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The National Piping Centre exists to promote the study of the music and history of the Highland Bagpipe.
Patron: Formerly HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, KG, KT, GCB.
Founders: Sir Brian Ivory CVO CBE FRSE MA CA - Lady Ivory DL MA ARCM FRSA - Sandy Grant Gordon CBE MA.    Read More

Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions For The National Piping Centre

In case of dispute both parties will adhere exclusively to Scots Law with respect to any booking.

To view the terms and conditions for a section of our business, please click the headings to expand that section. Click it again to close it down and then you can view the next section. 

Lessons at The National Piping Centre

The standard lesson duration is 50 minutes or 25 minutes, as confirmed when making your booking .

Payment must be made in full in advance of the lesson. On payment, you will receive a receipt for payment with a unique reference number which should be retained for proof of purchase and in the event of a refund request.

Cancellation Policy: Individual or Online Lessons – If a lesson is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled lesson time, the customer will be charged the full lesson amount. However, we will endeavour to reschedule lessons cancelled out with this time frame.

Cancellation Policy: Intensive Courses If cancelled more than 14 working days in advance, 25% of the cost will be refunded. If cancelled within 14 working days, no refund will be made.


We cannot guarantee any lessons booked for the future . Unused pre-paid lessons are non-refundable without proof of purchase.

Pre-paid lesson must be used with six months of purchase, unless otherwise arranged or agreed upon.

The National Piping Centre Piping Events Terms and Conditions

Terms of Use from out ticketing suppliers:

Inplayer: You can find InPlayer’s terms and conditions on the following link: http://inplayer.com/terms/. By creating an account you automatically agree to the Terms & Conditions. Ticketweb: You can find Ticketweb's Terms of Purchase here

Terms and Conditions for Events run by The National Piping Centre

These terms and conditions refer to events that happen within The National Piping Centre or are run by The National Piping Centre team at external venues. They refer to the legal entity as stated in Legal Information section below.

For In Person Events

Ticket Exchanges and Refunds

No refunds will be given except in the event of cancellation of a performance. If an event is cancelled,The National Piping Centre’s liability will be to the customer who made the original purchase and will be limited to the cost of the tickets purchased.

We do not allow the resale of our tickets for private commercial gain. Tickets are sold for use by the buyer and their party. We will cancel tickets if there is any breach of this condition and refuse entry without a refund. For your own peace of mind, please only buy from our official outlet for in person tickets, TicketWeb

Ticket Donations

If you are unable to attend a performance, we will accept the fees paid for your tickets as donations. Please note that you will not receive a refund for either the cost of your ticket(s) or any fees.


All ticket prices are inclusive of VAT. There may be additional booking fees charged by the ticketing provider, Ticketweb

Ticket Despatch

When you book tickets to The National Piping Centre events, you can choose either to use electronic tickets, or you can have your tickets mailed to you for an additional cost. If you are booking online, this choice will be indicated when the contents of your shopping basket are confirmed. Due to Covid-19, we are currently not offering the option to collect tickets in person. Please see TicketWeb terms (link above) for full terms.


Latecomers may be asked to wait until a suitable break in the performance before they can enter the auditorium. If there is no suitable break, latecomers may not be admitted.

Legal Information

The National Piping Centre is a company limited by guarantee (139271) with charitable status (SC020391). Its registered office is at 30-34 McPhater Street, Glasgow, G4 0HW. The National Piping Centre’s VAT registration number is GB 927 1630 28

Programme Changes

Tickets are sold subject to The National Piping Centre’s right to alter or vary the programme due to circumstances beyond its control without being obliged to refund monies or exchange tickets.

Photography Consent

Ticket holders consent to being filmed, photographed and recorded as members of the audience. The resulting film footage, images and recordings may be used to promote the Piping Live! and its activities in print, in the media and on websites. Piping Live! will endeavour to inform attenders prior to the commencement of the event if filming is to take place. Ticket holders consent to the recording and filming of themselves as members of the audience.

We conduct photography and filming in The National Piping Centre and around the site for purposes including archive recording, press and promotional photography, and the production of marketing materials. We keep these recordings and photos in perpetuity.

Terms and Condition Changes

The National Piping Centre reserves the right to alter or amend these terms and conditions without prior notification.

Use of Recording Equipment

The use of cameras, tape recorders or any other electronic or digital recording, photographing or imaging devices is not allowed inside the auditorium. Mobile phones, beepers and pagers must be switched off at all times.

Terms and Conditions for Watching Online

The stream will be broadcast live/premiered at the specified time (which, unless otherwise stated, is shown in BST or GMT) and will then be available through that link until 23:59 seven days after the event.

The National Piping Centre accepts no liability for any technical issues suffered by the customer or for the customer missing the Live Stream.

If a technical delay or issue arises from The National Piping Centre team that causes the session to start late or suffer detrimental disruption, then we will ensure you receive your full allocation of time or look to reschedule if appropriate.

Whilst we endeavour to provide the best service possible for online delivery, there are some elements to your digital experience that we cannot fully control.

  • Video quality may not be fully consistent throughout the event, including some variations of image quality and the occasional pause or stutter in sound. This should be a rarity and we would not consider this a technical issue unless it severely affects the delivery of the session.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have access to equipment and a suitable internet connection that provides access to the livestream and other resources provided by The National Piping Centre
  • Your ticket entitles you and your household to access and watch the specified Live Stream on a single device via your online Inplayer account through the National Piping Centr website.
  • You may display the live stream on a single device and for your own personal and private use only. It is not licensed for any educational use, including and on behalf of all libraries and educational institutions worldwide. You may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display outside a personal and private setting, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer or sell this live stream. Commercial use of this live stream in any form is strictly prohibited.

