Metro Express workshops will be taken by a team of highly acclaimed pipers and includes some of the top solo pipers and pipe band leaders in the world. It is a real privilege to have so many accomplished pipers at your disposal. Instructors from The National Piping Centre, along with special guests and Metro Cup competitors, will take you through their own experiences, techniques, and personal secrets to make you a more skilled and able piper.
Roddy MacLeod MBE
Roddy MacLeod MBE is the Principal of The National Piping Centre. One of the world’s most accomplished competitive solo pipers, Roddy was tutored by piper and composer Duncan Johnstone and has won all of solo piping’s most coveted awards, many of them several times over. He is in keen international demand as a recitalist, judge and instructor. He was Pipe Major of the World renowned Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band from 1995 – 2005 during which time he led them to over 45 Grade 1 Championship prizes in major competition including the Cowal Championships and the All-Ireland Championship. In 2008 he led the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band to the final of Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships after bringing together a group of the worlds top solo pipers and drummers together for a short period of intensive practice. With a strong background in teaching, a dedication to the promotion of standards within piping and a zeal to widen popular appreciation of the pipes, he exemplifies the role, task and standing of The National Piping Centre. Roddy is also a Director and a Founder of Piping Live!, the Glasgow International Piping Festival.
- Awarded MBE for Services to Piping 2003;
- Winner of the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for Music 2004;
- Winner, Kishmul Banner composition competition;
- Inducted into the Traditional Music Awards Hall of Fame 2012
Solo competition prizes include:
- Glenfiddich Piping Championship, overall winner (4 times), MSR winner (twice), Piobaireachd winner (9 times);
- Northern Meetings, Inverness – Highland Society of London Gold Medal, Bicentenary Gold Medal and Clasp (2), Former Winners MSR;
- Argyllshire Gatherings, Oban – Highland Society of London Gold Medal, Senior Piobaireachd (2), Former Winners MSR (2), and Open Jigs;
- Bratach Gorm (6 times);
- Silver Chanter (6 times);
- Gillies Cup Open Piobaireachd, London (9 times);
- London Medallion Former Winners MSR (5 times);
- Scottish Piping Society of London overall champion (7 times);
- National Mod overall champion (5 times);
- Uist and Barra overall winner (5 times);
- Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition overall winner (3 times);
- Springbank Invitational Overall Winner;
- Dunvegan Medal;
- Dunvegan Colonel Jock MacDonald Clasp (4 times);
- Dr Allan MacDonald Cup for overall winner at Skye (3 times);
- Highland Society of London Gold Medal, overall winner (Skye) (3 times);
- Dr Dan Reid Invitational overall winner (3 times);
- G.S McLennan Invitational overall winner;
- Scottish Pipers Association overall winner (4 times);
- Scottish Pipers Association Piping Times Knockout winner;
- Highlands and Islands Festival Invitational Piobaireachd winner (4 times);
- Clan Donald Quaich winner (twice);
- Lochaber Tuagh Or Invitational Piobaireachd winner (3 times);
- Haddo House Quaich Invitational winner;
- Scotway Garden Festival 20th Century Piobaireachd winner;
- Scotway Lord Provost of Glasgow’s Competition MSR (3 times);
- World’s Greatest Pipers, Volume 6;
- Pipers of Distinction series (KRL);
- Piping Centre Recital Series;
- RSPS “The Last Piper”;
- Hebridean Piper video.
- Roddy MacLeod MBE Piobaireachd Volume 1
Margaret began learning the pipes at age 8 and was initially taught by her father Con Houlihan. She later received tuition from Stephen Power (ex Scots Guards) and Andrew Wright.
She moved to Scotland in 1998 to attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where she studied for 4 years and graduated with an Honours Degree in Scottish Traditional Music. While Margaret was at the Academy she joined the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band and, with them, won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 1 in 2000.
Margaret was also Pipe Major of Cullen Pipe Band and with them won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 3B in 2007. The band are currently Grade 3A British Champions and have recently been upgraded to Grade 2.
Margaret is a qualified examiner for the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board exams (SQA approved) after passing the Institute of Piping Graduate Certificate with distinction in 2004.
