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About Mike
Background
Mike grew up in Green Tree, a small suburb just south of Pittsburgh.  He graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.  After he began working, he attended night classes with Pitt and graduated with his Masters in Business Administration.  Mike is a volunteer firefighter for Bethel Park.  He has also served for Green Tree and Dormont.  He is also a member of the Sons of the American Legion in Carnegie Post 82.

Why Bagpipes?
        
Mike has always liked the sound of bagpipes.  From a young age, he would always look for them at parades.  He would often times blast bagpipe music on his car stereo, but it wasn't enough for him.  He wanted to be able to create the music himself.  Mike started playing the trumpet in 4th grade and continued playing through his Sophomore year in college.  He had to stop when engineering courses and other hobbies did not allow enough time to continue playing.  Mike never lost his love of the pipes and decided to learn to play them after graduating college.  At the beginning of 2006, Mike started talking to the Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh and began taking lessons.  After six months of playing the chanter, he bought a set of Bagpipes and began torturing his neighbors.  His neighbors and family were very supportive and got to witness somebody who could barely sound a note quickly develop into a piper who could effortlessly play marches, jigs, and reels.

Nationality - "Sortwell is Irish?"
        
If you have not heard of Sortwell before, you are not alone.  Mike's immediate family is the only Sortwells in all of Pennsylvania.  According to the "Book of Sortwell" published in 1995, there were only 65 Sortwell households in the entire world.  Mike's father is a combination of Sortwell and Stitt, and his mother is a combination of McHenry and Reilly.

Mike is a proud American who was born in Pittsburgh.  His parents and their parents were all born in America.  Beginning with Mike's great grandparents and further up the family tree is where the Irish ancestry starts.  Mike is proud to have Irish ancestry and can often times be found celebrating it.  He enjoys a good time, good people, a good joke, and occasionally he can even be found enjoying a good drink.  Though Mike is primarily Irish, there is a sliver of Scottish in there from the Stitt side.  They were part of the Farquharson Clan.  Mike wore the Farquharson tartan when he got married.


A letter from Mike
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