The Pipers’ Tryst Hotel Reservation and Cancellation Policy

All of our rooms have super-king sized beds, en-suite bathrooms, free wifi and tea and coffee making facilities.

Should you require a twin, triple room or cot please contact us on 0141 353 5551.

Terms & Conditions

As we are a small hotel we ask all guests to confirm their estimated time of arrival.

Check in is from 2pm until 10pm, Monday-Saturday.

On Sundays we close before 6pm therefore guests arriving later are required to contact us in advance.

We will only contact you prior to your stay and after your stay with information about your booking.

We will not pass your details onto any third parties.

Cancellation Policy

Advanced purchase rate reservations require full payment upon reservation and are non refundable in the event cancellation. Standard rate reservations that do not require pre-payment are subject to a 24 hour cancellation policy.

Cancellation must be made by 9am the day before check-in, otherwise the booking will be charged in full.

All rooms cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged in full.

Come & Try The Bagpipe Sessions

A provisional booking can be held for up to 7 days without obligation.

To confirm your booking full payment is required within 14 days of the invoice being issued.

Charges are made as follows:

  • 1-19 people £200 flat fee
  • 20+ guests £12.00 per person
  • Any catering or merchandise ordered
  • For parties over 30 we may request to split you into groups as our room capacities are moderately small.

A full refund is available if the session is cancelled with 14 days or more notice.

Come and Try attendees may not bring any food or drink, other than water, into The National Piping Centre.

The National Piping Centre will not be liable for the cost of any damage or repairs that may be required as a direct result of such damage to any part of the building or, any equipment therein contained caused by any person invited by you or on your behalf.

The National Piping Centre will not accept liability in respect of any loss or damage to articles brought onto the premises.

All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT at the rate prevailing when this contract was issued. They are subject to change without notice should there be a change in the rate of VAT chargeable.

This agreement will only come into force when a copy is signed and dated by the customer and given to The National Piping Centre. If the agreement fails to be signed, the National Piping Centre reserves the right to cancel the event.

Online lessons

All users of The National Piping Centre’s online tuition service must agree to these terms and conditions.

Users must also agree to follow the terms of use of skype.com.

Payment must be received in advance of the lesson. The National Piping Centre will not enter into an agreement to provide online tuition to the user until payment has been received.

The National Piping Centre cannot be held liable for service interruptions or technical faults. If a lesson is disrupted for these reasons The National Piping Centre may reschedule the lesson at its discretion but refunds cannot be made. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Lessons last for 50 minutes and up to five minutes of this time may be used to solve any connection or set-up problems.

Cancellation Policy

If a lesson is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled lesson time, the customer will be charged the full lesson amount. However, we will endeavour to reschedule lessons cancelled out with this time frame.

No-shows: If you are not online for your lesson at the agreed time, you will be liable for the full cost of that lesson.

Evening Classes

Lesson duration is 50 minutes per class at McPhater Street and 2 hours, with a dedicated one to one time at Otago Street.

Full payment must be made to confirm your place on the evening class course.

Your preference of evening and time will be taken into account, but we cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice. Late enrolees will be charged for full course.

Cancellation Policy:

Notification given in excess of 14 working days before first lesson of the booked course – Full refund

Notification given within 14 working days of first lesson of the booked course – 25% refund

No refunds are available after the first lesson of the booked course.

Missed lessons will not be refunded.

Schools and Courses

“Schools and Courses” refers to any courses organised by The National Piping Centre including evening classes, seasonal schools, intensive courses and workshops.

Full payment must be made on confirmation of the booking 25% of which is non refundable.

Cancellation Policy

Schools and Courses held in the UK: 14 days’ notice or less – no refund will be given.

Courses held outside the UK: 28 days’ notice or less – no refund will be given.

Bank charges will be incurred if paying for an international school or course by cheque in any other currency than pounds sterling, this must be taken into account when writing out the amount. In addition the exchange rate will be set by the bank therefore if an over payment is made a refund will be given, or if the fee is underpaid a further charge will be made to ensure payment in full of the course fee.

Any pre ordered embroidered merchandise is not refundable or exchangeable.

The National Piping Centre reserves the right to cancel courses. In the event of a course being cancelled, The National Piping Centre will refund students fees. Consideration will be given to reimbursement of additional expenses incurred by students. Students are advised to purchase refundable travel tickets.

The National Piping Centre reserves the right to make changes to the advertised instruction team.

Examination Bookings – If an examination is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled exam time, the customer will be charged one full lesson amount. However, we will endeavour to reschedule the exam cancelled out with this time frame.

AGB: Stornierung und Rückerstattung

Nach Abschluss der Buchung können maximal 75% des Preises zurückerstattet werden. Erfolgt die Stornierung nicht bis spätestens 29 Tage vor Beginn der Winter School, kann kein Geld zurückerstattet werden.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass es zu Bank- und/oder Umrechnungsgebühren kommen kann, da die Bezahlung in Pfund erfolgen muss. Der Umrechnungskurs wird dabei von der Bank vorgegeben.

Das National Piping Centre behält sich das Recht vor, die Winter School in besonderen Fällen abzusagen. In diesem Falle werden alle Kosten zurückerstattet, dies gilt möglicherweise auch für schon zusätzlich geleistete Zahlungen von Teilnehmern (z.B. Reisekosten). Es wird jedoch empfohlen, stornierbare Reisemöglichkeiten zu wählen.

Das National Piping Centre behält sich vor, Änderungen am Lehrpersonal vorzunehmen.

Student Discounts

Regular students at the National Piping Centre are entitled to some great benefits.

You will receive 10% off shop items excluding bagpipes, gift vouchers, sale items, lessons and the Piping Today magazine.

