Wedding bagpiper Bob McMichael
Bagpiping at a wedding in Stanley, Idaho

Weddings and anniversary parties, birthdays, grand openings, funerals, athletic competitions, holiday celebrations, parades: there is no event imaginable that cannot be improved with live bagpipe music. Everyone involved will remember the event for years simply because of the bagpipes. Contact McMichael Piping for information on booking bagpipe music for your event.

In front of the McMichael Piping Centre
Bob by the McMichael Piping Centre

Bob McMichael has been a musician for over 40 years. His primary instruments have been woodwinds, but he also plays keyboards, percussion, and guitar. His love of the bagpipes began as a young child but it was not until 2007 that he began playing them. Bob currently studies with superstar bagpiper Bruce Gandy (via Skype from Nova Scotia), and has studied with piobaireachd authority Andrew Wright, Ann Gray, Glenn Brown, and Chris Armstrong (the latter two at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland).

As a teacher, Bob draws on his extensive education in musical traditions as well as social and cultural history to provide a broad canvas for students wishing to learn not only the music but also its historical importance and cultural significance. As a music major in college, and having earned a Ph.D. and teaching at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Boise State, Bob knows how to teach to all levels and abilities. Contact Bob today to realize your dream of becoming a bagpiper.

The McMichael Piping Centre
The McMichael Piping Centre

The McMichael Piping Centre, located in the Boise HIghlands, is where Bob teaches bagpipe lessons. With thousands of recordings, videos, scores, and books at his disposal in the Centre, there is no limit to the directions a student can go in his or her lessons.

The Piping Centre is insulated, heated, and air-conditioned, and - most importantly - safely out of earshot of all neighbors. Lessons, meetings, recitals, and workshops can and do happen, therefore, in the quiet comfort of the Piping Centre day or night.

Bob McMichael competing on bagpipes
Competing

A lifelong musician, Bob McMichael has performed and competed on a variety of instruments. In his first year as a bagpiper, Bob won the the overall Grade 5 competition at the Athena, Oregon and Treasure Valley Highland Games in Boise, Idaho. Moving up to Grade 4 for in 2009, Bob took home several medals. In 2011 Bob placed third in the Macrae Cup amateur piobaireachd competition at the Coeur d'Alene Summer School of Piping and Drumming (judged by Andrew Wright), and won the Grade 4 Aggregate award at the Spokane Highland Games. Bob moved to Grade 3 in 2012, placing 2nd in the Macrae Cup and winning the Spokane Highland Games Grade 3 Piping Aggregate (including 1st in piobaireachd, 2/4 march, and Strathspey/Reel). He studies regularly with Bruce Gandy, and has worked with Andrew Wright, Ann Gray, Glenn Brown, and Chris Armstrong and devotes much of his time to studying and teaching this amazing instrument.

Bagpipes for funerals
Funeral participation

"McMichael Piping helped us through a very difficult funeral by playing beautiful music to help calm everyone. When Mr. McMichael played Amazing Grace, I couldn't find a dry eye anywhere. He was wonderfully respectful and very sensitive to our family's pain on that day. We really appreciate what he did for us, and will never forget it." -- Susan Graham, Bend, Oregon

Although many pipers are known to have a good sense of humor, you will never see a piper acting with anything but respect for the passing of another human. Sending a soul to the next world with "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes is an honor and privilege for any piper, and is often accompanied by heavy tearfall among those present. As the catalyst for this type of emotional outpouring, a bagpiper takes this task as seriously as any, and plays with pure heart.

McMichael Piping guarantees all funeral performances to be respectful, moving, and memorable.

Bagpipes for holiday celebrations
Holiday celebrations are a bagpiper's funnest events

Whenever bagpipes enter a party, people scream. It's like being a rock star without the long hair or paternity suits. And wearing the kilt seems to generate no end of interest among those with a curious mind. It's all in good fun, and pipers (and even some drummers) know how to make fun happen.

St. Patrick's Day is the biggest night of the year for a bagpiper in a band, which is ironic since the Great Highland Bagpipes (the kind most commonly known) are a Scottish instrument and the Irish don't lose too much love for the Scots. But we don't care - we just wanna have fun. Hire a bagpiper or group of them for a holiday celebration or party, and you'll wish you paid us even more. Don't worry, though - we probably drank whatever leftovers you might have had...