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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

The National Piping Centre Policies

Here you will find all the policies of The National Piping Centre and associated projects.

Instrument Donations Policy

The NPC is committed to increasing diversity and inclusivity across our own activities and those of the wider community. By donating an instrument, you are further supporting this work by enabling us to provide instruments to future generations of pipers and other musicians, particularly those from less privileged backgrounds who may otherwise find the cost of a new instrument is a barrier to entry. Donations we receive are critical to supporting the continuation of our outreach work and the expansion of our instrument lease scheme. Download our full bagpipe donation policy and agreement for more information

Instrument Donation Policy & Agreement

The NPC Working Policies & Practices

NPC Computers and Electronic Communications Policy
NPC Donations Policy
NPC Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy
NPC Fair Work Action Plan
NPC Grievance Policy
NPC Online Safety Policy
NPC Prevention of Bullying and Harrassment
NPC Public Interest Disclosure (‘Whistleblowing’) Policy
NPC PVG and Disclosures Policy
NPC Social Networking Sites and Blogs Policy
NPC Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

You can see our full Safeguarding and Child Protection policy here

The National Piping Centre Privacy Policy

The National Piping Centre is committed to protecting your privacy. Any data that we may collect about you is used to deal with your account, promote goods and services or for market research purposes. We are committed to keeping your information confidential.This Privacy Notice explains in detail the types of personal data we may collect about you when you interact with us. It also explains how we’ll store and handle that data, and keep it safe.

We know that there’s a lot of information here, but we want you to be fully informed about your rights, and how the The National Piping Cnetre uses your data. We hope the following sections will answer any questions you have but if not, please do get in touch with us.

It’s likely that we’ll need to update this Privacy Notice from time to time so come back and check it whenever you wish.

1. Who We Are

1. Who we are

1.1 We are The National Piping Centre, a company incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC139271 and having our registered office address at 30-34 McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.

1.2 We are a controller for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and related data protection legislation in relation to all our teaching and education services.

1.3 Where you are engaged as a performer, the controller is Glasgow International Piping Festival Limited, a company incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC256248 and having its registered office address at 30-34 McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.

1.4 Where you purchase any goods from our shops, the controller is The Piping Centre Trading Limited, a company incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC162342 and having its registered office address at 30-34 McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.

2. How to contact us

2. How to contact us

2.1 If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact us using the details set out below stating that the correspondence is with regard to data protection. Initial enquiries should be directed to The Director of Administration as follows:

  • By post: 30-34 McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.
  • By phone: 0141 353 0220
  • By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.2 You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

3. Privacy Information

3. Privacy Information

3.1 We are committed to protecting your personal data and your privacy. This privacy notice aims to give you information on how we collect and process your personal data through your use of our websites https://www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/, www.pipinglive.co.uk, www.thebagpipeshop.co.uk and other related websites we operate ("Websites"), including any personal data that you may provide through our Websites, where we have a contract in place with you (please note that separate terms and conditions may also be applicable here) and through your other communications and interactions with us.

3.2 It is important that you read this privacy notice when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your personal data.

3.3 It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

3.4 This version of our privacy notice was last updated on March 2019.

4. To whom does this privacy notice apply?

4.To whom does this privacy notice apply?

4.1 This privacy notice applies to:

4.1.1 all individuals who visit our Websites and provide personal data to us through the Websites;

4.1.2 all individuals who use our education services;

4.1.3 all individuals who make a donation to us;

4.1.4 all individuals who visit, hire or stay at our properties;

4.1.5 all individuals who use our online shop or any of our shops;

4.1.6 all individuals who attend our events; and

4.1.7 all individuals who are our business contacts where you or your organisation supply goods or services to us, provide professional services, have expressed an interest in us or have any other business relationship with us.

4.2 This privacy notice does not apply to employees, workers or other staff of The National Piping Centre or any of its associated companies.

5. Information about our Websites

5. Information about our Websites

5.1 Our Websites may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and we are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our Website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.

5.2 Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

5.3 You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of the Websites may become inaccessible or not function properly.

6. About the personal data that we collect and process

6. About the personal data that we collect and process

6.1 "Personal data", or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed ("anonymous data").