You will receive 10% off accommodation in The Pipers’ Tryst Hotel excluding Friday and Saturday nights.

You will receive a 10% discount on meals from the a la carte menu at The Pipers’ Tryst Hotel (tables of 4 or fewer; Minimum order is 2 courses per person).

The National Piping Centre may cancel or withdraw the scheme at any time.

The National Piping Centre is collecting your personal data to administer these discounts. This data will be held securely and will not be transferred to any third party except where required by law.

Using the Bookstore App - Terms of Use

This is a legally binding agreement regarding the use of our application (the “App”), you and The National Piping Centre (The Piping Centre Trading Ltd), 30-34 McPhater Street, Glasgow, G4 0HW.

These Terms may be amended from time to time, but constitutes an agreement between you and The National Piping Centre. We reserve the right to update these terms at any point and the update will become effective immediately. The terms shall be governed in accordance with ScotsLaw and you agree to the jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.

By downloading or accessing the App you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (“Terms”), our privacy policy and our cookie policy. If you have any queries about the App or these terms you can contact us vis our website http://thepipingcentre.co.uk . If you do not agree with these terms you should stop using the App immediately.

The App is made available for your own personal use. The App must not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever or for any illegal or unauthorised purpose. You agree that when using the App you will comply with all applicable laws whether of the UK or otherwise (“Applicable Laws”) and these Terms. In particular, but without limitation, you agree not to:

  • Use the App in any unlawful manner or in a manner which promotes or encourages illegal activity including (without limitation) copyright infringement; or
  • Attempt to gain to gain unauthorised access to the App or any networks, servers or systems connected to the App;
  • Modify, adapt, translate or reverse engineer any part of the App.

You agree to indemnify The National Piping Centre in full and on demand from and against any loss, damage, costs or expenses which it suffers or incurs directly or indirectly as a result of your use of the App otherwise than in accordance with these Terms or otherwise than in accordance with these Terms or Applicable Laws.

Weddings, Ceremonies and Evening Receptions

Please find below The National Piping Centre’s (TNPC) terms and conditions for weddings, ceremonies and evening receptions for 2024 - 2025.

1. A provisional booking can be held for up to 14 days without obligation.

2. A provisional booking will be released unless written confirmation is received, accompanied by a deposit of:

a. The deposit paid is non-refundable and non-transferable and will be lost in the event of cancellation.

b. Within 6 months’ notice or less 30% of the anticipated revenue and deposit is payable

c. Within 3 months’ notice or less 50% of the anticipated revenue and deposit is payable

d. Within 2 months’ notice or less 75% of the anticipated revenue and deposit is payable

4. The final wedding confirmation and guest numbers must be given one month prior to the event.

5. If final guest numbers drop with less than 14 days notice prior to the event, no refund will be given.

6. The final account is payable one month prior to your special day with any extras that may be incurred, payable on the day or on departure from the hotel.

7. Payment accepted is cash, Visa, MasterCard or bank transfer. TNPC does not accept cheques.

8. All prices are subject to change year on year around 2-5%. Please note your wedding will be charged at the current yearly rate unless paid in full during another year to receive the cheaper price.

9. All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT at the rate prevailing when this contract was issued.

10. Service charge is not included and can be left for the staff at your discretion. All gratuities are shared equally between all staff and chefs.

11. There are no minimum numbers for any events or weddings at The National Piping Centre. Please note that the Auditorium may be too large a space for parties less than 30.

12. ‘Simply Done’ packages have a minimum number of 80 people and this can be increased to 120 with additional fees.

13. The Pipers’ Tryst has an 8-bedroom ‘restaurant with rooms’.

At the time of booking you will be asked if you would like to reserve any hotel bedrooms for you and your guests. Please note the following:

a. Bedrooms will be reserved in the main account holders name up to 3 months prior to the wedding.

b. 3 months prior to your wedding we will ask for a rooming list of names of guests who are staying with us. They will be assigned to a room and clients can opt to have their charges on the master wedding bill or guests can pay own account.

c. Payment is required on arrival at the hotel for all guests. Any no-shows will be chargeable to the wedding master bill.

d. Accommodation starts from £90 per room. Room rates are ‘Best Available’ and our prices fluctuate due to seasonality and Glasgow City Centre Major Events.

e. All rates are inclusive of breakfast.

14. The National Piping Centre will not be liable for the cost of any damage or repairs that may be required as a direct result of such damage to any part of the building or, any equipment therein contained caused by any person invited by you or on your behalf.

15. The National Piping Centre will not accept liability in respect of any loss or damage to articles brought onto the premises.

16. Neither you nor any of your guests may bring alcohol or food of any kind (except for infant feeding) into The National Piping Centre.

17. The National Piping Centre reserves the right to refuse alcohol.

18. The National Piping Centre will not allow bands or DJs to store their equipment over night. Bands must fully exit the premises after the event has taken place.

19. The National Piping Centre does not provide a dressing room or meals for bands unless the bride and groom has authorised pre-event and it has been settled on the master invoice.

20. This agreement will only come into force when a copy is signed and dated by the customer and given to The National Piping Centre. If the agreement fails to be signed, the National Piping Centre reserves the right to cancel the event.



Steven Blake

Steven is experienced with traditional piping, contemporary folk music and composition and possesses a unique style of playing which sets him apart from his peers. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Steven is perhaps best known for his work with Scot’s Trad Awards ‘Live Act of the Year 2015’ RURA. In 2020 Steven was appointed to the role of Director of The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, bringing his wealth of performance, composition and recording experience to this challenging role.

From his beginnings as a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2008 he has set about forging a dynamic performance career across the globe from Japan, India, China to the U.S., Canada and all around Europe- including extensively touring the UK. Steven has performed in large scale line-ups such as The Unusual Suspects to intimate solo spots in chamber concerts. He has appeared at some of the world’s most renowned folk festival stages including Heb Celt, Celtic Connections- at The Old Fruit Market in Glasgow- and Tonder festival in Denmark.

