International Bagpipe Conference 2016

The International Bagpipe Conference will bring together bagpipe musicians, academics and enthusiasts from all around the world to the National Piping Centre from 26 Feb to 28 Feb 2016 for the third edition of the biennal International Bagpipe Conference.
This event is organised in collaboration with the National Piping Centre, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow University with the support of the Bagpipe Society.
From the ticket options please select the option you wish. The National Museums Scotland visit is free, however, you will need to provide your own transport. If you wish to go, please select the inclusive ticket option.

» Get your tickets here!

Echoes of Oban 2015

The College of Piping is once again holding its annual Echoes of Oban Recital this year on Saturday 14th of November. Starting at 7pm, the Echoes will feature many of the winners from the 2015 Argyllshire Gathering including Gold Medallist John Angus Smith, Silver Medallist Sandy Cameron, Angus MacCol winner of the Silver Starl, Charles MacDonald winner of the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd, Sarah Muir winner of the ‘B’ Grade Strathspey and Reel and guest piper Willie McCallum.

Fear-an-Tighe for the evening will be John Wilson.

The ‘Echoes of Oban’ was an event held annually in the 1950s and 1960s, when the winners from the Argyllshire Gathering each year were invited to play their winning tunes at a concert in Glasgow. This gave those who had been unable to attend the Gathering a chance to hear some of the winning performances, while those who had attended were able to enjoy the performances again in a relaxed social atmosphere. The College restarted this tradition again in 2008 and has held it every year since.

Tickets for the Echoes are priced at £8 available from the College of Piping.

Piping Live! 2015

Tomorrow sees the first day of Piping Live! 2015.
We’re looking forward to hosting the biggest and best week of piping with hundreds of events available for you to enjoy throughout the week.

Monday 10th August
The National Piping Centre
9am Piobaireachd Competition
5pm MSR Competition
Dowco Triumph Street, Inveraray and District, 78th Fraser Highlanders, 78th Highlander Halifax Citadel, Toronto Police
New Zealand Police
Tuesday 11th August
The Strathclyde Suite, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Angus MacKenzie and Gabe McVarish, Finlay MacDonald and Chris Stout, Callum Armstrong and George Pasca, Gary West and Mike Vass

Wednesday 12th August

The National Piping Centre
Finlay MacDonald and Chris Stout, Matt MacIsaac and Troy MacGillivray, Bellon Maceiras Duo
Thursday 13th August
The Art School
Scott Wood Band, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, The Armagh Pipers Club
Friday 14th August
The Art School
Flook, Fred Morrison, Patrick Molard and Yves Berthou
Saturday 15th August
The Art School
Sunday 16th August
The National Piping Centre

Brìghde Chaimbeul Piping Recital

St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington – Sunday 5th July 4.00pm-5.00pm

Brighde Chaimbeul - Skye Highland Games 2014
17 year old Brìghde Chaimbeul comes from the Isle of Skye and has been immersed in Scottish/Gàidhlig music from a young age. She was offered a place at St Mary’s Music School in 2010 and since then has been receiving tuition from award-winning piper Iain Speirs, and Fin Moore (since 2014), having previously studied with Niall Stewart.
Recent successes include winning the National Piping Centre Under 18’s in Glasgow and playing in the final of the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd contest. Brìghde has performed in venues across Scotland, and took part in a folk festival in Northern Norway last year playing with international artists such as Torje Jensen and Mike Vass. She is embarking on a 5 week tour this summer with Fèis Rois and is preparing for the prestigious spot of the lone piper at the Highland Military Tattoo this September.
This recital will consist of a wide repertoire of tunes on both Highland pipes and Scottish smallpipes, from formal March, Strathspeys and Reels and Piobaireachd to lighter traditional music from as far afield as Spain and Canada.

Stewart Society Composing Competition

The Stewart Society is sponsoring a composing competition. This is for an original composition of a 2 parted march in 4/4 time, to be played on the Highland bagpipe. The composer of the winning tune will receive a prize of £300, and will have their name inscribed on the competition cup. The tune will also be played at the Stewart Society Gathering, during the weekend of August 21st-23rd 2015, at Ballone Castle, Tain, Rosshire, with hopefully, the composer in attendance. The tune will also be published in the Stewart Society magazine in 2016.
The entries will be judged by a panel consisting of
Roddy MacLeod MBE, Principal, the National Piping Centre
Finlay MacDonald, Head of Piping Studies, the National Piping Centre
Finlay Johnston, National Piping Centre Tutor, winner of the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd, Argyllshire Gathering 2012
Competition Rules
  • The tune entered must be a two parted march in 4/4/ time
  • Your entry can be submitted either by email, in which case it must be a pdf attachment, to the competition email address – or by post to “Stewart Society Competition, The National Piping Centre, 30-34 McPhater Street, Glasgow, G4 0HW”
  • Your tune manuscript should bear no marks which identify the composer.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final
  • The closing date for the competition is 30th June 2015. No entries received after that date will be considered

Scots Guard Club News

On Sunday 12 April Steven Gray won through to the final of the Scots Guards Club knockout beating Greig Wilson.
Steven will meet Craig Sutherland in the final at the Scots Guards Club Haymarket Edinburgh on Sunday 03 May 4pm
Tickets £10.00 curry served after
Contact Scots Guards Club 0131 337 1084

The Pipers’ Trail 2015

Would you like to play at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo?

