Questions and Answers about Piping- the story behind this site
My wife refers to piping as my "disease". Since the early 90s, I've put several tens of thousands of miles on the car to study this instrument and its music. The miles and time were necessary because there is neither a long nor solid tradition of piping where I've lived.
As I moved from a wannabe adult learner to a prize-wining Grade II soloist (in both light music and piobaireach), I've surely re-invented the wheel several dozen times over. This site is my attempt at presenting what I've learned to save you the effort. Perhaps you'll be able to use the time you save to become a better piper or to help someone else become a better piper.
My piping experience has been grounded and rounded by some very finest players in the form of private lessons (Scott McClellan, Dave Martin, Iain Macey, and Donald Lindsay), involvement with high perfoming pipe bands (Detroit St. Andrews, Scotia Glenville (Maureen Connor, Dan Cole), Buffalo Bagpipe Band Club (Peter Sinclair, Paul DeBoth), Niagara Regional Police (Peter McKenzie)), multiple summer "piping camps" (Mike Cusak, Iain Morrison, John McDougall, Iain Macey, Reay Mackay), master classes (Alasdair Gillies, Robert Mathieson, Ed Neigh, Jim McGillivray, Willie McCallum). My learning has been validated by certified judges at dozens of highland festivals and private competitions in the US (EUSPBA and MWPBA associations) and Ontario (PPBSO).
Before leaving Michigan, I spent 14 years "re-starting" and building the Kalamazoo pipe band and in developing it into an organization with a solid musical and financial basis. I renovated the teaching program that continues to produce high quality pipers and drummers for the band. For several years, I was also responsible for piping activities at the local Scottish Festival before serving as president of that group. In New York, I started up the Genesee Valley pipe band to provide a high-quality local piping organization when the local Feadan Or Pipe Band fell on hard times.
I've been privy to a good share of band politics.
Today, I continue to compete in the US and Ontario as well as to play as a soloist at public and private events. I've also recently purchased a lathe and begun to tinker with repairs and modifications.
The topics are loosely coded with colored arrows starting at "green" for everyone and going to "red" for those who are severely afflicted with this "disease".
I hope you'll find some value in the points of view expressed here. If you'd like to ask a new question, comment, present an alternative point of view, or comment on the site, please click on the "Contact Me" link to the left. I'd really like to hear from you.
Steve MacLeodCopyright S.K. MacLeod 1996-2023