Clan Piper - Stewart Mackay
Stewart began piping lessons at age 7, initially with a friend who is a piper, and then from the age of 8 in 1987, he was fortunate to become a pupil of the world famous Pipe Major John D. Burgess. To begin with this was with the schools provision for piping instruction and then as a private pupil of John Burgess until his death in 2005.
His pipes have a history. They are a Henderson bagpipe dating to around 1900, originally belonging to a relative of Stewart’s who died in 1915.
They then went to Stewart’s great uncle serving in the Black Watch in World War 1, so the pipes went through the trenches and the horrors of the Great War. In the early 1920s he was Piper to the Duke of Argyll.
This uncle emigrated to the U.S., so from 1923 until 1965 the instrument was in New York with him.
They were brought back to Scotland in 1965 where they lay in a box for the next 20 years, until Stewart and his brother, Donald began schools piping tuition.
The video clip is of Stewart playing the lament “Lochaber No More” at the Alness Remembrance Day Memorial Service at which he has piped for the last 25 years