To book a Highland Bagpiper in full traditional uniform for a wedding, memorial service or other function, please click on our 'Weddings' page on the right.
Hamish Burgess is available for piping presentations, including the Great Highland Bagpipe and Scottish Smallpipes, and talking about the instrument, the Highland attire, Scottish history, and the history of the Scots in Hawaii. He wears full formal Highland dress of Prince Charlie Jacket, kilt and plaid, or can be more casual in 1700's style Jacobite attire with open shirt, bonnet, kilt and plaid.
Please e-mail, or call 1-808-280-1305.


Formal DressStrangely enough, there are bagpipers in the Hawaiian Islands, with several on Maui. Solo pipers are available for public and private functions, weddings, New Year's Eve (Hogmanay), Robert Burns Day, and St.Patricks Day. Fees vary - please contact us for details.

Hamish Douglas Burgess is a Scottish bagpiper, available on Maui, or the other Hawaiian Islands, to play the pipes at your function. Hamish plays the Great Highland Bagpipe and the Scottish Smallpipes, and has played many cultural events here on the islands. He has played weddings here on Maui, local ones as well as for visitors at hotels, and it is appropriate here to mix the beach and sunset ceremony with a piper. Hamish has played ceremonies here that have had Hawaiian musicians, Hula dancers and a bagpiper !

Hamish was a founding member of "The Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums", now renamed "The Isle of Maui Pipeband", a non-profit bagpipe band serving the Maui community, and has been a visiting member of "The Cornish Caledonian Pipes and Drums" in the UK. In the summer of 2000, Hamish and Michael Riedel travelled to Scotland to represent Maui and the Hawaiian Islands in "The Millennium Pipe March", where 10,000 pipers and drummers marched through Edinburgh. This was the biggest gathering of pipers ever, and raised money for the Marie Curie Cancer Research charity. The lads were well received in their kilt uniforms and kukui nut leis, and both appeared in the program and video of the event !!

For the last few years Hamish was regularly bagpiping at sunset on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town, at Fleetwood's on Front St. - in the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) restaurant. Hamish is not currently playing.

Mick Fleetwood and Hamish Burgess

Mick Fleetwood and Hamish Burgess at Fleetwoods on Front St, Lahaina, Maui
photo courtesy of Tad Craig Photography




THURSDAY, 17 MARCH 2022 - World Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee is back on Maui playing with the Isle of Maui Pipe Band on St Patrick's Day! They will be at Andaz Wailea at 1pm, The Shops at Wailea at 2pm, Wailea Beach Resort Marriot at 3pm, Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea at 4pm, Grand Wailea Astoria Resort at 5pm, Four Seasons Rewsort at 6pm, and again at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea at 7pm.

World Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee with the Isle of Maui Pipe Band

width=Poster courtesy of the Isle of Maui Pipe Band

Sat-Sun April 7-8th 2018 - Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games took place at Ala Moana Beach Park in the McCoy Pavilion, 10am to 6pm. $3.00 entry fee to the pavilion. Celtic music headliners this year Scottish singer Peter Daldry, and the duo Switchback. Also local bands Celtic Waves, fiddler Lisa Gomes, and The Kilt Lifters from the Big Island of Hawaii, and Red McWilliams from Texas. Piping from The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii starts the ceremonies at noon both days. Traditional Scottish dancing from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, and of course the Athletic & Highland Dancing Competitions with visiting athletes and Highland Dancers from around the world.
The 2nd Annual Aggie Wallace Bagpipe Competition will held at this year’s Highland Festival and Games. All pipers whatever ages and playing abilities are invited to come and participate. Pipers will be judged on their abilities as it relates to the playing of marches, strathspays, and reels and the traditional music of the pipes, piobaireachd. Enter the competition at the Festival.
"The competition is named for Aggie Wallace who is recognized as the first individual who trained and organized Hawai‘i residents in the art of playing the bagpipe and organized them into the first local bagpipe band. Aggie came to Hawai‘i in 1938 on the invitation of E.K. Fernandez who immediately put her to work with his traveling carnival. She was born in Canada, the daughter of a Pipe Major, emigrated to Canada with her family and ended up playing on Vaudeville and in Hollywood where she met E.K. and the rest is history.
This competition has been made possible because of generous support from the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Scottish Association and from Kim Greeley, who was a student of Aggie Wallace."

