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Hi, we are Mark & Kate Cushing, and we own and run Cushing Bagpipe Company We try our hardest to produce the highest quality instruments possible with a primary focus on function & tonal quality, as well as affordability. We live on 12 acres outside of Ithaca in the beautiful "finger lakes" region of central New York State, where in addition to making bagpipes we play & teach music, garden, birdwatch, bike, hike and camp in our spare [?] time.

Mark, a woodworker by trade, made his first set of bagpipes in his junior year of high school back in. He started making bagpipes as a business in 1972, and has been full time bagpipe maker since 1996. Mark has been pipe major of the high ranking Syracuse Scottish Grade 3 Pipe Band this past 3 years, and just recently completed the EUSPBA graduate exam as the prerequisite to becoming a judge. He started piping at the age of 14in his hometown of Alfred, NY, first studying with his nearby neighbor William MacRae and playing with the Alleghany Highlanders Pipe Band throughout high school. He then had the good fortune to go to summer sessions at the Invermark College of Piping of Petersburgh, New York in the late 1960’s where he studied with Donald Lindsay, R. U. Brown, and R.B. Nicol. Later, he taught at Invermark for a few years, and went to Scotland to study piobaireachd for a winter with Mr. Nicol. He has taught at Wesleyan College, and has worked with various bands around New York State as well as Northern Pennsylvania and western Massachusetts. He has also continued to take individual students wherever he has lived. His love of the music, and piobaireachd in particular, has led to his devoting a good portion of his life to the study, teaching, playing and making of the Great Highland Bagpipe. He has been on 2 albums - "Land of My Youth" [with Donald Lindsay] and "Dal Riata" With Kate and Ed McGowan - an Irish fiddler

Kate, originally hailing from Highland, California, was already a professional cellist at the age of 16 when she started playing the pipes. She studied with John Partenan before moving to Gold Bar, Washington. She continued to devote the bulk of her large musical talent to the cello through the years, as well as being an active piper playing with the Syracuse Scottish Grade 3 Pipe band for the past 3 years. She also sings, plays celtic harp, accordion, and fiddle - {did I mention piano?] Kate keeps the home and business together financially, makes the bags and bag covers, and pitches in around the shop - predominately helping in the production of practice chanters. Kate takes privte students in Cello, pipes and harp, and has recently begun studying the art of iconography with Vadislav Andrejev.

Kate also is an experienced kiltmaker, having apprenticed to Ann Stewart for several years, and makes custom kilts for bands and individuals.

Mark made his first set of pipes in 1970 and has been making them ever since. Quite a bit of research has gone into the development of the tone/ bore design of the instruments over the years, growing out of a lot of listening and tinkering the he and Donald Lindsay involved themselves in. Never satisfied meerly to copy some instrument with known desirable qualities, he has always used that as a starting point for trying to understand what makes a particular bore design work. After coming to some degree of understanding of the correlation between the physical and tonal aspects of a given bore design, this has gradually made the way clear for him to “tweak” various aspects of the bore system to accentuate certain aspects of the tone. This has evolved into an instrument of very high quality, stable tuning, and refined tone.

While we continue to hope someday that we'll have pipes “on the shelf”, we currently have a 2-3 month delay from order to delivery on our pipes. We try to keep a stock of practice chanters, practice chanter reeds, and the accessories we make, on hand at all times.


E-mail us! info@cushingbagpipe.com
Write to: 106 Hubbell Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850 USA

Call: (607) 351-7843 - Mon-Sat 8AM to 6PM EST