He has also taken the stage as a soloist with quite a few orchestral line-ups including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music’s Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and performed with Opera North in the U.K.’s first Opera to include bagpipes in the score. Other notable musical collaborations have included working with legendary Indian musician Rakesh Chaurasia, touring south east Asia with Judy Collins, as well appearing as a soloist with the Band of the Royal Marines and the NZ Army Band.

Steven is a founding member of Tryst, an ensemble of pipers/ composers exploring new writing techniques for a pipe core. Tryst have created a number of special performances, including appearing at the MG Alba Trad Awards, the annual piping concert at Celtic Connections, a special Celtic Connections concert featuring large scale commissions from each member of the ensemble, and the William Kennedy Piping Festival.

Steven’s main project RURA are a multi award-winning act and one of Scotland’s most sought-after folk bands. With three heralded albums, Rura affirm their position as one of Scotland’s leading instrumental groups. Over the years Rura have collected many of the coveted awards in the folk scene including “Up and Coming Act of the Year” at the MG Alba Traditional Music Awards 2012, nominees for ‘Folk Band of the Year‘ 2013 and were nominees BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for the coveted ‘Horizon‘ award and are this years winners of ‘Live Act of the Year’ and they were nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ in the MG Alba Traditional Music Awards.

Steven has also kept busy as a writer whose portfolio ranges form solo bagpipe repertoire through to scoring for full Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he took part in Creative Scotland’s ‘20for14’ project in which 20 writers across the arts were commissioned to create art which responded to Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Steven’s ‘Bystander’ project culminated in a suite of 5 pieces fusing impressionism with old and modern folk practices which was performed as part of Celtic Connections and released as an album.

He has also served as Musical Director of the Gordon Duncan Experience which is a trad big band project involving young people from various genres. Recently Steven lead the group in a live performance at the Scot’s Music Trad Awards as well as a celebration of Gordon Duncan’s work collaborating with Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton at the Perth Concert Hall.


Ailis Sutherland

Ailis is a piper and flute player from Kirriemuir, Angus. She started learning the pipes at the age of 9 and was taught by her father Alec Sutherland. Ailis joined her local pipe band in Brechin and started competing in the 2006 season in Grade 4A, progressing quickly with the band’s promotions to Grade 3B and Grade 3A in consecutive years. During her eight seasons with Brechin, Ailis enjoyed success in the solos as a junior and was a member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland from 2009 to 2015.

In 2014, Ailis joined Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band and won the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships under the direction of Ryan Canning in 2015. Later that year, she moved to South Uist to complete her third and fourth year studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands. There, she learned repertoire and wooden flute technique with Iain MacDonald (Glenuig) and started the folk band “Hecla” (MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards nominees). With Hecla and as a soloist, Ailis has been featured on most of BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC Radio Scotland’s traditional music programmes, including “Pipeline” and “Crunluath.” Ailis graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Applied Music in August 2018, before moving to Glasgow.

She has been lucky enough to perform at festivals and venues around the world including Noite Celta de Porcía (Asturias), National Celtic Festival (Australia), Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), Piping Live! Festival (Scotland) and in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Ailis is in demand as a piping and whistle tutor at Fèis Bharraigh (Barra), Fèis Tìr a Eòrna (North Uist) and Fèis Rois (Ross-shire) as well as being one of the smallpipes tutors at Scots Music Group in Edinburgh. Since joining the National Piping Centre team in 2019, Ailis has taught on the Young Stars Schools, the Adult Gathering, Study Abroad programmes at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, the Oman Military and Police Force training courses as well as delivering general one-to-one and group lessons.


Finlay MacDonald

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 led him to the post of “Head of Piping Studies” at the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2020 he was appointed to the role of Director of Piping at The National Piping Centre where he continues to inspire and develop the very best of 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


David Wilton

David Wilton started learning at the age of 6 under the instruction of P/M Willie Whyte in Montrose R.B.L. Pipe Band. He soon begun solo piping lessons with Walter Drysdale, competing successfully in the junior solos circuit until progressing into the senior level at 17. David has enjoyed solo success over the years; most recently winning the first Capt MacLellan Memorial Piobaireachd medal in the P/A grade; P/A Highland and Island Piobaireachd competition in Oban and the A Grade Rams Horn Snuff Mull Piobaireachd competition in London.

Previously he has placed 3 times in the silver medal at Oban and Inverness before moving up to the Gold medal. David has won the former winners March, Strathspey and Reel Competition at the Scottish Pipers Association competition and has won a prize on every occasion that he has been invited to the Uist and Barra competition as well as continuing to be a force on the Scottish Highland Games Circuit, winning many aggregate titles over the years.

David has a long running pipe band career playing with City of Brechin Pipe Band, Drambuie Kirkliston Pipe Band, The Clan Gregor Society Pipe Band and ScottishPower Pipe Band and Halifax Citadel Pipe Band. During his time he has been part of 2 World Championship winning bands and has 2 Champion of Champions titles amongst other titles. Currently, this is David's first year as Pipe Major of Grade 2 Lomond and Clyde Pipe Band. 

As well as being one of Scotland’s leading pipers, David has, in parallel with his piping career, enjoyed a successful Highland Dancing Career. He has 192 major championship titles including 7 World Championships, 10 Commonwealth, 13 British Championships and has won championships in Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. David retired from dancing as the reigning World Champion and had only been beaten 3 times in his senior career, finishing 2nd each time. He is one of the most sought after dance pipers and lecturers in the field, regularly travelling the world imparting his knowledge of music and dance.

