2018 Chieftain of the Day:

Meet Margaret McNeill Nelson




2018 Chieftain Margaret McNeill Nelson



    Margaret McNeill Nelson grew up in Seattle and was part of the Scottish community at an early age. Her father, Charlie McNeill, was the pipe sergeant for the Seattle Pipe Band in the 60s and 70s, so following the pipe band to parades, shows, and highland games was ingrained early. Margaret learned to play bagpipes when she was 10 years old. She played with the Clan McClay Ladies Pipe Band for a couple of years, then joined the Seattle Pipe Band in the fall of 1974. She took a couple of years off during college and her first three years of teaching in Othello, WA. In 1987, she moved to Tacoma where she joined the Tacoma Scots Pipe Band. Margaret followed in her father’s footsteps and has been Pipe Sergeant for the Tacoma Scots for many years. She also has taught bagpipes to many individuals, including her 2 children.

    Margaret was on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Piping Society in the early 1990s. She has been a Tacoma Highland Games board member since 1992 when she took over as the chairperson for the Piping and Drumming competition for her dad.

    Margaret married Brian Nelson in 1993. They have 2 children, Matthew (21), and Elizabeth (17). Margaret has worked as an Elementary Special Education Teacher for 34 years and currently works for Tacoma Public Schools.



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