Andrew Fusco was raised in an Irish family near Albany, New York, where he attended Irish festivals, heard the local pipe bands play in parades each year, and began learning the pipes from members of the Albany Police Pipe Band. He moved to Las Vegas in 2000 and soon encountered the Desert Skye Pipe Band, studying under Pipe Major Danny Packer and playing with the band.
Andy began teaching the art of Highland-style bagpiping a few years later and studied with Seumas Coyne, a piper with the James Memorial Pipe Band in Los Angeles. He continues his studies with world-renowned master pipers Robert Watt (Northern Ireland) and Jack Lee (Canada).
Andy has been a full time bagpipe instructor and performer in the Las Vegas area since 2010 and now teaches the art and lore of piping to students in southern Nevada and beyond. He has served as Pipe Major for the Las Vegas Pipe Band since 2007, and travels throughout the Western United States to teach, compete and perform. Since 2013 he has also served as an instructor at the United States School of Bagpiping and Drumming in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Andy teaches the traditional Scottish and Irish style of ceòl beag or “light” bagpipe music, which includes marches and dances such as jigs, strathspeys, hornpipes and reels. His teaching philosophy hinges on showing students how to honor to the instrument by focusing on technique and sound quality. His students are also encouraged to develop their piping skills by playing in live performances, and participating in piping competitions.
The origins of the Great Highland Bagpipe are lost in time, but legends and stories about the instrument have been passed down through the centuries in Celtic songs and oral traditions. The pipes have long been associated with military activity, and were considered such a powerful weapon of war that they were outlawed by the British government in 1746. Today in the United States the pipe band is a familiar and beloved institution, often associated with firefighters, law enforcement, memorial services, and civic and community celebrations.