Iain MacHarg has been a familiar face at the highland games since very early in his life. As his father is one on the premier bagpipe builders in the world, it is no surprise that Iain developed into a well respected and accomplished player. Throughout his life, he has received his instruction from a variety of teachers; the majority of his early Highland pipe instruction was provided by P.M. George F. Ritchie. More recently, Iain has studied with Bruce Gandy, Scott MacAulay, Jack Lee, Jack Taylor and Andrew Wright, but is currently studying with Donald Lindsay.
In addition to competing as a professional grade solo piper, Iain has also been involved in many other aspects of Celtic music. He has founded four Highland Pipe Bands in Vermont (Catamount Grade 4 & 5, Norwich University, the Green Mountain Highlanders) and has played with several folk groups. Iain’s solo albums, Rooted in Tradition, Ceol Na Beinne, and his Christmas Album, Celtic Christmas, are sold in many areas of the world. Iain has also published Feadan Mor, a collection of original tunes for the bagpipe. During the mid 80s, Iain was heavily involved with the Scottish Smallpipe revival, and has become a prominent teacher on the east coast.
After completing his Masters of Education at the University of Vermont in 1997, Iain applied his education in a way that his professors never would have imagined. He began to develop the Vermont Institute of Celtic Arts. Iain’s goal is to develop this school into one similar to the College of Piping in Prince Edward Island and the Gaelic College in Cape Breton Island. Iain holds the senior certificate and the teaching certificate from the Institute of Piping, Scotland. He won 4 out of 9 categories in the 2008 EUSPBA composing contest. He currently works as Vermont’s only full-time piping instructor, and is also a music professor at Norwich University. In addition to his approximately 90 solo students, Iain also teaches group and band workshops.
The Great Highland bagpipe, a' phìob mhòr, is Scotland's most well known bagpipe. This instructor teaches these bagpipes in three different sizes: full size, 3/4 size and the Parlour pipe. Iain teaches traditional, solo competitive, pipe band, and ceilidh style piping.
The Scottish smallpipe is a bellows-blown bagpipe. A quiet volume and flexibility of key allows its to be easily played with a variety of other instruments.
French & Flemish Pipes
Bagpipes from the European continent take many forms: French, Flemish, Spanish, and Breton. These are a few of the different central European bagpipes that we teach.
The modern penny whistle is indigenous to Ireland and Scotland. It is an excellent instrument that can be played in all sorts of wonderful Celtic music ensembles.