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Hal Cummings began studying piping as a member of the Bermuda Rifles Cadet Corps Pipe Band in 1959. He played in that band until 1962, when his father, who was serving as the Base Chaplain for the U.S. Naval Station in Bermuda, was transferred to the Washington D.C. area.
From 1962 until 1965, Hal studied Piping with Sandy Jones, who became Pipe Major of the Air Force Pipe Band, and went on to act as Musical Director for the Citadel’s Pipe Band for over twenty years. During that time Hal played with several groups that Sandy sponsored, and did solo work, and piping for Highland Dancing performances. In addition, he took music and voice lessons from members of the Navy Band. In 1966, Hal studied and played pipes with the Edinburgh Academy pipers, and piped for Highland Dancing in various places in Scotland.