In 2011, David graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with 1st Class honours in Scottish Music – his principal study being the bagpipes with other studies in guitar, whistles and border pipes. During his time at the RSAMD he excelled in course modules such as techniques of teaching, which looked at teaching methods for all ages including children and adults with learning difficulties. As well as a full time instructor of the National Piping Centre, David assists in the co-ordination of CLASP competitions with Margaret Dunn and is on the Board for Piping and Drumming Qualifications.


Alisdair McLaren

Alisdair is from Perth, Western Australia. He began piping at Trinity College, Perth at the age of 13 where he also received tuition from local pipers June Corcoran, John MacMurchie and Malcolm Brown. In 1996 which was his final year of high school, he was promoted to Pipe Major of the Trinity College Pipes & Drums where he led the band to various juvenile championship wins in Western Australia. In the same year he was also a member of the Grade 3 Armadale City Pipe Band when they won the Australian & South Pacific Pipe Band Championships.

Alisdair joined Western Australia Police Pipe Band (WAPOL) in 1997 and was a part of a very successful period for the band winning the 1998 Grade 2 World Championships, 2001 Grade 1 American Championships and a 10th place at the 2004 World Championships Grade 1.

In 2005 whilst still living in Perth, Australia, Alisdair became the first fly in guest player for the world renowned Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, 12 times winners of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Associations World Pipe Band Championship. In 2006 Alisdair was appointed to the position of Pipe Major of the Western Australia Police Pipe Band which he held for 12 months before relocating to Glasgow in October 2007.

Alisdair is also an accomplished solo piper having won many prizes throughout Australia. At the end of 2008 he joined the ranks of the 11 time World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band where he has won every Major title including the Scottish, British, European, Cowal, Ulster, All Ireland and World Pipe Band Championships. In 2011 and 2013 Alisdair was a part of the band that completed the “Grand Slam” winning all 5 major championships in one season including the World Pipe Band Championships.

In 2018 Alisdair was appointed Pipe Sergeant of the Glasgow Police Pipe Band where he is currently developing his skills as a leader of one of the UK’s premier pipe bands.

Outside of the competition arena Alisdair is also the Pipe Major of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s house pipe band, The Pipers Trail and has lead the band throughout the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in both 2017 and 2018. In 2017 he was very honoured to have been selected to perform as the lone piper for one of the shows. As a part of the Pipers Trail Alisdair has led the band at the Musikfest Der Bundaswehr, Dusseldorf, Germany 2017 & 2018 and also at the Norsk Militaer Tattoo, Oslo, Norway 2018.

Aside from  piping Alisdair is a keen Triathlete having raced in many events throughout Western Australia and Scotland. Since 2014 Alisdair has completed the Ironman UK 70.3, Ironman Edinburgh 70.3, Ironman Wales, Ironman Western Australia and twice raced Challenge Roth in Germany. Recently,  Alisdair completed Ironman Austria which took place in the beautiful town of Klagenfurt.


Margaret Houlihan

Margaret began learning the pipes at age 8 and was initially taught by her father Con Houlihan and Stephen Power (ex Scots Guards).

She moved to Scotland in 1998 to attend 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, under P/M Robert Mathieson, and with them won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 1 in 2000.

Margaret returned as Pipe Major of her local home band, Cullen, in 2006 and in 2007 the band won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 3B. The band progressed to grade 2, where they won the All Ireland Pipe Band Championships in 2013.

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.

Margaret has competed regularly around the Scottish Highland Games circuit and at the Argyllshire Gathering, London and the Northern Meetings. She has also competed in many knockout competitions through-out Scotland. Here are some of her prizes to date include:

  • 1st MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd (22 and under) Argyllshire Gathering 1999
  • 1st B Grade March, Argyllshire Gathering 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
  • 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
  • Islay Inn Knockout Winner 2011
  • Piping for Pints Knockout, Aberdeen 2013
  • Scots Guards Club Knockout Winner 2014

Captain (Retired) Stuart D Samson MBE

Stuart Samson was born in Laurencekirk and has been playing the pipes since the age of 8. He enlisted into the Army in 1978, as a junior piper and joined the Drums and Pipes of The Gordon Highlanders in 1980. He was appointed Pipe Major of the Gordon Highlanders from 1990 – 1994 and then went on to carry out several Pipe Major appointments including the Pipe Major of the Highlanders and the Warrant Officer Class One Senior Pipe Major at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming. 

He was commissioned in 2002 and was appointed the Director of the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming in April 2003. He was responsible for providing all the structured musical training for pipers and drummers in the British Army as well as advising the Higher Command and Commanding Officers regarding Pipe Band matters. 

During this time he was also responsible as the Director of Army Bagpipe Music, for coordinating the musical programme and display for the Massed Pipes and Drums at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He has considerable experience in this field having first performed in the Tattoo in 1979 and many times thereafter as a piper and Pipe Major. 

Stuart has also been successful on the solo piping circuit over the years, winning the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1988 and being placed second in the Gold Medal in both Inverness and Oban in 1995 and 1998 respectively, gaining an invitation to the Glenfiddich Championships in 1998. 

Stuart completed his Army service in April 2008 having served 30 years and was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June of that year in recognition for services to Army Piping and a distinguished career. Stuart is currently a part time Instructor at the National Piping Centre teaching on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland BA Scottish Music – Piping Degree. In addition to this Stuart is also the Director of Music for the Massed Pipes and Drums at the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland, which takes place annually in July.

Stuart Samson is not available for lessons and teaches only on the BMus Piping Degree. 


Clare Lynas

Clare Lynas started piping at the age of seven in her local pipe band, Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia with PM Bob Martin. Throughout her piping career she has received tuition from Ian Speirs, Ian MacFadyen, Tom Speirs and most recently Roddy MacLeod MBE.