Monday May 15th, 2017 - a sad day for Maui indeed, when John Grant, a well-known leading Celtic figure on Maui, a bagpipe teacher and Pipe Major, lost his valiant battle with cancer. The larger-than-life character was a great supporter of Maui Celtic, and co-hosted the original Maui Celtic Radio Show with our Hamish Burgess on Mana'o Radio back in 2003.

Hamish Burgess & John Grant on the 2nd ever Maui Celtic Radio Show
with Sleepy John at Mana'o Radio in 2003

The 2nd Maui Celtic Radio Show in 2003

Also, with several other pipers, they co-founded the Maui pipe band in 1999, soon to become 'The Maui Celtic Pipes & Drums', led by Pipe Major John Grant, and later re-named 'The Isle of Maui Pipe Band', which exists to this day. John's legacy would be the scores of bagpipers that he taught on Maui, and beyond. A piper since 1959, John played with the US Army 36th Regiment Pipes and Drums, then served as Pipe Major of the Central Coast Highland Society Pipe Band in California, before moving to Maui.

Pipe Major John Grant leading the Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums

Hamish: "My friend and Pipe Major John Grant, left our world on the morning of May 15th. I’m proud to have called him my friend, co-founded a pipe band with him, marched beside him, played music, and laughed, cried, and drank with him….we started the Maui Celtic Radio Show together, and I even tattooed him. I learned a lot from him. We drank whisky, raised a wee bit o’hell, fought like cats & dogs, knocked down walls, built more, including a few between us, like most good Celts! The man is a legend amongst his friends, and enemies too I’m sure. The Black Bear of Maui roars no more…..except in the next place! Sean, mo chara…. you were a lot more than a friend. Aloha ‘Oe John." Condolences to his family and friends.

Pipe Major John Grant leading the Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums
in the 4th July Makawao Parade in 2006

Maui Celtic *ipes and Drums in the Makawao 4th July Parade '06

Aloha ‘Oe John Grant.

For the last few years Hamish was regularly bagpiping at sunset on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town, at Fleetwood's on Front St. - in the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant. There was a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and pu'u (conch-shell) blowing, and piping on the Great Highland Bagpipes.

Roger McKinley, Mick Fleetwood and Hamish Burgess

Hamish Burgess with Roger McKinley, and Mick Fleetwood at Fleetwood's on Front St., Lahaina Maui, July 2012



Hamish from Maui Celtic has a weekly show on the radio !

RED HOT MAUI CELTIC SHOW NEWS - Sundays TWICE - the Maui Celtic Radio Show with Hamish Burgess is on the Maui airwaves SUNDAY morning 8-10am AND AGAIN 6-8pm - on the dial at KAKU 88.5 FM Maui (KAKU885FM on facebook). Old time slot, but new station.
Mahalo to all at Akaku Maui Community Media, and Joel Agnew, and thanks to underwriters The Irish Rovers and Maui Celtic.

Sundays - the Maui Celtic Show with Hamish is on Blues & Roots Radio at The show will be online Sunday's - local time for the winter 11am-1pm (Hawaii), and mainland 1-3pm US/Canada West coast, 2-4pm Mountain time, 3-5pm Central time, 4-6pm Eastern Standard Time, Canadian Maritimes 5-7pm, Newfoundland 5.30-7.30pm, and for 2 WEEKS times across Europe will be one hour earlier - 8-10pm in Ireland and the UK, Europe 9pm-11pm, and.....Monday down under - in Aus 7-9am & NZ 9am-11pm. Chat live with Hamish during the show on Facebook - be a friend at Hamish Douglas Burgess, or be a fan of The Maui Celtic Show. Many thanks to show underwriters The Irish Rovers.

Tuesdays - the Maui Celtic Radio Show is on Celtic Music Radio 95FM across Glasgow, Scotland from 11am-1pm GMT, streaming at
The show will be online Tuesday's - local time for the winter 1-3am (Hawaii), and mainland 3-5am US/Canada West coast, 4-6pm Mountain time, 5-7am Central time, 6-8am Eastern Standard Time, Canadian Maritimes 7-9am, Newfoundland 7.30-9.30am, and 11am - 1pm in Ireland and the UK, Europe 12-2pm. Chat with Hamish (if he's up!) during the show on Facebook at The Maui Celtic Show page. Many thanks to show underwriters The Irish Rovers.


We are pleased to carry a great local book...
'UPOHO UKA NUI 'O KEKOKIA (Scotland's Great Highland Bagpipe) -- The Story of Bagpipes, Bagpipers, and Bagpipe Bands in Hawai'i with Accounts of King Kalakaua's Visit to Scotland -- by Hardy Spoehr.

