Practice chanters, a small flute-like instrument used to initially learn the instrument and practice new tunes, were made from young maple trees.
Once a small maple tree was selected and cut, it was left to dry for a few days and then the soft centre core or heart was burned out with a long wire rod heated in the fire.
In some instances a family member made the reeds for pipers within their own extended family.
This was the case with “Little Hell” Ma Kinnon, (another nickname) Meat Cove and Angus Mac Millan, Glen Morrison, Cape Breton.
Bagpipes were an integral part of the musical culture of the immigrant Gael and omnipresent among the Scottish Gaels who settled North America. Abraham Gesner, the noted scientist and inventor, commented in 1843 that “In a Highland settlement a set of bagpipes and a player should not be forgotten.
I have known many a low-spirited emigrant to be aroused from his torpor by the sound of his national music”.
One of the most successful pipe makers in Nova Scotia was Duncan Gillis, Grand Mira, Cape Breton County. He was born at Upper Margaree, Inverness County around the middle of the nineteenth century, but later moved to Grand Mira, Cape Breton County to be closer to relatives.
To make the bag airtight, a variety of mixtures were used to dress or season the pipe bag.
Two-droned sets of pipes were banned from competition by event organizers in Scotland after 1821 due to a perceived disadvantage on the part of several competitors.
In recent years recently discovered examples of two-droned bagpipes have surfaced.
35-year-old Amy Michelle Sherrill born in 1977 to Judy and Fred Sherrill in NC.
Amy was a cheerleader at Wake Forest University where she met and began to date her soon to be hubby, they split up after his 1997 graduation, Amy once said she wasn’t going to those girls in a long distance relationship suffering from jealousy after she was familiar with the so many stories about ballers and women throwing themselves at their feet.