Monday, December 15, 2008

Limited Edition Autographed "Scottish Pipers" Book

Last year, I was thrilled to find out I made it in to Colin Baxter's new photo book Scottish Pipers. Colin is probably Scotland's most famous photographer, you've likely seen his great images of castles, glens, and mountains on calendars, postcards, and coffee table books.
I have obtained a limited batch of books autographed by Colin Baxter himself!

They are for sale until they are all gone. These would make a great gift for a piper or a fan of bagpipes or anything Scottish. The new book is his first on pipers and it has some great photographs.

Limited Edition Autographed Scottish Pipers Book

Here are a few images from the book. The cover (with mandatory Royal Stewart tartan and feather bonnet):

The title page (yours truly piping at Glenfinnan. A rare day of glorious sunshine!):

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ten New Tune Downloads!

I am excited to announce the addition of Ten New Tune Lesson Downloads available for instant download. The lessons are a complete learning solution, so you'll be able to learn these tunes faster than ever before. The lessons include a high quality mp3 recording of the tune, sheet music that perfectly shows how the tune should be expressed, a detailed audio lesson, and BONUS material.

This brings the complete list of Tune Lessons Downloads to seventy-four, including seventy of the best known piping tunes and four classic Piobaireachds.

The Tune Lesson Downloads complete collection includes:
• twelve 2/4 Marches
• seven 3/4 Marches
• ten 4/4 Marches
• five 6/8 Marches
• one 9/8 March
• twelve Slow Airs
• three Strathspeys
• two Reels
• seven Hornpipes
• nine Jigs
• two Other
• four Piobaireachds

The new batch of tunes includes:
• When the Battle's O'er
• King George V's Army
• The Minstrel Boy
• The Dawning of the Day
• The Barren Rocks of Aden
and more!

Check out the new tunes!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Vote for Bagpipe Revolution for Album of the Year!

Great news! PipesDrums, the web's most prominent bagpipe news site, has nominated Bagpipe Revolution for Album of the Year. This year the winner will be selected by popular vote, so I need your vote for my album!

Click here to vote for Album of the Year!!!

The album has been out for a few weeks and the great reviews have been rolling in.

"fantastic stuff... bloody great!"

"we were completely mesmerized... LOVE IT!"

"not only great piping but very unique."

"a really broad and entertaining approach."

"enjoyed all the tracks which is pretty amazing really."

"the track that really hit me was the Piobaireachd with the harmony."

Visit to read more reviews, listen to preview tracks, view artist and track details, see glimpses of the cover and artwork, and get your own copy of the CD.

Listen to the track 9, Evolution:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bagpipe Revolution has Arrived!

My new album, Bagpipe Revolution, has arrived. Check out the new website for more information on the CD, detailed artist notes, sample tracks, glimpses of the artwork, and how to order your very own copy of Bagpipe Revolution.

Listen to a sample track (Track 6 -- Jigs):

Take me to!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bagpipe Revolution on BBC's Pipeline

My new album, Bagpipe Revolution, has been over 2 years in the making, and will finally be ready for worldwide release later this month. When I was in Scotland this past August I had a nice conversation with Iain MacInnes, producer of BBC's bagpipe-themed radio program, Pipeline. I gave Iain a preview copy of the CD, and I was thrilled to find out that a track has been selected for this week's show.

Pipeline is the world's most popular bagpipe radio show. You can listen to the entire show online. Check out this week's playlist.  My appearance is about 35 minutes into the hour-long show.

Send email to to be notified when the CD is ready to ship!

In the meantime, here are a few photos of the CD artwork, by Toronto based graphic artist Tyler Fry (no relation to the drummer with the same name).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Home from Scotland!

I'm back from Scotland and excited to be back home and teaching my students. In the next few days, I'll be posting some more photos and stories from my trip, but in the meantime check out the list of some of my competitive achievements this year.