This fabulous work of research by Hardy was 7 years in the making, and contains great archival pictures, and newspaper accounts back to the 1800s. The section on the history of bagpiping on Maui was contributed by our own Hamish Burgess. The book is available through Maui Celtic for $24.95, plus post and packing. Please visit our 'Online Store' to the right.




Feb 16-19th 2017 - World class pipe instruction returns to Maui. Join Jack Lee and the Isle of Maui Pipe Band for a ride of a life-time! This year’s workshop will include a march with Jack and the band in the Parade of Whales… (surfing optional).
The Isle of Maui Pipe Band presents the 12th Jack Lee Maui Piping Workshop. Pipe Sergeant of Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, Jack Lee will be back on Maui for another great bagpipe workshop in February - 4 days of world-class instruction, 9:00am–4:00pm. The location will be likely in beautiful Kula, Upcountry Maui. With local pipers welcoming familiar Oahu pipers, and mainland pipers escaping the cold, there should be a fun, relaxed educational experience with one of the world's best bagpipers. Experience and ability of all kinds were welcome. Tuition cost $300. More info For more details contact Pipe Major Allison Jackson of the Isle of Maui Pipe Band at


Saturday January 25th - ROBERT BURNS NIGHT ON MAUI, at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea.
On Maui folks will join Scots worldwide by celebrating the famous Scottish poet's birthday ! More details as we get them.



IF VISITING OAHU please check The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii website for their schedule. Every Wednesday they hold a beginning practice chanter lesson at 6:00 pm. More info contact them at

IF VISITING OAHU check "" for Celtic Music on Oahu, and Bill also produces a great monthly newsletter - click on 'Celtic Connection' for that.
Kilted nights at O'Toole's Pub Downtown Honolulu on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Friday & Saturday nights there is a FREE Shamrock Shuttle between O'Toole's, Irish Rose, Kelley O’Neill’s, & Anna O'Brien's Irish pubs.
DEPARTS O’TOOLE’S: 8:15 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:45 pm, 12:00 am & 1:20 am
DEPARTS IRISH ROSE SALOON: 8:35 pm, 9:50, 11:05 pm, 12:20 am & 1:35 am
DEPARTS KELLEY O'NEILL'S: 8:50 pm, 10:05 pm, 11:20 pm, & 12:35 am
DEPARTS ANNA O’BRIEN’S: 9:10 pm, 10:25 pm, 11:40 pm, 12:55 am, & 1:45 am
Please allow 5 minutes of leeway time on these schedules due to Hawaii’s often unpredictable traffic.




March 2018 - the Annual St. Patricks Day Parade in Hilo Hawaii.
Sean Ryan O Phelan is organizing the St.Patrick?s Parade on the Big Island. He is looking for volunteers and participants as well as donations to help cover the cost of putting on the parade (paying for traffic control, PSA's and other media advertising as well as supplies, etc). Show your support also by adding ideas and suggestions and also by offering some time up to help with organization. He will hold an info meeting for anyone interested in helping out as we get some support and get things moving a little bit. His dream is to have everyone on the Big Island participate in this important and exciting event. He needs people and talents of all different types to be a part of this, after all, EVERYONE IS IRISH on St Patrick's Day!! Mahalo says Sean.
Please contact Sean at 808-854-3443 or email



Jan 2018 - the West Kauai Rotary Club normally present a free Bagpipe Concert in Waimea. The short concert will feature the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii.
Captain Cook’s father was a Scotsman who left his country to reside in Yorkshire, England.
More details please call (808) 639-2061 or visit

Kauai Robert Burns Supper in 2013

Robert Burns Supper, at the Waimea Plantation Cottages, Kauai 2013
Photo courtesy of West Kauai Rotary Club

Feb 2018 - the West Kauai Rotary Club hold their annual Robert Burns Supper, in Waimea, West Kauai. The Robert Burns Dinner is one of the most anticipated events of the West Kauai calendar. A celebration of the life and times of Robert Burns, with bagpipes and kilts galore, and even some highland dancing. Please contact Mr Dave Walker at 808-652-0616.
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, then the "Address to the Haggis" and Selkirk Grace.

Kauai Robert Burns Supper 2014

Robert Burns Supper, Kauai 2014


Please see the NEWS ARCHIVE page for past bagpiping events.




