I think it was around 1999 that I was introduced to my first MacLellan bagpipe. I was conducting a workshop in Connecticut or perhaps NY City. A young fellow came up to me and said "What do you think of these?" fired them up and turned around to put the full pressence of the sound directly in my face. I have to confess that I did not expect what I heard. It was big and rich and profound, almost like a century-old Henderson. I made arrangements to see Roddy sometime after that and secured # 7 of his Millennium limited edition bagpipe in ABW and full silver.
I took possession of the bagpipe sometime before the beginning of the 2000 season. I was playing with the Niagara Regional Police Grade 2 band and had been playing my early 1900's Henderson. I came to practice early that day because I was a little nervous about putting aside my steady war horse for something new. I was playing by myself when I became aware of others in the room. PM Al Ash was directly behind me and exclaimed "That's the best bagpipe I have ever heard."
I liked the bagpipe so much that I sent some ivory to Roddy and asked that me make me another set, this time out of cocobolo. # 20 arrived and if anything, it's a bit warmer sounding. Since then I have helped others discover Roddy's bagpipe. It enjoys a very wide tuning range which allows it to stay in tune forever. I have heard and played many other MacLellan bagpipes and they simply are outstanding. He has many choices to choose from and it not opposed to a special order. Here is the link to his site http://www.highland-pipemaker.com and here is me playing my MacLellan in the chapel.
The first sound file is Bob Worral's beautiful 12/8, "Return from Glengarry". It's one of my favorites. The second sound file is a tune that I wrote and named for Jack Dunbar. It was getting toward the end of his years and he mentioned that he'd like to have a tune to be remembered by. We were both honored when Bruce Gandy published it in his first book of tunes.