-42 top-six placings in solo competition, including 20 firsts and seconds.
-1st Place Open 'A' Piobaireachd Cowal Highland Gathering (The Glen Caladh Trophy) [first American Winner]
-1st Place United States Gold Medal Piping Championship [first two-time winner]
-1st Place Open Strathspey & Reel Birnam Highland Games
-1st Place Overall Points at Birnam Highland Games
-1st Place Open Strathspey & Reel Glenisla Highland Games
-1st Place Overall Glenisla Highland Games (P/M James McGregor Glenisla Challenge Trophy for Piper of the Day)
-1st Place Open Marches at Invergordon Highland Games
-1st Place Open Strathspey and Reel at Invergordon Highland Games
-1st Place Overall at Invergordon Highland Games
-1st Place Hornpipe & Jig at R.U. Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia Championships
-1st Place Overall at R.U. Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia Championships

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Yes. We did it! As a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, we were crowned World Pipe Band Champions last Saturday August 16 in Glasgow. For video and audio, please visit SFU Tube. It's very exciting, and after several years of placing 2nd and 3rd it's great to back on top of the world! "The Worlds" is the pipe band world's version of the Super Bowl -- the biggest event of the year and the most prestigious to win. The news story at pipes|drums.

The Worlds is one of the biggest events of the year in Scotland with over 20,00 spectators. You'll find plenty of video of the competition and the victory march of the champions on here on YouTube.

Here I am with the Championship Trophy (aka The Spike).

And the entire winning team.

Additional great news, Seattle's own Keith Highlanders Pipe Band placed 3rd in the Grade 4B category at the Worlds. I have taught and coached the Keith Highlanders for several years and watched their dedication and improvement. A local news story on the band.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New Book of Pipe Music

My composition, The Merry Wedding Hornpipe, has been published in Iain MacDonald's new book of pipe tunes, Along the Road.

I wrote the tune a few years ago for the wedding of my friends Colin & Inge Merry, and was very pleased to learn that Iain selected it for his long-awaited book of tunes.  Iain was a friend and student of the legendary piper and composer Donald MacLeod.  In this new book, Iain shares with the world several of Donald's previously unpublished compositions.  Donald is considered by many to be the greatest composer of pipe tunes.  He published six books of his own prior to his passing in 1982.  Donald's pipe tunes have become classics.  His strathspey Susan MacLeod (named for one of his daughters) was selected as the greatest pipe tune of all time by  So, the fact that this book brings new Donald MacLeod tunes to the light of day is an historical rarity and a remarkable event.  That my hornpipe composition was chosen for the collection is a true honor.

The Merry Wedding Hornpipe is also available from my Downloadable Tune Lessons.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scotland Bound!

In two weeks, I'll be in Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships and many other piping events. I'll post my full schedule shortly, but in the meantime here is a video from 2001 when we were World Champions...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New SFU Pipe Band Video and Audio

The SFU Pipe Band (of which I am a long-time member) has just launched a new website with exclusive audio and video of the band. Check it out at

Pipes|Drums had a nice little article about the launch of the new site.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Live from the Highland Games

Here's a video of my March, Strathspey & Reel from the Bellingham Highland Games.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Let the Games begin!

Summer is here and that means it's Highland Games season again. I will be performing at many of the local competitions this year. Comox, Victoria, and Bellingham have passed but many more remain. Coming up are:

Sons of Scotland Games - June 14
B.C. Games - June 28
Skagit Valley Games - July 12
Portland Games - July 19
Pacific Northwest Games - July 26-27

and then many, many more in Scotland (more info on those later).

Below is a photo from last weekend in Bellingham. The great shot was taken by my friend and piper and photographer Ken MacKenzie. Ken's bagpipe photo blog is Piperazzi (get it?)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bagpipe Revolution Show at Folklife - May 24

I will be performing at Northwest Folklife on Saturday May 24 at 12:20pm on the Fisher Stage.   My new CD will be hot off the presses and I will have copies for sale.