Many years ago, when the Hawaiian sugar plantations were well staffed with immigrant Scots, maybe the sound of bagpipes was a familiar sound on the islands, but these days it is a little moreMaui Celtic uncommon. However, on Oahu there are currently two pipe bands, based in Honolulu, "The Hawaiian Thistle Pipe Band", founded by the first Native Hawaiian Pipe Major, Jacob Kaio, and "The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Honolulu". Both bands can be seen performing at the Hawaiian Scottish Association's yearly 'Scottish Festival', held in Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, on the first weekend in April. 'Maui Celtic' can be found in the trade tent all weekend, nearby the Clan tent, where you can find out more about your family history. There is also traditional music and dancing and Highland Games.

For the last nine years there has been a pipeband on Maui, "The Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums", now renamed "The Isle of Maui Pipeband". Hamish was one of the founding members, and put a lot of time into the band for 9 years before retiring to pursue solo piping. Here's the story up until that time......


by Hamish (Jim) Douglas Burgess.

On Maui in past years there have been several solo pipers, and there have been stories of previous gatherings of beginner pipers learning the practice chanter, but nothing of an organized band.

For several years the duo of Michael Riedel and Hamish (Jim) Douglas Burgess (originally tutored by Craig MacDonald on Oahu, and formerly a seasonal member of the "Cornish Caledonian Pipes and Drums" in the U.K.), were regularly seen practicing on the beach parks on the West side of Maui, playing by the Lahaina Sea Wall, and at functions around the island.
At the same time John Grant, an Irish-Scots piper since 1959 (formerly of the "U.S. Army 360th Regiment Pipes and Drums" and Pipe Major of the "Central Coast Highland Society Pipe Band" of California, John was originally trained by Donald Henry Maich, a Scotsman who moved to Toronto, and was in the Canadian Highland Light Infantry), was coaxed out of piping retirement and back to teaching by New Zealander John Impey, tutoring him and Will McBarnet. The above five individual players first met as a group to practice in Kula, Upcountry Maui, in December 1999.
James Brent and Mike MacDougall, both Maui Firefighters, were being independently tutored by Larry Coleman from Oahu, joining the group the following year.
All the above pipers formed the nucleus of the new pipe band on Maui, "The Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums", meeting weekly to practice.

In the summer of 2000, Hamish (Jim) Douglas Burgess and Michael Riedel traveled to Scotland to represent Maui and the Hawaiian Islands in "The Millennium Pipe March", where 10,000 pipers and drummers marched through Edinburgh. This was the biggest gathering of pipers ever, and raised money for the Marie Curie Cancer Research charity. The lads were well received in their kilt uniforms and kukui nut leis, and both appeared in the program and video of the event!

The next addition to the novice pipers was Jason Wolford, and all of the group were grateful to be tutored for several months in 2001 by Piper Richard King, currently with "The L.A. Scots Pipe Band".

Although a loss to the band was Michael Riedel leaving the Maui in late 2001, a great addition to the band in 2002 was the current Drum Sergeant, professional drummer and drum instructor Peter Della Croce (formerly of "The St.Brendan the Navigator Pipes and Drums" of New Jersey). Professional drummer Michael Buono, and his son Peter, followed by Bradley Salter, temporarily joined the band on bass drum for several functions.

2003 saw the arrival of Piper Roger McKinley (formerly of the "St.Louis Invera'an Pipes and Drums" and the "San Diego Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band"), his experience being an asset to the band. Next members were Troy Anderson, Trinette U'ilani Furtado, Jason Addison and Alan Davidson on pipes, and Matt Gilman and Colin Hanlon on drums. The next influx of members were Pipers David Asher, Luis Bartlett, Heather Bejenaru and Mo`o Kanaio, and Drummers Jennifer Hanlon, Kris Elledge-Adolf, and Alice Nyland and Blake Rizzo. Following members were Pipers Logan Farrell, brothers Josiah, Aaron and Zach Burke, and Drummers Cary Ritt and Jesse Daniels, and Drum Major Richard Buckley.......more members since then can be seen at

The band's 1st function was for the September 11th Memorial 2002 (Kahului), and the second was leading the Parade opening the Maui County Fair on October 3rd, 2002 (Kahului). Since then, the band has played at the Maui Celtic/Mulligans Robert Burns Night in Kihei (25th January), the St.Patrick's Day Party at Mulligan's Irish Pub (Wailea), the Seabury Hall School graduation (Makawao), and twice opened The Upcountry Fair (Makawao, Maui). The band played in the 2003 4th July Makawao Parade for the first time, and probably thanks to wild applause from the crowd, won 'Lt. Governor's Trophy' (2nd overall entry), placed 3rd in 2004, and received awards every year since then !! The band also played at the ceremony for the new Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief, and at the Maui County Building's Friday lunchtime music series, and for the second and third time were invited to lead the Maui Fire Department, marching in the Maui County Fair Parade (Kahului). Other functions include numerous Christmas Fairs on Maui, Cancer Charity events, Memorial Day services, the Parade for Returning Troops in May '05, and countless other community events.

