The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Bagpipe Lessons for Donald McKillop


The bagpipe tune Donald McKillop, was composed by Pipe Major Alexander “Sandy” Hain. McKillop was a piper in the Perth British Legion Pipe band who was a jocular fellow and well liked. Sandy when Pipe Major of the Black Watch used to help the band when stationed nearby. He was taken with Donald's wit etc., so much so that he named his jig in his honour.

Sandy is currently The Pipe Major for The Red Hackle Pipes & Drums. I have a brief bio about Sandy at the botom of this page.


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Music Notation for Donald McKillop Click to download the tune notation for Donald McKillop


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Donald McKillop

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Donald McKillop


Pipe Major Alexander “Sandy” Hain


Pipe Major Sandy Hain has placed an indelible stamp on piping excellence in northeast Ohio since arriving here in 1958. Born in Leslie, Fife, Scotland, the eldest of nine children. Sandy had his first pipe lessons at the age of 4 and began serious studies at 8 years of age with the Thornton Pipe Band.


Pipe Major Sandy Hain, Black Watch, circa 1950

Major Alexander Hain 2nd Battalion The Black Watch about mid 1950's, in Edinburgh with the Castle top left of the photograph


He joined The Black Watch Cadet Force at 14 and at 17 enlisted in the British Army. He joined the 1st Battalion, Black Watch Pipes and Drums under Pipe Major James Jenkinson. He attended the Piobaireachd Society's Pipe Major's Course at Edinburgh Castle where his instructor was Pipe Major Willie Ross. He was appointed Pipe Major of the Depot Black Watch and later Pipe Major of the 2nd Bn. Black Watch, a post that he held until the Battalion was disbanded in 1957.


Sandy Hain, Pipe Majors Course, Edinburgh Castle

Historical photograph of those pipers on the Pipe majors' Course at Edinburgh Castle 1950/51

L/R: L/Cpl G. Johnston, Cameron Highlanders; Cpl. A. Hain, Black Watch; Cpl. T. Shearer, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders; Cpl. P. Forbes, Highland Light Infantry. P/M R. Crabbe, Scots Guards; Bobby Cuthbertson; Cpl. G. Symon, Gordon Highlanders; and L/Sgt. Ramsay, Irish Guards.


The combined 1st and 2nd Black Watch Bands toured North America and this led Pipe Major Hain coming to live in the United States after retiring from the Army.


He was an accomplished accordionist and in 1966, he formed a Scottish Dance Band, Sandy Hain and The Clansmen and they played at Celtic Gatherings of every description imaginable for 42 years.


The Hain Family has figured prominently in the piping circles. Sandy's Grandfather was a piper. His Father was a Piper in the Black Watch during World War 1. He was also the founder of Cupar and District Pipe Band. His Brother Robert was a piper in the 1st Bn. Black Watch. His Sister Jean was Pipe Major of the World Champion Lochgelly Ladies Pipe Band.


Over the years Pipe Major Hain has had a guiding hand in piping and drumming instruction, helping pipe bands and dance orchestras, pointing fledgling entertainers in the right direction, encouraging musicians to strive for excellence and striking that spark of enthusiasm in them which is so evident in him. The people whose lives he has touched have been enriched for having known him.


He is currently Pipe Major of The Red Hackle Pipes & Drums which he formed in 1998. He has several other compositions, notably Heroes of The Hook, a battle The Black Watch took part in in Korea.


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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Pipe Sgt Ronnie Tennant, Lochaber Pipe Band of Lorain, OH 
What a pleasant surprise to find your tune of the month to be "Donald MacKillop" composed by my teacher, mentor and friend Pipe Major (ret)2nd Bn the …

Greetings from Chicago 
Dear Bill. I can't thank you enough for your work. My ancestors came over during the Highland clearances - all Camerons and MacDonnells of Glengarry. …

Pipe Sgt (Ret.) Ronnie Tennant 
P/M Sandy Hain has been a teacher, mentor and friend to me for most of my adult life. He taught me to play the pipes shortly after coming to Cleveland …


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