An experienced Grade 1 piper, Clare has played with ScottishPower, 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel and is a current member of Lomond and Clyde pipe band.

Clare enjoyed a successful solo piping career in the junior circuit gaining entry in to the Silver Medal aged 18. She was a student of The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music based in Plockton, after which she went on to complete an undergraduate degree in Classical Music at Edinburgh Napier University graduating with First Class Honours. Before starting at the National Piping Centre, she gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Her performance background includes piping at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, finale soloist at the Norwegian Military Tattoo and playing an own composition, commissioned by Alexander McCall Smith, at St. Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh University. Clare’s vast experience ranges from solo piping, pipe bands and folk ensembles playing whistles, clarinet and piano.


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. In 2016 the Spirit of Scotland reformed with Roddy at the helm once more, with lead drummer Jim Kilpatrick. They competed at all 5 major championships, winning prizes at British, UK and European Championships, and qualifed for the final of the World Pipe Band Championships, finishing 8th overall. 

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.

Achievements Include:

  • 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 (5 times), MSR winner (twice), Piobaireachd winner (10 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 (7 times);
  • Silver Chanter (7 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);

Recordings include:

  • 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

Finlay Johnston

Finlay began learning the pipes at the age of 8 with his Grandfather, Alastair Sinclair, during a summer spent with him at his home on the Isle of Tiree. He began receiving lessons from Ronnie McShannon shortly afterwards and continued to do so since.

Finlay has been surrounded by piping his whole life. His mother, Anne Johnston (nee Sinclair) was a very successful solo piper, being the first woman to win the Silver Medal. His father (Tommy Johnston) was also a successful pipe band drummer and played under Leading Drummer Alex Duthart.

Finlay has played in several pipe bands over his career, most recently with Inveraray & District under Pipe Major Stuart Liddell during their rise from Grade 2 to the top end of Grade 1. He played in The Spirit of Scotland Pipe band under Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod.

In 2020 Finlay was appointed to the role of Head Piping Teacher at The National Piping Centre.

Prior to joining The National Piping Centre, he worked as a reed maker and is a time-served Mechanical Engineer.

Some of Finlay’s main results include:

  • Glenfiddich Overall Winner 2018 & 2019
  • Donald MacLeod Memorial Overall Winner 2019
  • Uist and Barra Overall Winner 2019
  • Northern Meeting Clasp 2016
  • Northern Meeting Gold Medal 2015
  • Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medal 2012
  • Northern Meeting Silver medal 2006

John Mulhearn

John's piping career began in earnest at the age of nine, under the watchful eye of his father, Brian, and former double Gold Medallist and Pipe Sergeant of Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, Angus J. MacLellan. Alongside close attention to the technical intricacies of the chanter and pipes, a deep appreciation for the music and traditions was instilled at an early age. This rigorous grounding has gone on to influence what has become a wide and varied career as a professional piping teacher and performer.

As a teacher, John's first experiences were gained at Glasgow's College of Piping as an evening class and summer school instructor. This formative experience gave an early insight into the wide variety of ages, backgrounds and learning needs of piping students. Since 2008 John has been a full time member of the National Piping Centre's teaching faculty. The diversity of students attending individual lessons, courses, summer schools, workshops, seminars and online courses at the National Piping Centre, at home and abroad, has enabled John to develop a thoughtful, intuitive and responsive approach to teaching. Equally comfortable teaching the complete basics of holding the practice chanter, through to expressing the nuances of piping's classic repertoire, or mentoring pipers in search of a new approach to their playing, John's teaching style and experience caters for the individual needs of each student. In addition, as a holder of the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board SCQF Level 8 certificate John is an approved examiner for all PDQB examinations. In 2020 he completed his Masters in piping studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was appointed the Head of Piping Studies, the BMus degree course in Traditional Music – Piping run by The National Piping Centre and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

As a performer and composer/arranger John's background is varied, showing an equally deep appreciation for the competitive traditions of solo piping and pipe bands as for more contemporary forms of expression. In terms of solo competition John has been a successful competitor on the annual highland games circuit from a young age, winning many awards over the years and in 2012 was runner-up in Highland Society of London's Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering, one of solo piping's most prestigious competitions. Having been involved in a number of pipe bands since the age of twelve John is currently a member of the 'all-star' Grade 1 band Spirit of Scotland. It is in electronic music production that John has been able to stretch his creativity and find new avenues for exploring traditional music, with a number of critically acclaimed releases. John is also a founding member of The Big Music Society, a multifaceted project with the express aim of helping to foster new and creative approaches the piping's 'classical' tradition, Ceol Mor.


Wilson Brown

Wilson is originally from Crieff, Perthshire, where he started piping at the age of 8, taught by the late P/M John MacKenzie Dunblane. He received tuition from him for the next 28 years.

Wilson played for the local Strathearn Pipe Band in Grade 4, before joining the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band where he enjoyed success in Grade 2 and 3. Having joined Strathclyde Police in 1982, Wilson was a member of the police pipe band winning the Grade 1 World Championship on 5 occasions. He later became a member of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band.

Wilson was a police officer for 30 years before retiring from the force in 2012. He was a Chief Inspector and was the Area Commander responsible for delivering policing in East Ayrshire. One of the highlights of his career was as a member of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Bid Team where he was responsible for the security planning.

Wilson has a BA in Police Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Event Management from Glasgow Caledonian University

In his solo career, Wilson won the Silver Medal, A Grade Strathspeys and Reels and the Gold Medal at the Northern Meetings. He retired from competitive piping in 1996 to focus on his police career. In 2016 he returned to the competition circuit where he competed in the Clasp at the Northern Meeting for the first time.