Some solo prizes won to date include:
- 1st MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd (22 and under) Argyllshire Gathering 1999
- 1st B Grade March, Argyllshire Gathering 1999
- Overall Winner Montrose Highland Games 1999
- 1st Strachan Memorial A Grade March Strathspey & Reel, London 2000
- 1st Duncan Johnstone Memorial Piobaireachd 2001
- 1st A Grade Strathspey and Reel, Argyllshire Gathering 2003
- Runner up in Silver Medal, Argyllshire Gathering 2003
- Overall winner at Blair Atholl Highland Games & Crieff Highland Games 2005
- Winner of the Silver Medal at the Northern Meetings 2007
- 1st A Grade March at the Argyllshire Gathering 2007
- 5th Former Winners MSR London 2007
- 5th Former Winners 2/4 March London 2007
- 1st Blair Atholl Open Piobaireachd 2010
- 1st Roseneath Open Piobaireachd 2010
Glenn Brown is 31 years old and originally from Milton, Ontario, Canada. A teacher at The National Piping Centre, Glenn’s Pipe Band back ground includes eight seasons with his mother Gail Brown’s band The Milton Optimist’s. In the autumn of 2001 Glenn became a member of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band where he spent the next six years and won two Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships. For the past four seasons, Glenn was a piper with the ScottishPower Pipe Band, based in Glasgow. He has recently gone back to his old band, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia and been appointed Pipe Sergeant. As well as his band piping Glenn has studied Ceol Mor and Ceol Beag with Mr. Willie McCallum for the past eleven years. His Solo Piping achievements include Canadian Gold Medal for Ceol Mor, 2006. Dunvegan Medal for Ceol Mor, 2007 & Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at The Northern Meeting, 2009
Finlay MacDonald has blazed a trail as one of the country’s finest exponents of contemporary and traditional Piping. He has worked with many leading artists in the traditional music scene including Fred Morrison, The Unusual Suspects, La Banda Europa, Old Blind Dogs and Chris Stout. He combines the mastery and dedication of traditional Piping with a true sense of musical adventure and creative collaboration producing a unique musical voice which can be heard on numerous recordings and projects. His Compositions and arrangements have been played by many leading artists including The World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
Always driven by collaboration and innovation,Finlay’s passion for the music he has grown up with has led him to the post of “Head of Piping Studies” at the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he continues to inspire and develop the very best of new Piping talent.
“Finlay MacDonald has emerged as one of the leading lights in the current crop of young pipers with deep roots in the pipe band tradition, but grafted on to a distinctly contemporary musical sensibility to produce a compelling hybrid.”
Kenny Matheison, The Scotsman 12/5/07
He is a native of Campbeltown, Kintyre, a town noted for producing a long line of champion pipers. In fact his great-great-great-great grandfather, John MacAlister was the winner of the prize pipe in 1782.
Willie was taught by two uncles, Ronald and Hugh, and influenced also by P/M Ronald McCallum, MBE. With that strong family tuition background and access to hearing the very best players in the world playing at the Kintyre Piping Society, he has a lot of experience to bring to the table.
Willie has been competing in Open piping since 1979 and during that time has won many of the top prizes, the highlights being: Glenfiddich Championship 8 times, both Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness, the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban 3 times, Former Winners MSR at Oban 5 times, Former Winners MSR Inverness 4 times, Bratach Gorm 4 times, Former Winners MSR London 5 times, Gillies Cup twice, Silver Chanter 3 times, P/M Donald MacLeod Memorial 9 times, Springbank Invitational 8 times.
Willie lives in Bearsden with his wife Christine, and has two children Hailey and Scott. He runs his own piping business, Willie McCallum Piping, which has a broad range of activities including performing, teaching, as well as selling bagpipes. He acts as a consultant to McCallum Bagpipes Ltd, in Kilmarnock and also Bannatyne Ltd, the pipe bag maker.
Willie regularly teaches individual students and for over 25 years has been involved in teaching at various summer schools throughout the world.
In recent years his students have won a wide range of prizes in both Junior, Amateur and Senior piping events, including Silver Medal, Gold Medals, Clasps, Silver Chanter and the Metro Cup.
Callum comes from Bo’ness, West Lothian and currently is an instructor at the National Piping Centre.
His tutors have included Bert Smith, Tom Speirs and now currently Willie McCallum.
Callum has played with the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe band, Shotts and Dykehead, Simon Fraser University and Inveraray and District Pipe Band. His pipe band prizes include winning the World Pipe Band championships three times, twice with Simon Fraser University and once with Shotts and Dykehead.
