||Michael F. Bell
began taking instruction on the
Great Highland Bagpipe in 1992 after moving to Hampton Borough,
Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from Virginia. He is originally from the
Philadelphia, PA, area and was
graduated from St.
He also received a Master's in International Relations from the University
of Southern California while
serving in the U.S. Army in Augsburg, Germany. He now lives
Galloway, Atlantic County, New Jersey (NJ). Michael is
married to Regina (nee
McAleer) and has
sons: Curran, Kevin, and Michael Sean.
playing the bagpipes came through St. Ann's of
(NJ) Pipe Band, a band founded under the patronage of St.
then pastor, Fr.
Hewitt. Michael played
with St. Ann's from 1992 until 1999. The original instructor of that
was Joe Keely, who founded the NJ State Police band, the Pipes
and Drums of the Blue and
Michael then played with the Pipeline Pipeband of Haskell, New Jersey,
its founding in September 1998 until May 2003.
Michael is also a
Pipes and Drums, with whom he played 2003 to 2005. He also
at two events
Pipe Band in Morris County NJ in 2004.
moving to Atlantic
County in late 2004, he played
with the Celtic Rock band Birnam
Wood through March 2007, and once in March 2008.
2011, Michael played with an AC/DC tribute band and with
During the Saint Patrick's Day season of 2015, Michael played with The Kilted Johnsons.
Technical Writer and
by trade, designed an award-winning website for Pipeline Pipeband, the
web site, and the original Pipeline Bagpipe and Highland Supply
Michael is a member
of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) and
has competed in solo and band events at Highland Games and
Festivals from Vermont to Virginia. Michael won a first place solo
piping medal at the Mid-Atlantic Branch EUSPBA Spring Meeting combined
Grades III and IV 2/4 March Competition in April
1999. At the Monmouth Celtic Festival and Feis on May 5, 2001, Michael
awarded the second place medal in the Grade IV Senior 2/4 March.
achieved a fourth place finish in the 2/4 March competition at the
Rockland County AOH Feis on July 22, 2001. Michael now pipes at the
Grade III level
in EUSPBA Solo Piping competitions.
With regard to
piping instruction at
workshops and summer programs, Michael completed
the 78th Fraser Highlander's Pipe Band's Celtfest
piping workshop in 1996, which was held in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada;
the Simon Fraser University
Pipe Band's Highland
Arts Festival piping courses in 1998, which was held at
Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey; the North
Academy of Piping and Drumming week-long Summer
Program in 1999, which
was held in Accident, Maryland; the Delco
Bagpipe Workshops in 2000, 2001, and
2002, which were held in Radnor, Pennsylvania and, most recently, the
workshop, which was held in Lithicum Heights, Maryland (BWI
airport); the Red River
Pipes and Drums Workshop in 2003, which was held
in Shreveport, Louisiana; and the United States School
of Piping, which was held July 11-18, 2008 in Flagstaff,
Arizona, where one of his instructors was Aaron Shaw, the "American
Idol bagpiper." Michael also
took bagpipe tuition for four years under the pipe major of Pipeline
Rooney, who began his piping tuition with Fred Morrison, Sr. and later
with P/M Angus MacDonald, M.B.E., George M. Bell, and Donald F.
Event Piping Experience
maintains a busy piping schedule, playing
bagpipes at innumerable
private functions such as weddings,
funerals, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and other events
in New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA),
New York (NY), and Delaware (DE).
Michael has piped solo or in bands or
dozens of notable
For a exhaustive list of the events at which he has played, click
from some of Michael's clients here.
African Blackwood (from Tanzania) bagpipes with hallmarked engraved
sterling silver in
Celtic pattern and imitation ivory projecting mounts, made in Glasgow,
The pipe chanter used is a polypenco McCallum. Alternatively, a set
of Antique Edition MacLellan
Cocobolo bagpipes with imitation horn mounts and bronze ferrules and a
polypenco MacLellan or a Dunbar-Eller chanter
kilt in either the
McKenzie, MacLeod, MacLachlan Hunting, or Albannach tartan, which is worn
a Celtic-patterned sporran and a kilt belt
black Argyle jacket, a
green tweed Argyle jacket, a brown tween Argyle jacket, or a gray Crail
jacket and vest, all
worn with shirt and tie
Balmoral cap with a cap badge or a Glengarry cap with a cap
badge and hackle
hose in a Celtic design
with flashes worn with Scottish Ghillie
hire a piper or pipers
for your event, contact Michael via
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 609-744-0606.
know not the pipes, the feel of the bag in the oxter is a gaiety lost.
The sweet round curve is like a girl's waist; it is friendly
warm in the crook of the elbow and against a man's side, and to press
it is to bring laughing or tears." --Neil Munro
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Michael Playing at West Poin
Michael on Conway Mt. Tyrone, N.
Note the windmills in the background.
Photo by Kathleen Skandera
Michael with Nobel Prize Winning
Poet Seamus Heaney at
Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena, N. Ireland