The bagpipes are a type of musical instrument consisting of enclosed reeds that are fed constantly with air from a bag. To most people bagpipes and bagpipers are associated with Scotland and the Scottish Highlands to be more precise. While the Scottish Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes are internationally famous, bagpipes in various forms are found in different parts of the world including Europe, the Persian Gulf, Caucasus and North Africa.
Pipe Major (director of bagpipe music) Donald MacLeod, a Scottish piper is credited with being one of the finest and most creative of all recent Great Highland Scottish bagpipers. He was one of the most original and innovative composers of bagpipe music. Some of his recorded tunes include "The Blackberry Bush", "The Hammer on the Anvil" and "Susan MacLeod". He was also a teacher of the highland bagpipe and show tremendous talent. MacLeod died in 1982 and the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was instituted in his honour in 1994.
Greg Abbott is an American bagpiper residing in Indiana. He is a professional grade solo piper and instructor. He is credited with developing the innovative "Pipe Chanter" reed after many years of research. This is a rare credit with a piper designing and developing a reed for pipers. The reed has a crisp, outstanding sound and a testament to Abbott's skillfulness in reed making. He has played with several bands and is the winner of the Canadian Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal in 1997.
John D. Burgess
John Burgess is a phenomenon in the world of bagpipe music. His interest in piping began at the age of four when he started playing a scaled-down chanter made by his father. At the age of ten he studied under the legendary Pipe Major William Ross and his rise to fame was meteoric, from infant prodigy to boy genius, always rising to greater heights. His professional career started at the age of 16 and he is winner of gold medals and accolades several times over.
Pipe Major Michel D'Avenas is an award-winning professional piper with 30 odd years of experience as a performer and instructor. He plays a special classic set of Great Highland bagpipes manufactured by William Sinclair & Sons of Scotland. His musical heritage dates back generations and he studied music composition at U.C. Berkley. D'Avenas studied piping under some internationally renowned bagpipers including John D. Burgess, Seumas MacNeil and Archie Cairns. He is the founder of the Monterey Celtic Arts Academy.