6.2 We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:

6.2.1 Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender;

6.2.2 Contact Data includes billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers;

6.2.3 Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details;

6.2.4 Transaction Data includes details about payments to and from you and other details of products and services you have purchased from us;

6.2.5 Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access the Websites;

6.2.6 Profile Data includes your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses;

6.2.7 Usage Data includes information about how you use our Websites; and

6.2.8 Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.

6.3 We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

6.4 We may process the personal data of your children in the course of providing services to you. Please note that our legal basis for processing your child's personal data is our legitimate interest in providing services to you. If we would like to use your child's personal data for promotional purposes or on our Websites then we will seek your consent for this (where your child is under 12 years old).

6.5 If you are engaged as a performer then we will require to use your image in accordance with the agreement you sign. Our legal basis for processing your image is contractual.

6.6 We may also collect, use and share "Aggregated Data" such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific feature of our Websites. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice

7. How is your personal data obtained?

7. How is your personal data obtained?

7.1 We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

7.1.1 Direct interactions. You may give us your personal data by filling in forms on our Websites or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you: purchase a product through our Websites or from our shops; create an account on our Websites; request marketing or other information to be sent to you; register for one of our events; sign up, or sign your child up for one of our courses or any tuition service; visit, hire or stay at our properties; you or your organisation negotiate and/or enter into a contract with us; you or your organisation provide services or products to us or your or your organisation receive services from us; enter a competition, promotion or survey; make a donation to us; you provide us with your business card; or give us some feedback.

7.1.2 Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our Websites, we may automatically collect Technical Data and Usage Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, and other similar technologies.

7.1.3 Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources as set out below: Contact, Financial and Transaction Data from providers of technical, payment and delivery services; Identity and Contact Data from publicly availably sources such as social media (such as LinkedIn or Twitter), Companies House and the Electoral Register based inside the EU; or Technical Data and Usage Data (relating to the use of our Websites) from analytics providers or search information providers.

8. How we use your personal data

8. How we use your personal data

8.1 We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

8.1.1 where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you;

8.1.2 where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests; or

8.1.3 where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

8.2 Generally we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending direct marketing communications to you via email or text message.

9. Purposes for which we will use your personal data

9. Purposes for which we will use your personal data

9.1 We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so.

9.2 Please note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact us if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.


Type of data

Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest

For us to perform our contractual rights and obligations including:

(a) Manage payments, fees and charges

(b) Collect and recover money owed to us

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Financial

(d) Transaction

(a) Performance of a contract with you

(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests

To manage our relationship with you which will include:

(a) Notifying you about changes to our terms or privacy policy

(b) Asking you to leave a review or take a survey

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Profile


(a) Performance of a contract with you

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

(c) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how customers use our products)

To administer and protect our business and our Websites (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data) 

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Technical

(d) Usage

(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

To use data analytics to improve our Websites, products/services, customer relationships and experiences

(a) Technical

(b) Usage

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of customers for our products and services, to keep our Websites updated and relevant and to develop our business).

10. Failure to provide personal data

10. Failure to provide personal data

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with services). In this case, we may have to cancel a service you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

11. Marketing

11. Marketing

11.1 If you are an individual consumer, we will only process your Marketing and Communications Data where you have consented to receive such communication or you have contacted us directly to request specific information about our services. You can subscribe to such marketing communications, and you can adjust your marketing preferences at any time by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or unsubscribing through the link provided in any email from us.

11.2 If you represent another business, we may provide you with direct marketing communications where we feel that this may be relevant to your business (provided that you have not opted out of such communications). When we use your personal data for such purposes, we do so on the basis that it is in our legitimate interests to pursue direct marketing, provided that it constitutes fair processing of your personal data to do so.

11.3 You can also opt-out or unsubscribe from all or some of these marketing communications at any time by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

11.4 Where you opt out of receiving marketing communications, this opt-out will not apply to personal data provided to us for any other purpose. .

