Calum Campbell


Son of Calum Ian Campbell from South Uist and Morag MacIsaac, Calum Campbell grew up on their family home, Moor Cottage, (built by his father Calum Ian Campbell in 1932) on the outskirts of Balivanich on Benbecula. Steeped in a family immersed in strong piping traditions, the practice chanter and pipes were part of the daily furniture and decoration of Moor Cottage. Calum and his brothers and sisters were trained on the pipes not so much as a formality but more through the routines of daily living. Although, later in life, Calum and his kin were given formal training in the Glasgow and Greenock area of Scotland. Calum and his brother Angus joined the IBM pipe band in Greenock.

Calum was a prolific composer from a very young age, often composing pipe tunes centred around special occasions and the myriad happenings of daily life- both in Ceol beag and Ceol Mor. From early in his life Calum was entered into a number of local competitions and took many a medal home to Moor Cottage where his winnings were sprinkled around the house always in plain view to be celebrated by the clan. Later in life while on the mainland of Scotland seeking training and employment as a joiner, Calum received formal tuition in piping from the elder Fred Morrison (father of the prolific Fred Morrison of our modern times). The Morrisons have strong roots in South Uist as well. Calum eventually found employment back home in Balivanich. Calum was employed by many local house building and maintenance companies in the Benbecula area. Later in life, he became piping instructor for the North Uist school system, turning away from carpentry as his trade and focusing full time on teaching piping. Calum continued to compose pipe music all of his life. His tunes appear in Ceol Chaluim- The Pipe Music of Calum Campbell of Benbecula with foreword by Fred Morrison and published by Acair Books, Stornoway, 2015.

On January 11th, 2005, Calum Campbell and four members of his immediate family lost their lives in a horrific storm that slammed the Outer Hebrides. Attempting to seek higher ground due to severe flooding of their home these five individuals were swept out to sea by the tidal surge.

Thanks to Martin Healy.

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