Bruce Gandy began to play the pipes while growing up in Victoria, B.C.
“Bagpipes were in the house from the time I grew up. My father was pipe Major of the Canadian Scottish Regiment in Victoria and, with a bit of their prodding, I sort of naturally gravitated to the instrument,” he said.
In 1982, he moved to Ontario to join the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band and began to compose pieces for the band. Gandy played with the 78th for 15 years, traveling to Scotland each year as well as performing in Canada. He has won a world championship as well as 13 North American Championships.
In 1997, Gandy moved to Summerside, P.E.I., to begin work as piping instructor at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts, where he worked for three years.
“When I moved east, I naturally came to the Antigonish Highland Games to compete, and I was enlisted to judge some of the amateur events. As one of the ‘senior’ players in the area, it was fun to come here. I’ve had a great relationship with the Boyd family since the beginning, and the people that make the games happen in a true ‘Scottish style’ are to be commended,” Gandy said.
In 1998, Gandy returned to competition and earned a string of medals, including the Inverness Gold Medal, the Oban Medal and the Bratach Grom in London. He credits his teachers with his success but gives the biggest mention to his wife, Beverley.
“She grew up playing pipes in a band family and won the amateur piping prize at Antigonish in the 1970s with her band from Ontario. It’s a huge part of both our lives and without her support this probably would not have happened,” he said.
“I’m very, very humble and am truly blessed to be able to do what I do as a full-time job. I love to see the kids playing, enjoy coaching the others and of course, playing in the Pipers Glen. To be selected to be in the hall of fame makes me very proud and helps to reaffirm that I am doing a few things right, I hope.”