On retiring from the police, he worked as a part time instructor at the NPC teaching a range of students working towards SCQF qualifications.In 2016, he became a full time instructor, he holds a level 8 SCQF and is an approved assessor. He is a member of the PDQB and is the PDQB Training Co-ordinator for the NPC.


Dan Nevans

A native of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in Scotland, Dan was first introduced to piping by his father John before receiving lessons from Bob McFie, Jim Semple, Logan Tannoch, Pipe Major James Wark, Donald MacPhee and William J Morrison.

Dan was one of the first members of The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and holds an honours degree in Applied Music from The University of Strathclyde.

In September 2005 Dan joined then Robert Wiseman Dairies’ Vale of Atholl Pipe Band and began his Grade One career. From 2010 to 2019, Dan was a member of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, winning the world pipe band championships in 2015. After a year as part of the management team at The Glasgow Police Pipe Band, Dan has taken a hiatus from pipe bands to concentrate on writing a book and recording original music for an album.”


Ross Ainslie

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra – of which he is a founding member – Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Ali Hutton, Jarlath Henderson, Charlie Mckerron, India Alba and has performed with Kate Rusby, Blue Rose Code, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Capercaillie, Shooglenifty, Carl Barat, Papon, Karsh Kale, Flook, Breabach, Soumik Datta, Tim Edey, Patsy Reid and Hamish Napier.

Born in Perthshire in 1983, Ross began his career as a member of the Perth and District Pipe Band, before joining the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, where he was mentored by piper Gordon Duncan. Hugely influenced by Gordon’s fearlessly innovative spirit and groundbreaking compositions, Ross began exploring his own abilities as a composer and writing his own tunes, and in 2002 he was a finalist in the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition.

Ross has 3 solo albums to date Wide Open in 2013, Remembering in 2015 and Sanctuary in 2017, he is currently working on his 4th which is due out in spring 2020.

Prestigious industry recognition has come in the form of a multitude of awards,

Won Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Ali Hutton in 2017 and Nominated for the same award in 2018.
Nomination for Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2013, 2016 and 2018.
Nomination for Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Jarlath Henderson in 2014.
He’s also received various awards at the Scots Trad Music Awards,
Nomination for Instrumentalist of the year in 2010.
Nomination for Live Act of the year with Jarlath Henderson in 2008 and with Treacherous Orchestra in 2009 and 2010.
Nomination for Album of the year in 2013.
Treacherous Orchestra won Album of the year in 2015
Ross was also Composer of the year in 2015.
His debut album ‘Wide Open’ was voted 9th out of 50 Top Scottish Albums of 2013 in the Sunday Herald.


Willie McCallum

Willie is a native of Campbeltown, where he learned piping primarily from his uncles Ronald and Hugh and P/M Ronald McCallum, Piper to the Duke of Argyll.  His roots go right back to the early days of piping competition and his 4 times great grandfather, John MacAlister, won the Prize Pipe in 1782.

This season has seen Willie involved in the normal circuit of competition where he won some of the major events at the Metro Cup NY, Donald MacLeod Memorial, Springbank Invitational as well as major prizes at Inverness and Oban. His most recent success was winning the MSR contest at the Glenfiddich for the 8th time.

Some other notable career wins are the Gold Medals at Inverness and Oban, Senior Piobaireachd Oban (3), Bratach Gorm (4), Silver Chanter (3), Former Winners MSR Oban (5), Former Winners MSR Inverness (4), P/M Donald MacLeod Memorial (9), Springbank Invitational (9), Dan Reid Memorial (7), Donald MacDonald Quaich (3), Former Winners MSR London (5).

He runs his own piping business, Willie McCallum Piping, which involves teaching, as well as selling bagpipes, being consultant to bagpipe maker McCallum Bagpipes Ltd, in Kilmarnock and similarly involved at Bannatyne Ltd, Pipe Bag maker, working on developing bags and moisture control devices.

His teaching career started in the early 1990s and since then he has been involved in teaching several champion pipers who have won Silver Medals, Gold Medals, Former Winners MSR, Clasps and the Silver Chanter.

Willie lives in Bearsden with his wife Christine and has two children, Hailey and Scott.


Andrew began learning the pipes at the age of 9 under the instruction of Pipe Major Archie Campbell at Strathendrick Pipe Band. He also received tuition from Jim Semple and Jim Wark.

Andrew has played in several pipe bands over his career, Black Bottle – PM Don Bradford, Boghall & Bathgate – PM Craig Walker, Clan Gregor – PM David Methven (Grade 2 World Champions), the 52nd Lowland Regiment – PM Gordon Walker and most recently with Lomond & Clyde - PM David Wilton.

In 2008 Andrew was Pipe Major of Dunbarton and District Novice Juvenile Pipe Band winning the Cowal Championships and coming second in the World Championships, winning the piping.

Andrew is also a music instructor for Stirling Council.


Iain is originally from Carlisle, Cumbria and started piping at 12yrs old receiving tuition from his local pipe band.

He joined the Scots Guards in 1984 completing his training at the Guards Depot in Pirbright. During this time he was taught by PMaj’s Dixie Ingram and Jimmy Banks at the Guards Depot Piping School where he completed his first Edinburgh Tattoo in 1985. Iain joined the 1st Battalion Scots Guards soon after and served with the Regiment for 26yrs, being posted in Pirbright, Germany (x2), Windsor, Edinburgh (x3), Wellington Bks in London, several tours of Northern Ireland and the Gulf War. He Served under PMaj’s Rodgers, MacInnes, Webster, MacKinnon, Donaldson and Selwood. During this time Iain played for most members of the Royal Family, as well as Presidents and Heads of State of several countries. He passed his Army Pipe Majors Course at Edinburgh Castle under the direction of Maj Gavin Stoddart MBE, BEM and WO1 Bruce Hitchins BEM in 1997, and was appointed Pipe Major of the Regiment in 2006 after a year as Pipe Sgt at the ASBM & HD.

