Army Piper Climbs The Paps of Jura for Memorial Fund

Captain Gordon Rowan from Tiree, who is based at The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming (ASBM&HD), recently climbed the Paps of Jura to help raise £1,000 towards a memorial garden costing £40,000, which is being built at Inchdrewer House in Edinburgh, the home of Army piping and drumming. Within the memorial garden will be a cairn with a bronze piper on top along with a bronze statuette of a drummer, which has already been kindly donated to the memorial fund.


The garden will be a place to honour and remember all the pipers and drummers who have given their lives in various conflicts over the years.

The climb was completed despite weather conditions that were less than ideal – unfortunately, the cloud base was very low with dense fog. Captain Rowan was accompanied on the climb by Dr Stephen Bradshaw and also Robert Cameron from Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Team, whose expertise along with his i-pad navigational system came in very handy! Although the climb was very challenging and at times rather scary, Captain Rowan said that it felt fantastic to have accomplished it successfully and with no blisters! He would like to thank the crew on the Jura ferry for their words of encouragement before undertaking the climb.


At the top of Beinn an Oir, the highest peak, Captain Rowan launched the Captain John A MacLellan MBE Piping Championship which is to be held at Inchdrewer House on 5 October 2013. Launch of the competition was difficult due to the weather conditions, however, ASBM&HD are pleased to announce the sponsorship from Wounded in Service Events, McCallum Bagpipes, The Royal British Legion Scotland and a distillery to be announced as soon as their re-brand is complete (announcement will follow once complete).

The Martyn Bennett Prize for Traditional Music Composition

Named in honour of the acclaimed composer/multi instrumentalist Martyn Bennett, this new competition is open to all Scottish-based musicians to create a new 5 – 10 minute long composition that shows its roots in traditional music. The winner will receive £2000, the runner up £1000 and all finalists’ work will be performed at The Queen’s Hall on Saturday 14 September. Full information and application forms are available on the website. Closing date Monday 12 August 2013.

A Fond Farewell…

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our students from the Royal Air Force of Oman who have been studying at The National Piping Centre since March. Afif, Mohammed, Rashid and Tariq have all completed intensive courses of study and gained SQA accredited piping awards at Level 6 in both theory and performance. They have all been fantastic students and have had a real impact on the Centre and our staff. We will all be sad to see them go and wish them all the best for their piping careers in Oman.

All 4 pipers

  Tariq with pipesRashid with pipes Mohammed with pipesAfif with pipes

Winner of Best All-Inclusive Venue in Glasgow

Results are out for the second Wedding Industry Experts Awards, and it is with great pleasure that we announce that The National Piping Centre won Best All-Inclusive Venue in Glasgow

Wedding Industry Winner

The awards are an annual competition recognizing some of the most popular wedding professionals at a local, national and international level. Voting commenced on April 23rd and concluded on April 30th.  This year wedding professionals from 29 countries participated in seventy categories.

We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from past and current clients, peers, family and friends. The National Piping Centre’s couples are very special to all of our staff and we always strive to give you the best day of your life on your wedding day. We are a venue with a big heart and truly appreciate the recognition that these awards have given us.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

Wedding at The National Piping Centre

Virginia Piping & Drumming School 2013

The National Piping Centre’s Virginia Piping & Drumming School 2013
23rd – 28th June
Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA 

10% OFF
There is a 10% discounted Early Bird rate for Tuition. The price will increase to the full rate of on April 30th 2013.

The National Piping Centre invites you to our 2013 Piping and Drumming School in Virginia. We will have a daily program which will cover all aspects of performance including practice routines, technique, musical expression, tuning and ensemble playing. Students will be taught in a small group of similar ability for 3-4 hours per day with workshops, recitals and practice time built in. All levels of players are welcome.

At the 2013 Virgina School you will have the opportunity to learn with some of the most experienced pipers and drummers in the world including…

Roddy MacLeod MBE
Principal of The National Piping Centre
and Three time Glenfiddich Champion.

Stuart Samson MBE
Ex-Director of the Army School of Bagpipe Music
and Silver Medalist.

John Mulhearn
Accomplished recording artist and Runner-up in 2012 Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal.

Plus many more fantastic tutors and teachers.

