Pipe Major Nick Classen began learning to play the
bagpipes in 1961 in Austin, Texas, and has the longest tenure of piping in
Austin of any piper in the area. He has played for well over 2,000 occasions
during his years of piping, which include parties, weddings, funerals, parades,
civic and social functions, business promotional performances, TV appearances,
and special religious ceremonies and church services.
P/M Classen has studied bagpiping under the late,
world-famous piper, Seumas MacNeill of Glasgow, Scotland, who was one of the
founders of the College of Piping in Glasgow. He has also studied with a number
of other champion pipers in the United States and Canada including Michael
Cusack, Robert Worrall, Sandy Jones, Lars Sloan, Roderick MacDonald, Mark Wygent,
and Reay MacKay. He has taught piping for over 20 years in the Austin area, and
has competed and won awards in solo piping and pipe band competitions at
Highland Games in Texas, Connecticut, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
P/M Classen was one of the founders of the Southwest
Piping and Drumming Association in 1970, which was the first effort to organize
pipers and drummers in Texas and Oklahoma. He is currently a member of the
Southwest Section of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association. He was a
member of the Houston Highlanders, Alamo City Highlanders (San Antonio), and
Austin Highlanders Pipe Bands before the formation of the Capitol City
Highlanders Pipe Band (CCHPB) in 1981. With the exception of a two-year period,
he has been Pipe Major of the CCHPB since its beginning.