After a Friday evening playing music in an art gallery with my Mom and a Saturday at the Highland Games, I realized that I am rather dependant on the compositions of Pipe Major Donald MacLeod (and also, therefore, that I have yet another musical hero from the Hebrides). One of my favorite strathspeys on the fiddle is (surprise!) "The Fiddler"; the hornpipe "Crossing the Minch" is a staple for both fiddle and pipes. My current competition reel is "Fiona MacLeod," and one of TMPD's best sets includes "The Banjo Breakdown," which, if it wasn't composed entirely by MacLeod, owes its last two parts to him. Here is a review of an intriguing CD (I haven't heard it) of MacLeod's music, which includes a bit of biographical information. The Wikipedia entry is shorter, biographically speaking, but rather charming. To be remembered as one of the "merriest" of pipers would be a grand thing indeed.
[Edit] Okay, I didn't design this post intentionally to coincide with the Donald MacLeod Memorial competition, but as things turn out, that just happened days ago. The winner, Alan Bevan, who has carried off many a solo prize, is also a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.