Hamish’s Great Great Grand father, Finlay McCallum was reputed to have played the pipes.
His son Duncan McCallum was a renowned piper from Kirkintilloch. He often played for highland dancers at The Games.
Hamish’s father, David was a piper and learned in Glasgow as a boy. After graduating from Edinburgh University in Forestry he was posted by The Colonial Service to Trinidad in The West Indies. He became official piper to The St. Andrew’s Society of Trinidad and Tobago from 1948 – 1963. His duties were to play at the annual St. Andrew’s Balls and Burn’s Suppers.
Hamish was born and brought up till the age of 11 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hamish’s first teacher was his father from whom he received basic tuition on the practice chanter. A more formal training happened from Jack Crichton when Hamish found himself after returning from The West Indies, at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. Hamish had a successful competing career in the school pipe band, in Knightswood Juvenile’s and then with The first grade bands, Edinburgh Special Police Band and Polkemit. During his time at Edinburgh University he played for The University’s New Scotland Dance group and later The Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society.
His piping career was interrupted for a number of years while he studied and practiced veterinary medicine. In 1982 however he discovered an early nineteenth century set of Scottish Small Pipes which were restored by Colin Ross. It was only a matter of time till he gave up his job as a vet and in fact in 1986 retired from The Ministry of Agriculture in order to pursue his passion in piping, to make and to play Scottish Bagpipes.
Hamish toured extensively from 1985 – 1996 playing in Europe, The USA , New Zealand and Canada. During this time he played at many of the biggest Festivals in the world including Auckland, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Hong Kong. During this time Hamish recorded three solo albums and two with Dick Lee. He also taught extensively most notably at The Edinburgh Folk Festival, his own teaching school in Perthshire, The Gaelic College in Cape Breton, Jay Ungar’s Ashokan School, Elkins College in West Virginia plus many of his own schools in California, North Carolina and Vermont. The latter is in its twenty sixth year and now run by his son Fin.
Most recently he founded and established the world famous “Ceolas” summer school in South Uist.
Hamish has long had a fascination with a pre military style of playing and through his approach to playing and teaching has been promoting this style throughout his career. He now teaches in a master class format placing great emphasis on the internal rhythms of the music and how they are related to the rhythms of the old Gaelic hard shoe percussive step dance of Scotland.
His playing career was again interrupted in 1996 when he developed focal motor dystonia. There is no treatment and the condition is permanent. For five years he became a non player but in 2000 he developed a modified way of arranging his left hand fingers which allows for limited playing again.
Since he started making pipes in 1986 the firm of Hamish Moore and now Hamish and Fin Moore has made over a thousand sets of pipes. Fin, Hamish’s youngest son who is a piper born and bred joined him to serve an apprenticeship in 1997 and has been working continuously since. As well as making small pipes played by some of the best pipers in the world Hamish has developed an original design for his border chanter making its sound and flavour unique.
In 2008 Hamish was given the fantstic opportunity to work as Artist in Residence in Barga in Tuscany. During that year he staged a sell out concert and in 2010 he ran a successful summer school of traditional music, dance and song in the town.
Fin is now in charge of pipe making and Hamish divides his time between some pipe making, research and development work, writing, teaching and some performances.