Callum’s solo piping achievements include;
- Northern Meetings, Inverness – Clasp (2012)
- Northern Meetings, Inverness – Highland Society of London Gold Medal (2013)
- Argyllshire Gathering, Oban – Highland Society of London Gold Medal (2011)
- Argyllshire Gathering, Oban – Silver Medal (2006)
- Argyllshire Gathering, Oban – MacGregor Memorial (2003)
- Argyllshire Gathering, Oban – Open Jigs (2011)
- Donald MacLeod Memorial, Stornoway – Piobaireachd (2013)
- Donald MacLeod Memorial, Stornoway – Overall Winner (2013)
- Dunvegan Castle, Skye – Silver Chanter (2013)
- Masters, National Piping Centre – Piobaireachd (2013)
- Cowal Highland Gathering – Open Piobaireachd (2005)
- RU Brown, Australia – Clasp (2013)
- RU Brown, Australia – Gold Medal (2012)
- RU Brown, Australia – Open MSR (2) (2012,2013)
- Scottish Piping Society of London – A grade MSR (2009)
- Springbank Invitational, Campbeltown – Hornpipe and Jig (2013)
- Inveraray Highland Games – Open March (2013)
Originally from Bathgate, Chris during the earlier years of his piping career was taught by PM John Matheson BEM.
Chris is a full time instructor at The National Piping Centre. Past successes include winning the Bratach Gorm, J. B. Robertson Rose Bowl and the Overall Champion Piper at the Scottish Piping Society of London in 2007, 1st in the Former Winners MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2001 then again in 2011. He has also won the A grade MSR at the Northern Meeting. Chris has placed 1st in the PM Donald MacLeod Memorial MSR, runner up at the Scottish Pipers Former Winners MSR and placed 2nd in the Former Winners MSR at the Northern Meeting twice. He has been the overall champion in 2002/03 at the Cowal Highland Gathering and in 2003 he won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting and was runner up in the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2010. Chris was appointed the Pipe Major of the ScottishPower Pipe Band in 2006.
Alastair started piping at 8 years old, initially taught by Freddie Russell, he now receives tuition from Roddy Macleod MBE. He is a frequent prize winner on the Professional solo circuit with his main successes including 2005 Metro Cup Piobaireachd, New York, 2006 Gold Medal, Northern Meeting, 2012 Argyllshire Gathering A Grade Strathspey & Reel, Oban. Alastair is the Pipe-Sergeant of eight times World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. Since joining the band in 1997 he has won every major pipe band competition including the World Championships in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012 under the direction of P/M Richard Parkes. Alastair was acting Pipe Major of the Band from April to July in 2004 winning the Scottish and All Ireland Championships.
Alex Gandy began piping at age ten and had the good fortune of family for very high level instruction; his father Bruce Gandy, his mother Beverley Gandy (played with the 78th Fraser Highlanders in the 80’s) and his grandfather Ronnie Rollo.
As a member of Field Marshal Montgomery he helped the band take 6 major prizes…including a World Championship in 2007 and a 2nd place at the Worlds in 2008.
In his own words “I owe a lot to Pipe Major Richard Parkes and Pipe Sergeant Alastair Dunn. [My time with them] was an incredibly valuable learning experience.”
Alex just graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, along with receiving The Order of Entrepreneurship from his school along with being named one of “Saint Mary’s Star Students”.
Currently he is Pipe Major of the 78th Highlanders, Halifax Citadel Pipe Band based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In his first year, he has already led the band to a victory at the Georgetown Highland Games in Ontario, which was his first contest as Pipe Major.
He plays a set of 1886 MacDougall’s that were presented to him by his Grandfather, Ronnie Rollo.
Angus MacColl is ranked among the world’s greatest pipers who has distinguished himself by winning the Glenfiddich Invitational three times so far (1995, 2006 & 2010).
He won the Gold Medal at both Inverness (1992) and Oban (1996). He was also winner of the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban (2000, 2004, 2005 & 2009), the Clasp at Inverness (1993, 1998, 2000 & 2011), the Former Winners MSR at Oban (1991 & 1998), the Silver Star MSR at Inverness (2005 & 2008), the GS MacLennan in San Diego (1997), the Silver Chanter (2011) and the Donald MacLeod Competition (1999).