Following the huge success of The Pipers’ Trail as part of the 2014 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, we are now looking to extend the scheme.
Last year, we brought together a tremendous volunteer band of 27 pipers and drummers under Pipe Major Selwood to rehearse and perform for the whole of the Tattoo season in Edinburgh. They created a major impact. They integrated seamlessly with the team – over 250 pipers and drummers in established bands – were well turned out, expert in their foot drill and played to a splendid standard. Our own view of the band’s performance and the judgement of the Director of Bagpipe Music were further reinforced in a number of hugely positive remarks in our audience feedback. This wonderful result have encouraged us to develop our vision and plans at pace.

The Massed Pipes and Drums that have played at the Tattoo to such tremendous effect for the last 65 years has traditionally been drawn from the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces: the Scottish Regiments along with those with a Celtic tradition and the Royal Gurkha Rifles. This core capability has been beautifully reinforced by formed Pipes and Drums invited from amongst our friends and allies around the world; a wonderful selection of civilian bands and some schools and colleges. The mix has always worked elegantly and well, with everyone receiving the Tattoo pipe programme some months out and then coming together for a period of rehearsal in Edinburgh, before joining up with the rest of the cast for rehearsals in Redford Barracks and at the Castle.

The Pipers Trail was originally conceived in 2007 as an ‘Army in Scotland’ campaign to engage with the civil community. Over 4 years the scheme covered the length and breadth of Scotland visiting schools and communities encouraging an interest in the Great Highland Bagpipe, Highland Drumming and Dancing. Now, the project has been taken on by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the same broad intentions but also to enable a wider community to participate in one of the world’s greatest celebrations of pipe, drums and military music.

Development of The Pipers Trail was stimulated by a comment by a piper made in 2011: “I have been waiting all my life to march across the drawbridge with the Massed Pipes and Drums, playing as one.”
This remark coupled with the Tattoo’s desire to draw ‘talented’ pipers and drummers to the Massed Pipes and Drums led to our developing a scheme that would allow musicians, who may be linked or not linked to a formed band, to join in. With Scottish Government support, we equipped and uniformed a single file of pipers and drummers, with a Pipe Major, Drum Major and Base Drummer. The process of recruiting and auditioning volunteers, equipping and uniforming them, conducting practice and rehearsal was refined through the pilot and we are now looking to recruit a new and larger band for the 2015 season. This time, we are looking for 2 full files: 50 pipers and drummers in all!

Those pipers and drummers looking to be considered to take part in this unique musical experience should have a smart bearing and presence, be a capable musician and be prepared to practice and perform throughout the Tattoo period. The 2015 Tattoo will run over the period 2 – 29 August 2015 (including rehearsals). We are looking for pipers and drummers who can play to at least Grade 3 standard, with the ability to assimilate the 2015 Pipe and Drum score and take instruction. We are keen to encourage selected and talented younger players and are very keen to encourage participation from the international piping and drumming community.

Our theme this coming year is ‘East Meets West’ and looks to bring together performers from China, India, Russia, Europe, the United States and South America. We have invited formed pipe bands from Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and the USA. The Pipers’ Trail band will join this huge array to form a singular band of nearly 250 musicians.

With the continuing support of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, The National Piping Centre, The College of Piping and the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming. The vision is to increase the proficiency and reach of The Pipers Trail to deliver a formidable piping and drumming capability for public performance in Scotland and around the world. This year, we are also looking to build a database that can be developed to offer further opportunities to perform at other events in Scotland and around the world.

Those interested should email applications to: The email should be accompanied with a CV and some evidence of playing standard. If formal qualifications are unavailable, applicants may provide a reference from a Pipe Major of an established Band. Applications will close on 28 February 2015.

Successful candidates will be provided with Full Dress uniform and the necessary tuition in foot drill, turnout, musicianship and the opportunity to join 250 other pipers and drummers as part of the Massed Pipes and Drums. The Band will perform each evening in front of a live international audience of 8,800 each evening – a total of 220,000 during the season and a further 100 – 300 million on television around the World! Over half of all available tickets to the 2015 Show were sold on the first day tickets went on sale!

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE
Chief Executive and Producer, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Administrative Officer Vacancy

Job title: Administrative Officer Department:

Piping School Responsible to: Director of Piping and Director of Administration

Main duties include:

Co-ordination of all tuition, excepting evening classes, and including in-house schools and events abroad, daytime tuition and Scottish Qualifications Authority exams.

  • Answering general and tuition enquiries by phone and email.
  • Maintenance of student records database and online tuition diary.
  • Managing subscriptions for Piping Today magazine, proof-reading, organising distribution of magazines, producing mailing lists and renewal advice.
  • Issuing invoices, including for tuition at local schools, Piping Today adverts and others.
  • Producing printed material for courses and Schools, including timetables, confirmation letters/emails and other information.  Ordering stationery, computing, printer and sundry supplies.
  • Opening and sorting post.
  • General office administration including provision of forms, exam material, filing, supervision of leave requests.
  • Co-ordinating and managing specific events organised by the National Piping Centre such as performances and competitions.
  • Liaison with contractors as required.
  • Submitting licence applications and sourcing infrastructure for Glasgow International Piping Festival, Piping Live!
  • Administration and processing of all SQA exams; management of systems and processes; maintenance of exam material.
  • Oversee improvements in general procedures and workflow.

See Full Information and Job Description HERE