Iain had may highlights during his Army career playing in and leading the band during tours and Tattoos all around the world, competitions, concerts and many a Beating Retreat and Trooping the Colour.

After leaving the Army in 2010, Iain worked for five years with CVQO an education charity delivering and assessing BTEC Music Diplomas. During this time he also became a volunteer with the Army Cadet Force and took a role as a PMaj Advisor for the Tri Service Cadet Force Pipes and Drums. In 2014 he took over the position as Chief Instructor/Training Officer, and was promoted to Captain in December of that year. This is a role that he continues in today.

Iain is a qualified PDQB Assessor up to Level 8, and holds the PDQB Tutor and Teaching Certificates. He currently sits on the PDQB board, and is the PMaj of the Scots Guards Association Pipes & Drums (Scotland).


Willie Morrison was born and brought up in Locheynart, South Uist, and learned his piping from his grandfather, Donald John Morrison.

At the age of 22, Willie left South Uist where he was a crofter/fisherman to move to Ayrshire where he found work in the Johnny Walker Whisky Distillery and became a member of their famous pipe band. At this time Willie traveled extensively as a representative piper for the company.

As well as being a prolific composer, Willie has excelled in the competition area, winning many prizes including: Former Winners March, Strathspey and Reel at the Argyllshire gathering, March Strathspey & Reel at the Glenfiddich Champioships, Strathspey & Reels, Jigs and Silver Medal at the Northern Meetings and The Piping Times Knockout Competition


Connor Sinclair is a piper from Crieff, Perthshire.

He started learning the Bagpipes from the age of 5, which led to an incredibly successful and varied piping career. An accomplished solo piper, Connor has won many prizes – including the Gold medal at the Northern meeting and winning the MSR at the Glenfiddich in 2019. Connor has also won the World Pipe Band Championships twice as a member of the Grade 1 Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, in both 2014 and 2016.

Having graduated with a degree in Scottish Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Connor focused on bagpipes, whistle and flute, although he also enjoys playing the guitar and mandolin.

Connor’s musical influences are hugely varied and come from being immersed in Scottish music, culture, and history

Photo Courtesy of Derek Maxwell Photography


Andrew Bova

Dr. Andrew Bova began his piping career at the age of 12 in Northwest Ohio under the tutelage of Richard Winslow and Iain Macey. He would go on to receive tuition from the late Alasdair Gillies, Jimmy McIntosh MBE, Andrew Carlisle, and Roddy MacLeod MBE. An avid bandsman, he has played in the Grade 1 Windsor Police Pipe Band, Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, and recently joined Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. Under the direction of Pipe Major Ryan Canning, Andrew was a member of the 2015 World Pipe Band Championship winning Shotts Pipe Band. In addition to his band career, Andrew has been a consistently successful solo competitor, having won prizes in the USA, Canada, and Scotland.

Andrew is an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, where he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honours) and a Master of Music, both in piping performance. In 2021 he was awarded his PhD from the University of St Andrews/The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His dissertation, Competitive Scottish Bagpipe Repertoire from 1947-2015: Convention, Change, and Innovation, explores the development of competition piping light music repertoire and the decision-making processes of competing pipers. Andrew has presented on his research at universities, academic conferences, and piping workshops; the latter being an influence of his belief in a holistic approach to piping education. As a part of this holistic approach, Andrew’s musical teaching method is heavily influenced by Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Today, Andrew is a piping teacher and Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board assessor for The National Piping Centre in Glasgow.

Andrew’s musical interests and influences extend beyond competitive piping and he has been involved in a number of concerts, recitals, and musical ensembles with performances throughout North America and Europe. He has collaborated with classical orchestras and chamber ensembles on new music premieres and, with his background in classical music, was the Musical Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Flute Choir and served a brief stint as the Assistant Conductor of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. Since 2008, Andrew has run a number of fundraiser concerts in the USA for Operation Smile, a charity which helps children born with cleft lips and palates, raising over $15,000 to date.


David Shedden

David, from Glasgow, started playing pipes at the age of 9. Learning first from his father, Stuart, he went on to have lessons at the National Piping Centre. David was fortunate enough to have many brilliant tutors including the late, great Donald MacPherson, whom many regard as the finest piper of the 20th century.

David graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in Scottish Music. It was while studying at the RCS he developed a love for composition and began playing the whistle.

As a teacher, David began his career leading various classes at the National Piping Centre while still at university. Since then, he has taught for both Falkirk and Glasgow City Councils within schools, as a tutor on the RCS juniors programme and at various workshops and events organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal. David is also an examiner for the SQA music exams.

As a piper, he has played at the highest level in pipe bands, playing with Grade 1 pipe bands such as Scottish Power, Boghall and Bathgate and the Spirit of Scotland. He enjoyed considerable success as a solo player in both Piobaireachd and light music and is now an in demand folk musician. David is currently the piper and whistle player in the award winning band ‘Assynt’ who have just recorded their second album and are hoping to start touring again after a pandemic induced hiatus.

Away from piping, David is a keen cyclist and is a self-confessed coffee nerd.

The National Piping Centre exists to promote the study of the music and history of the Highland Bagpipe.
Patron: His Majesty The King.
Founders: Sir Brian Ivory CVO CBE FRSE MA CA - Lady Oona Ivory DL MA ARCM FRSA - Sandy Grant Gordon CBE MA

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His Majesty The King, Patron

with Founders, Sir Brian and Lady Ivory and the Lord Provost Bob Winter on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Opening of The National Piping Centre.

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