When John Charles first heard the bagpipes at the Charleston Highland Games at the age of 14, he became completely enamored with their sound. After much persuasion and constant obsession, at 16 he convinced his parents to allow him to pursue the instrument. He took practice chanter lessons with the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums, but it was the Palmetto Pipes and Drums who transitioned him onto the pipes after the family moved to Columbia, South Carolina. In 2008, the pipes traveled with him to Wheaton College in Illinois, where he took lessons with Parry Macdonald while studying Computer Science. After graduating in 2012 he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and played with the Milwaukee Scottish Pipe Band. Under the tutelage of Pipe Major Ross Speirs, he had a successful solo competitive season in Grade 4 and progressed into Grade 3. John Charles now plays with the City of Chicago Pipe Band since September 2017, and eagerly looks forward to the 2018 competitive season. He also occasionally plays Irish whistle in the Milwaukee session scene and is painstakingly attempting to learn the Irish Uilleann pipes.