12. With whom do we share your personal data?

12. With whom do we share your personal data?

12.1 There may be circumstances in which we may also need to share your personal data with certain third parties (strictly on a confidential, business need-to-know basis). The third parties to which we may transfer your personal data include:

12.1.1 your business or organisation, for the purpose of providing our services to your business or organisation, or receiving products or services from your business or organisation;

12.1.2 service providers acting as processors who provide IT and system administration services;

12.1.3 professional advisers including lawyers, bankers, accountants, auditors and insurers who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services;

12.1.4 any relevant accreditation body or trade association;

12.1.5 any relevant regulatory authority or law enforcement agency, including HM Revenue & Customs, courts or tribunals who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances; or

12.1.6 third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.

12.2 We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

12.3 Any sharing of your personal data will only take place either where we are legally obliged to do so, where it is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or where it is in our legitimate interests to do so, including as follows:

12.3.1 to maintain network and information security;

12.3.2 to provide our services;

12.3.3 to develop and improve our services in order to remain competitive;

12.3.4 to establish, protect and defend our legal rights; or

12.3.5 to pursue our commercial objectives where this does not override your rights and freedoms as a data subject.

13. International transfers

13. International transfers

13.1 We generally do not transfer your personal data out of the European Economic Area (EEA) other than to Mailchimp or OPALS Open-source Automated Library System. However, whenever we are required to transfer your personal data out of the EEA (for example where a third party supplier is located outside of the EEA), we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring that appropriate safeguards are implemented, including any of the following:

13.1.1 we will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission (for further details, see European Commission: Adequacy of the protection of personal data in non-EU countries);

13.1.2 where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe (for further details, see, see European Commission: Model contracts for the transfer of personal data to third countries);

13.1.3 where we use providers based in the USA, we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Privacy Shield which requires them to provide similar protection to personal data shared between the European Union and the USA (for further details, see, see European Commission: EU-US Privacy Shield);

13.1.4 you have provided your explicit consent to the transfer of your personal data outside of the EEA; or

13.1.5 the transfer is necessary for the purposes of performing a contract between us and you (the data subject).

14. Automated decision making and profiling

14. Automated decision making and profiling

We do not use automated decision-making (including profiling) to make any decisions which would produce a legal effect or similarly significantly affect a data subject.

15. How long do we retain your personal data?

15. How long do we retain your personal data?

15.1 We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

15.2 To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

15.3 Personal data relating to individual customers will generally not be retained for longer than 7 years after conclusion of the relevant services unless such data is relevant to any legal, accounting or reporting requirements. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details about our retention periods.

16. Data security

16. Data security

16.1 We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. 16.2 We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and the Information Commissioner's Office of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

17. Your rights

17. Your rights

17.1 Your personal data is protected by legal rights, which include your rights to:

17.1.1 Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

17.1.2 Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

17.1.3 Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, following your request.

17.1.4 Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.

17.1.5 Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: if you want us to establish the data's accuracy; where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

17.1.6 Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party (data portability). We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

17.1.7 Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

17.2 If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact The Director of Administration using the contact details at section 2 above.

17.3 We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

17.4 You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

17.5 We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.


General Usage

The National Piping Centre does not collect data from anyone visiting general pages on our website. The data that we collect is information that you have agreed to submit. Although from time to time we may gather and publish, either internally or externally, general usage figures and statistics.

Online Shop

If purchasing from our online shop, there are certain items of information that we must collect. These include name, address, shipping address, e-mail address, telephone number and credit card details. This enables us to process your order and also to contact you in the event of any issues that may arise with the ordering process. This information is accepted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted pages. Purchaser’s e-mail addresses will be added to our own mailing list for any future offers and marketing. Users can unsubscribe to this at any time.


The National Piping Centre is not responsible for any sites that may link to our website, nor can we be responsible for the content of sites that we link to. While we have taken every precaution to examine the content of linked websites.


The National Piping Centre will never pass on customer’s personal information to third parties, unless required to do so by law. You have a right to ask for a copy of any information that we may hold about you, and to have inaccuracies changed accordingly. By using our site, you consent to The National Piping Centre’s information collection and use policy.

The site and its contents are provided on an as is basis without warranties of any kind.

All contents of the website are copyright to The National Piping Centre unless otherwise credited.

If you have any comments or queries about our policy, please e-mail us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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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