Here are some sample tracks from the new CD:

Folklife is one of the biggest and best folk music festivals in the world. And it's all totally FREE! (Donations accepted at the gate). It's at Seattle Center at the base of the Space Needle. If you've never been, you should check it out. Make a whole day of it, there are literally hundreds of performers on dozens of stages, indoors and out.

info on folklife:

folklife website:

official schedule of events, directions, etc:

I hope to see you there!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ten New Tune Lesson Downloads

I am excited to announce the addition of Ten New Tune Lesson Downloads available for instant download. The lessons are a complete learning solution, so you'll be able to learn these tunes faster than ever before. The lessons include a high quality mp3 recording of the tune, sheet music that perfectly shows how the tune should be expressed, a detailed audio lesson, and BONUS material.

This brings the complete list of Tune Lessons Downloads to sixty-four, including sixty of the best known piping tunes and four classic Piobaireachds.

Check out the new tunes!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Live at Benaroya Hall

Here's a video of me and Jack Lee playing together at Seattle's Benaroya Hall in January 2006 for the annual Masters of Scottish Arts Concert.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

CD Sneak Peek

The Bagpipe Revolution is coming soon...

I've posted a few tracks from the new CD here at
(Link takes you to the MySpace page with the tracks.)

Join the BagpipeRevolution group on Facebook!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another Album Preview

A second little preview from the upcoming album...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bagpipe Equipment Survey

I've created a little survey to learn more about the types of equipment that pipers use. Bagpipes, chanters, reeds, bags, etc.

Click Here to take Bagpipe Equipment survey

UPDATE:  I will have a prize drawing for a limited edition autographed copy of the photo book Scottish Pipers by renowned photographer Colin Baxter.  Read this post about my photo in this beautiful book.  Winner of the drawing gets a copy autographed by the photographer and yours truly.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Album Preview

A little preview from my soon to be released solo studio album...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life lessons from learning the bagpipes

I recently sent a note to the parents of one of my young piping students describing some of the many life lessons a person can learn from learning the pipes.

1. the ability to learn to perform under pressure (defined as any situation where your actions can directly affect the outcome)
2. the ability to take criticism without taking it personally (despite our focus on the positives, much of learning music is about what not working so well)
3. learning to meet deadlines, so you have to work hard even when you don't feel like it
4. learning to take disappointments in stride (when the outcome is determined by stranger, i.e., competition judge, you learn that some things in life are arbitrary)
5. learning to get back up once you've feel knocked down, instead of letting it keep you down.
6. learning to set long term goals and managing your practice schedule to meet those goals by finding more immediate short term goals.
7. learning to focus on many different things at one time (there's so many things involved in playing an instrument: timing, hand position, expression, unison, dynamics).
8. learning that positive thinking often leads to positive results; negative thoughts can have a self-fulfilling element to them.
9. learning that progress is not linear; sometimes you learn a lot of things quickly, othertimes you go through plateaus where things feel stagnant.
10. you learn to be good at something!

I've added to this list over the years, some are my own ideas, some are gathered from others. A great book to help stay motivated to practice is Not Until You've Done Your Practice by Philip Johnston. It's geared toward kids, but there are great tips for pipers of any age.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Album Coming Soon!

As you might already know, I've been working hard on my first solo studio album. It has been a tremendous experience and we are in the final stages. The music has been recorded, the tracks have been mixed, and the album has been mastered. There are a few details to be worked out with the cover art and package design and the album will be off to the printer.

Here are a few photos from the studio.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2007: What a great year!

I'm a few days late, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May it be filled with lots of exciting travels, great new tunes, and fun experiences.

I've updated my list of prizes from the past year. There were some real highlights.

Check them out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Double Gold!

Over the weekend I was in Kansas City for the annual Winter Storm piping festival and U.S. Gold Medal piping competitions. I'm thrilled that I won the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd for the second time. I won the first Gold Medal back in 2004 and now I'm the first piper to win it twice.

You can watch my winning performance thanks to the modern day miracle of YouTube.

Part 1:

Part 2: