Neil Hansen began piping at age 30. He recognizes this is considered late by most standards, but spent the bulk of his twenties working long hours as founder and owner of The Bright Side – a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning business he’s operated since. It was a few years after starting that Neil found time to practice in earnest and sought out instruction in the piping community to help him advance. Acknowledging it’s been a lot of hard work starting as an adult in a difficult hobby, he finds the value of the challenge offered by bagpiping to be rewarding in areas like hand/eye coordination, physical dexterity, and memory strength while aging. He believes it’s important to develop hobbies and skills while working in order to devote more time and enjoy them more fully in retirement. Neil played with Chicago Caledonian Pipes and Drums and Chicago Celtic Pipe Band before joining City of Chicago Pipe Band in 2011 where he has been a stalwart and highly dedicated member ever since.