Band members Michael Riedel and Hamish (Jim) Douglas Burgess organized a Maui visit by World Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee, of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He came to the island over Thanksgiving 2002, again in March '04, '05 and every year since, to teach a four day Pipe School to local Maui bagpipers -- they were great schools and the pipers all learnt a lot from one of the world's best pipe instructors. Hamish and Jennifer MacKay Fahrni of Maui Celtic, a local import company, produced and sponsored recitals by Jack Lee at Seabury Hall (Makawao, Upcountry Maui), and in '05 at Makawao Union Church, as a fundraiser for the "The Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums". The recitals were a great success, with Jack's piping nothing short of brilliant, and the audience giving him a standing ovation. The pipeband now run the class and concerts. For a clip of Jack Lee live on March 18th '06, Makawao Union Church, Maui by Frank Pulaski go to World Champion Bagpiper; Jack Lee live on Maui

'MAUI CELTIC PIPES & DRUMS' LOGO © Hamish Burgess 2005

Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums Logo by Hamish Burgess © 2005

Bass drummer Colin Hanlon at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea

The band logo was created by Hamish Burgess in 2005, in the style of a traditional Scottish Clan Badge. The band name is around the outside, with the Hawaiian translation inside the belt. Where normally the clan arms is inside the belt showing allegiance to the clan chief, in this case the island of Maui and pipes and a drum are inside the belt, indicating band members commitment to their location and instruments.
(Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature your own organization. Please contact Hamish for details at

The band had several Pipe Majors, with co-founder Pipe Major John Grant the longest serving, putting many years of his lifetime of experience and teaching into the band. Pipe Major Roger McKinley was voted in by the band, and brought his off-island experience and many new tunes to the group, before the leadership returned to John Grant until he retired.

In April '07 the band officially changed name to 'The Isle of Maui Pipe Band', to avoid confusion with band member Hamish Burgess' well-known local business and Celtic concert promotion company, Maui Celtic. Both organizations look forward to continuing support of eachother, as in previous years.

In March/April '07 the band travelled to 'The Hawaiian Scottish Festival' on Oahu for the first time, and performed in the opening ceremonies and onstage both days of the Highland Games.

September '08 our own Hamish Burgess left the band due to a busy work schedule running Maui Celtic, and heading in a different musical direction, to pursue a semi-professional career as a solo piper, playing weddings and many other fuctions around Maui, and even Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawai'i.

After Pipe Major John Grant's retirement, acting Pipe Major Alan Davidson had a brief turn, until the arrival of the experienced piper, and current Pipe Major Allison Jackson.

Information on the band after this time can be found at They are always interested in new players, pipers or drummers (no experience necessary) - they will teach FREE !

The Band proudly wear kilts of the new Hawaii Tartan, supplied through Maui Celtic, and are looking for sponsors to help fund the purchase of uniform items and training.

Past members include:-
Pipe Major Emeritus John Grant (currently at large on Maui).
Piper Hamish Douglas Burgess (pursuing solo piping on Maui - owner of Maui Celtic)
Piper Michael Riedel (currently at large piping around the world !).
Pipe Major Roger McKinley Pleasanton (pursuing solo piping on Maui).
Pipe Sgt. James Brent (currently on Maui - Capt.Maui Fire Dept).
Pipe Corporal Mike MacDougall (currently on Maui - Maui Fire Dept).
Piper John Impey (currently on Maui)
Piper Will McBarnet (currently overseas).
Piper Richard King (currently with "The L.A. Scots Pipe Band").
Piper Jason Wolford (currently on Maui recovering from an arm injury).
Drummer Michael Buono (professional drummer on Maui).
Piper Jason Addison (currently on Maui)
Piper Troy Anderson (currently on Maui)
Piper Luis Bartlett
Piper Logan Farrell
Pipe Sgt./Acting Pipe Major Alan Davidson (currently on Maui)
Piper Trinette U'ilani Furtado (currently on Maui)
Piper Mo`o Kanaio (currently on Maui)
Piper Aaron Burke
Piper Josiah Burke
Drum Sergeant Peter Della Croce (currently with the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii, in Honolulu)
Drummer Bradley Salter (currently on Maui)
Drummer Matt Gilman (currently on Maui)
Drummer Marie Campbell (currently on the mainland)
Drummer Colin Hanlon (currently on Maui)
Drummer Jennifer Hanlon (currently on Maui)
Drummer Kris Elledge-Adolf (currently on Maui)
Drummer Jesse Daniels
Drummer Sarah Webb
Drummer Alice Riddle
Drummer Blake Rizzo
Drummer Emma Burke
Drummer Serena Ribucan
Drummer Mindy Sistar
Drummer Connor Sistar



