Piper's Request - Lively Irish traditional dance music & fun Irish songsPhotography by Hub Willson

Ed Saultz

Appear frequently with Singer and Storyteller Ed Saultz

Ed Saultz - Traditional and Contemporary Irish Music Photography by Hub Willson

Traditional Irish Music Sessions

Session co-host with Ed Saultz, Fred Gilmartin, and Rick Weaver.

Visit my calendar for dates and times.

More About Terry Hartzell

Terry Hartzell with uilleann pipePhotography by Hub Willson


Terry Hartzell is one of that rare breed: an uilleann (the Irish bagpipes) piper. How he came to be born to Pennsylvania Dutch parents in Nazareth, PA, is one of life's great mysteries!

There was music in the house when he was a child. His mother played piano and often played for social functions. His grandfather, played a number of instruments and played in a number bands throughout his life in what we today would call Early Country and Old-Timey music. When he was twelve, Granddad gave the gift of a harmonica. "We would often sit together. Granddad would play a tune while I tried to work out the melody. But later in High School, after grandfather passed away, and because rock-and-roll was the 'cool' thing, the harmonica got left behind."

Beginning in his late twenties he studied the guitar for ten years, but could never really find the sound he wanted. In the mid-1990s during a visit home for summer break, he heard the sound he had searched for his entire life. Earlier that spring, WDIY the local public radio station went on-air and launched it's weekly "Celtic Faire" program. He was hooked. He tried to reproduce the sounds and rhythms with guitar, but was not satisfied. It took years of listening to realize that what he most loved woven through the music was the uilleann pipes, an instrument he had never even seen and certainly never imagined playing.

The path to becoming an Irish musician began as a dare. While attending a Chicago Irish music festival in 2005, he picked up a tin whistle and fell in love. "The céilí band, the music the band played for the dancers, that was exciting stuff. The band played a number of stages, including the céilí. We followed them around all weekend." With that, he dedicated himself to learning the dance music of Ireland. His heart was set on eventually mastering the Irish bagpipes and playing for dancers.

Terry Hartzell at Mayfair 2015Photography by George Fairchild
Largely self-taught, Terry was fortunate enough to find lots of encouragement and guidance from other local traditional Irish musicians: Terry Kane who hosts the monthly music session at McCarthy's Tea Room in Bethlehem, PA and Ed Saultz who moved to the area in 2006. He eventually met the masters at the annual Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY, who began to guide his learning more formally in workshops and piping tíonóls (gatherings for Irish pipers). The instructors are primary influences for his playing. He tends to follow musicians who play for the céilí, or who give the music that lively rhythm and pulse.

With the passion and sensitivity of an artist, the clear-sighted precision of an engineer, and the self-discipline of a master-craftsman, Terry is now living his dream of learning, sharing, and preserving the magical music that brings him and so many others so much joy.


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October 2015

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