Major Bruce Hitchings, MBE, BEM – Producer
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Major Bruce Hitchings, MBE, BEM was born in Huntersville, New Zealand and started playing the pipes at the age of eleven. By the time he was sixteen he was playing with the New Zealand Champions – The City of Wellington Pipe Band. With the Band, he visited Scotland in 1975 and the following year came back to compete around the Games circuit for what he thought would be a couple of years.
Instead of returning home Bruce joined the Black Watch Territorial Army as a Piper in 1977 and in 1978 he joined the regular army, enlisting into the Queens Own Highlanders, now The Highlanders. The following year he won the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering.
In 1986 he became the Battalion Pipe Major, a position he held for six years. The last eight years of his military career was spent in the post of WO1 Pipe Major, the Senior Pipe Major, British Army and Chief Instructor at her Army School of Piping, The Castle, Edinburgh. During this time, as well as tutoring future Army Pipe Majors, he was heavily involved in the production of the world famous Edinburgh Tattoo.
Since completing his regular service Bruce has been commissioned into the Territorial Army with responsibility for TA and Cadet piping in the UK. He also remains in demand as a piper through teaching, judging competitions and giving recitals in places as far afield as China, New Zealand, Germany and the USA.
Additionally Bruce runs his own online buiness (Bagpipespecialists.com) through which he sells a full range of bagpipes and accessories including the drone reeds and moisture systems he has personally developed. In early 2009 Bruce took over the Achiltibuie Bagpipe College where he runs courses in the wonderful setting of the Scottish Highlands for groups wishing to improve their piping. The College is also a centre for the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) for which Bruce is an examiner.
“Things will necessarily be a little different in Las Vegas,” said Bruce Hitchings. “But we have a world-class venue and our audiences will see a pageant that expresses the finest traditions and values of military service — the self discipline, the fitness, resolve, the pride, commitment and loyalty — and they will see it in the traditional context of the military tattoo.”