Every March the Isle of Maui Pipeband present their “WORLD MASTERS OF PIPING SERIES” Concert, featuring World Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee at Makawao Union Church, Baldwin Avenue (above Paia Town). More info on the band’s website
Come enjoy an evening with one of the world’s leading pipers, Jack Lee, for his return performance on Maui. The concert also features members of Isle of Maui Pipe Band. Thanks for supporting the event. All proceeds fund our local non-profit pipe band. Mahalo!

Jack Lee has been regarded as one of the world's leading bagpipers for 25 years. His accomplishments as a Solo Piper, Band Leader and Teacher cause him to be much sought after as a performer, lecturer and teacher throughout the world. He is the Pipe Sergeant and co-founder of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, 4 time winner of the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland. As a solo piper, Jack has won nearly all the top awards available, including the Gold Medal at Inverness and Oban(Scotland), the Gold Clasp at Inverness(the premier award in the piping world, open only to former winners of the Gold Medal), The Senior Piobaireachd at Oban, The Silver Star at Inverness (twice), and the Glenfiddich Piobaireachd (pibroc) at Blair Athol, Scotland (twice). He is also 15 time winner of the BC Pipers Association Annual Gathering! Jack has a solo CD in the "World's Greatest Pipers" series available. On a personal level, Jack and his brother Terry, were both awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada in 1999 for outstanding service to the country.



As mentioned above, solo pipers are available for public and private functions, weddings, New Year's Eve (Hogmanay), Robert Burns Day, and St.Patricks Day. Fees vary - please contact us for details.




Bagpipes were at one time, in use all over Europe and the Near East. It is an ancient wind instrument, with hard cane vibrating 'reeds' making the sound, driven by air pressure from a bag. The musical melody is played on the 'chanter', with fixed notes from the 'drones'. The most commonly seen bagpipes are the Great Highland Bagpipes (in Gaelic, 'Piob Mhor') , often associated with marching bands of pipes and drums, but there are several types of pipes being played today, including the Irish Uileann Pipes, the Scottish Lowland and Small Pipes, the Border Pipes, and the Northumbrian Pipes.

Bagpipes were first mentioned by ancient Greek poets in 425 B.C., and later the Roman Emperor Nero, who 'fiddled while Rome burned', also played the bagpipes. The Roman army had pipers, as did most medieval armies of the British and Irish Isles.

In 1746 the rebel Scottish Jacobite army made its last stand at Culloden Moor and was destroyed. The British government victory prompted the 'Disarming Act', an act banning the traditional highland Gaelic speech, the wearing of Tartan, and playing the bagpipes. Jacobite Piper James Reid was tried and hanged, as his bagpipes were cited as an "instrument of war". Punishment for ignoring the act being heavy fines, or even transportation to the colonies, the act was not repealed until 36 years later. The famous and decorated Highland Regiments were formed from this century on, the incentive for highlanders to join up being that it was the only legal way they could wear the tartan kilt and play the bagpipes during the proscription. The survival of the tradition we see today as marching pipe bands is largely due to these military regiments, and the music started to be written down for the first time, as previously it had been learnt by a oral way of teaching called 'canntaireachd' meaning 'chanting' in Gaelic. Another tradition crossed the ocean to Nova Scotia, Canada, where it still exists to this day, a more folk oriented style of piping, less influenced by the military.

Today's standard of competition piping is very high, with solo and band competitions at Highland Games all over the world. The World Pipe Band Championships are held in Glasgow, Scotland in August, with top level bands from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the U.S.A., and there is now a fantastic Museum of Piping in the same city.


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