Visit our Virginia School page 

Live Stream of Piping Live! Launch Event

We are very excited to be launching our new E-Learning site on Weds 17th April.

To celebrate we will be Live Streaming Piping Live!’s Launch Event from 7pm on Wednesday. Tune in to see the new technology in action for the first time, as well as finding out all about this year’s Piping Live! Festival, and seeing some great music  from:

Willie McCallum

Scott Wood Trio

Vale of Atholl Pipe Band Quartet
Tune in to from 7pm (BST) Wednesday 17th April

E-Learning at The National Piping Centre


The National Piping Centre (NPC), in partnership with Glasgow-based digital media consortium Yellow Brick House, is revealing an ambitious e-learning project which will deliver high quality bagpipe tuition digitally using webinar technology and live streaming services.

E-Learning 1

This will allow the highly skilled and sought after NPC tutors to deliver interactive virtual piping tuition to groups and individuals anywhere in the world. As part of this new, integrated E-Learning package, resources from the NPC’s vast library of archive, print, and audio will be available to all users. This new E-Learning site will encourage dialogue between pipers across the world which will increase engagement in piping and the work of the NPC.

The NPC has been giving lessons on the internet in recent years using the online Skype technology, but this has limited the amount of online lessons due to the one-to-one nature of Skype. As well as continuing with the one-to-one Skype lessons, the centre has now developed the technological capacity to reach a whole new audience through video conferencing. The new Adobe Connect technology allows many students to be in an online classroom with the ability to communicate directly with the teacher, and the other students in the class, allowing a dialogue not only between tutor and student, but also between students of the same level who are learning together. As well as the live, interactive classes, all lessons will be available on-demand, allowing students with busy and unpredictable schedules to view lessons at a time that’s suitable for them, as well offering the ability to refer back to previous classes.

E-Learning 2

Roddy MacLeod, principal at The National Piping Centre, said: “We are constrained by our building here in Glasgow and this is a way of getting to more students. The plan is an e-learning process that allows us to take our lessons anywhere in the world. The lessons are live and (although) we’ve been using Skype in the past to do one-to-one sessions, this will let us teach to wider groups.”

As well as the live lessons which will be screened across the internet this new platform will allow easier access to live streamed events which the NPC launched at Piping Live! Festival 2012. This successful step in digital streaming was continued at the Glenfiddich Piping Championship in October 2012 where over 1900 people viewed the event worldwide.

Funding for this new project was awarded to the NPC by the Scottish Digital Research and Development Fund for Arts and Culture, run by the creative charity Nesta, Creative Scotland and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Jackie McKenzie, head of Innovation Programmes Scotland for Nesta, said: “Arts and cultural organisations are at a pivotal moment in their development. Financial pressures are creating enormous challenges, but equally, digital technologies are opening up exciting possibilities for new markets to deepen and broaden audiences.”

The website will be officially launched on Wednesday 17th April where there will be a live stream of the Piping Live! 2013 Launch event. Log on to from 7pm (BST) on Wednesday to see the live stream and find out a bit more about The National Piping Centre’s brand new E-Learning website.”

Ceòl Mòr Ostaig @ Ceòl’s Craic

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the internationally renowned Gaelic College in Skye celebrates its 40th anniversary at Ceòl’s Craic.

15.00 – 15.20: A presentation giving information on Scotland’s only Gaelic college.
15.20 – 15.50: A workshop on Gaelic pronunciation with useful phrases for beginners.
15.50 – 16.30: Come along and learn a new Gaelic song with Christine Primrose.
16.30: Informal class for Intermediate level learners who want to practise their Gaelic.

Live Music from 19.30

19.30 – 22.00: Music from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Music Students; Allan MacDonald and Christine Primrose
Allan MacDonald is a leading light on the Gaelic music scene and has performed at all the major Celtic and piping festivals throughout the world. Christine Primrose is one of Scotland’s finest Gaelic singers and a trailblazer who has been singing traditional Gaelic songs all her life. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s talented music students give a special performance.

Ceòl’s Craic menu from 6-8pm at Saramago Café Bar. 2 courses for £7.50 (Children under 14 welcome till 10pm).

Find out more at