Major Bruce Hitchings MBE BEM was born in Huntersville, New Zealand. He 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.
Instead of returning home Bruce joined the Black Watch Territorial Army as a Piper in 1977. In 1978 he enlisted as a regular into the Queens Own 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.
On completion of his regular service, Bruce was commissioned into the Territorial Army with responsibility for reserve and cadet piping. After a total of 33 years service, he finally resigned that commission in 2011, and continues to be held in highest esteem in military circles.
Bruce Set up Highland Reeds in 2000 to develop and market new products, aiming to simplify the science of piping.
He remains in demand as a piper through teaching, judging competitions and giving recitals in places as far afield as China, New Zealand and the USA.