Willie has been teaching at the National Piping Centre’s Evening Classes for a number of years and has become one of the most popular instructors because of his wealth of knowledge and entertaining approach. Previously, Willie has been a bagpipe instructor for the Royal Scots Regiment in the 1st Batt and has a huge amount of solo competition experience gaining a number of top awards as a member of the Competing Pipers Association.
One of Willie Highlights in his player career is having the honour of playing for the first President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda.
Stuart began learning the pipes in the early 1960s and was tutored then by the highly respected teacher, Tommy Pierson, of the College of Piping in Glasgow.
He joined the Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band at age 17, later moving to another Grade 1 Band, British Caledonian Renfrew, in 1970/71. He rose through the ranks with B Cal, as they came to be known, finally becoming Pipe Major of the Band’s successors, Babcock Renfrew, another well-known Grade 1 Band.
All three bands were successful in their own right, each winning competitions at local and Championship level on a regular basis.
Stuart has been teaching the pipes for many years now and is currently Pipe Major of The Royal Burgh of Renfrew Pipe Band.
Christopher Ross hails from Kyle of Lochalsh and first took an interest in piping at the age of 6. He was “shown the basics” by his dad, Alwyn before receiving formal tuition at the age of 10. Chris received tuition from Niall Stewart in School and privately from Pipe Major Iain (Alby) MacKinnon of the Scots Guards. It is Alby who was perhaps most influential in instilling Chris’ passionate and disciplined approach to piping.
Chris had a very successful career as a Junior Competitor featuring in the prize lists of most competitions he attended, perhaps the most notable of which being the 2007 Inverness Music Festival, where he won the Under 18 MSR and Piobaireachd to take the title of Overall Champion. Shortly after this Chris moved to Glasgow where he began playing for a number of years with the Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band at Grade 2, in order to further develop his piping skills.
In 2010 Chris was accepted on to the BA Scottish Music – Piping Degree course run by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. During this time he received tuition from Stuart Samson MBE, Finlay MacDonald and Allan MacDonald. He also gained experience in teaching accompanying Finlay MacDonald and Glenn Brown to Italy to work with a small group of pipers there and also performing in Spain with a small group and of musicians. He has also done work with Orchestras giving him a wealth of knowledge which his keen to share.
Chris graduated from the course in 2014 and has since taken up the post of Assistant Manager in the National Piping Centre Shop. Always a keen soloist Chris has recently returned to his competitive career, this time at a professional level and is currently receiving his tuition from Chris Armstrong. He aims to one day win the Gold Medal at Inverness and Oban and is currently working hard to achieve this goal.
Chris considers himself a very fortunate individual when he considers the opportunities piping has given him and he would love to teach on a full time basis in order to share his knowledge and give others those same opportunities.
Eddie comes from Edinburgh and started playing the chanter at school at the age of 10. Over his time at School he played in the school pipe band as well as playing in the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe band and playing with the Feis movement in Scotland. For his final year at school he studied at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional music based in Plockton. He was taught the pipes by Iain MacFadyen and started learning the Whistle from Hamish Napier.
Eddie spent 4 years studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. During his time there he was taught pipes by Finlay MacDonald, Stuart Samson and Allan MacDonald and was taught Whistle and Bouzouki by Marc Duff.
While at the conservatoire Barluath was formed, a 6 piece folk band, which has toured extensively throughout the UK and overseas. Some of the highlights include winning a Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in 2012 and being nominated for “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” at the MG Alba Scots Music Awards in 2014. They released they’re first album “Source” in 2012, which was produced by Phil Cunningham, and are set to release they’re second in 2015, this time produced by Anna Massie.
Eddie also works in several other musical outfits. This includes working with guitarist/singer Luc McNally Singer/Songwriter Darcy DaSilva on her first solo album. Other work includes working in several theatre productions. Some of those have included working with actor/director David Paisley on his show “The Lassies O” and Nic Green in her production of Fatherland.
He also has taught extensively including teaching the East Kilbride Pipe Band, the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop and the National Piping Centre’s Italian spring school.
Micheal Steele is from South Uist and started learning when he was 8 years old. He is currently about to start his 2nd year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He started learning from the tuition of Ivan MacDonald and Donald MacDonald before moving onto Iain MacDonald. After being accepted into the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in 2013 he then received tuition from Iain MacFadyen. Micheal has enjoyed some success in solo competition, his most notable prize being the overall under 18 winner at the Highlands and Islands ‘Young Piper of the Year’ competition in 2012.
Micheal has had a short pipe band career, it has been a very successful one however, as he has won the world and European championships with Johnstone pipe band in grade 2 in 2015.
As well as playing the bagpipes, Micheal also plays the whistle, flute and border pipes. He is involved in several folk/ceilidh bands and this has given him the opportunity to play at many events. His most notable being the ‘Hebridean Celtic Festival’ in 2011 and the ‘Tiree Music Festival’ in 2013 and 2015.