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Updated 04/24/2013

 


Angus John's Fancy
Pipe Major Ian MacPherson

Angus Johnís Fancy was composed by PM Iam MacPherson, MM (shown above).  A native of Glasgow, Iain was a well-known bagpipe performer, teacher and judge. He and his equally famous brother Donald were both taught by their father as boys to play the bagpipes. He judged pipe and drum competitions throughout the UK and Sweden before moving to Alaska in 1983.

The tune is named for Angus John MacLellan.  An influential figure in Scottish music, Angus John MacLellan received his early piping instruction from his father, as does many a good Scottish lad. Going on to become one of the most important bagpipers of the century, this artist should not be confused with John Angus MacLellan, another important bagpiper. Angus John MacLellan was known for his virtuoso playing ability, complete knowledge of the Highland bagpipe traditions, and for the particularly audacious professional move of playing as a member of a pipe band when he had already established a reputation as a soloist in the difficult Piobaireachd tradition.

When he was 11, MacLellan's family moved to the Isle of Bute, where the boy began studying with piper Alex MacIntyre, credited as a great influence. At 16, MacLellan joined the Merchant Navy and traveled around the world. He finally got off the boat in 1962 and joined the Glasgow Police as a constable. This would be the year of big happenings within that organization's pipe band. The brilliant piper Iain MacLellan joined the force and the band simultaneously a few weeks later, giving the group two players with the same surname whose piping was high quality. Around the same time, pipe major Donald MacLeod relocated to Glasgow to work for the bagpipe manufacturers Grainger and Campbell. He would have a huge influence on MacLellan's solo career.

Iain MacPherson, M.M., died in August 1995. Iain composed over 65 pipe tunes which are now played around the world.