The World Online Piping & Drumming Championships judges are selected from the best pipers and drummers from around the world. We're proud to say that our judges are all top-notch players with wide-ranging experience and expertise as performers, teachers and adjudicators.
Our Spring 2021 competition featured the following judges:
Alastair has won Gold Medals at the The Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games and The Northern Meeting Piping Competition as well as other notable successes such as the Metro Cup Piobaireachd, Strachan Memorial MSR, London and the A Grade March, Strathspey and Reel at the Northern Meeting.
Alastair was the Pipe Sergeant of 12-time World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. He has won every major pipe band competition including ten World Championships under the direction of P/M Richard Parkes, MBE.
Alastair is also a director of our longtime top-level sponsor, RG Hardie & Co Bagpipes, crafters of premium quality bagpipes. He plays a set of PH05H hand-chased Peter Henderson bagpipes with matching blackwood pipe chanter.
Andrew Donlon is one of the United States’ top competitive pipers. He has been a student of Willie McCallum since 2012, following many years of early tuition from Chris Hamilton. As a bandsman, Andrew has played with the New York Metro Pipe Band, Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band and has served as Pipe Major of the MacMillan United Pipe Bands since 2015.
In the solo realm, Andrew was promoted to the professional ranks by the EUSPBA for the 2014 season and has been steadily taking prizes since. Some of his prizes of note include the Silver Medal at Kansas City, the B-Grade Overall at London as well consistent placings at Oban and Inverness.
Brendon is one of New Zealand’s top solo pipers. He has competed extensively in New Zealand and Scotland, winning the 2003 Northern Meetings Inverness Silver Medal and the A Grade MSR, Northern Meetings Inverness 2010, multiple NZ championship titles, the CNP Gold medal (NZ), Clasp to the CNP Gold medal (NZ) (twice), Silver Chanter, Silver Clasp, Claidhmor Invitational (five times), and Targe (for Piobaireachd, four times). He has also placed in many major Scottish events, including the Braemar Gold Medal events, Dunvegan medal (Skye), and London and Argyllshire Gathering.
Last year he was crowned the World Online Solo Open Champion in the professional category across three events: MSR, Hornpipe and Jig, and Piobaireachd, a title that he defended three months later. He also represented NZ for the first time at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in solo piping until the cancellation of the event due to COVID-19. Brendon is also heavily involved with the Hamilton Caledonian Pipe Band, both Grade 2 and 4 bands (supporting his Pipe Major wife, Meleana.) He is the principal tutor for the recently formed Lewis Turrell Memorial Juvenile Pipe Band, and was an inaugural member of The National Youth Pipe Band of New Zealand in 1990. He has also been a guest at the World Pipe Band Championships with The Pipe Band Club (Australia) and the Canterbury Caledonian Society Pipe Band.
Brendon is also an active teacher with a particular passion for Piobaireachd. All his accolades and experience mean he's become a sought-after solo and RNZPBA judge.
Callum resides in Dollar, Scotland where he tutors students at the prestigious private Dollar Academy. In a professional capacity he is a much sought-after and highly rated instructor prominent around the world, recently having been invited to teach in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.
He was introduced to bagpipes by Bert Smith at the age of seven whereupon he took up the chanter and progressed through the junior ranks, winning all of the Major Junior prizes. These included multiple gold medals at Cowal Highland Gathering, Scottish Junior Championship titles and a debut win of the MacGregor Memorial at age 14. Progressing to the Senior Grades at age 15, he finished second in the Piobaireachd section of the Duncan Johnstone Competition, his inaugural senior event. Throughout his Senior years, Callum has been tutored by Tom Speirs and Willie MacCalllum.
With regard to band history, Callum joined the Grade 1 Lothian & Borders Police at age 12, moving on to Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and Inveraray & District Pipe Band. He took a prominent role in each of these bands, helping them to win a total of four World Championship titles.
Callum has now progressed on to winning many of the most prestigious titles in the world of piping, including four Clasps at the Northern Meetings, two Gold Medals and The Silver Chanter.
Calum is currently the Pipe Sergeant of the Grade 1 Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band and is an A-Grade solo competitor. He has won prizes at the both the The Northern Meeting Piping Competition and The Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games.
He initially received tuition from Iain Simpson at George Watson's College, where he enjoyed great success in the Juvenile Grade. Calum joined Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia for the 2014 season and served as Pipe Major of the Novice Juvenile band for three years.
In his solo career, Calum has received Piobaireachd tuition from Tom Speirs and has won numerous prizes including the Open Jigs and B Strathspey & Reel at the Argyllshire Gathering, the CPA B Piobaireachd League. He was also a prize winner in the A Strathspey & Reel at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2019. Calum is a former Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and has played at events internationally including Japan, Canada, the USA and across Europe. He also appeared in the music video for the The Piano Guys cover of Fight Song and was featured on BBC One's Antiques Road Trip.
Calum also holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and works for a consultancy in the railway industry.
Cameron lives in Nigg, Scotland. He was first taught the pipes at age nine by Niall Matheson at school and continued lessons with him until leaving for University in 2015. He received a Bachelor of Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tuition of Stuart Samson, Finlay MacDonald and Willie McCallum.
Cameron won the silver medal at Oban in 2017 and was runner up to the Gold medal at Inverness in 2018. In 2019, he also won the B grade March at Oban, the gold medal for Piobaireachd at Winter Storm and the Piobaireachd at the Inveraray Highland Games.
Cameron began teaching the pipes in the Ullapool and Gairloch schools in 2018 and moved to Dornoch, Lochinver and Kinlochbervie schools last year where he currently teaches.
Chris has regularly featured in the prize lists on the solo competition piping scene, with his most notable result being a Gold Medal win at the prestigious The Northern Meeting Piping Competition. He is now a senior judge for the Solo Piping Judges Association. Chris was appointed Pipe Major of the ScottishPower Pipe Band in 2006 and has led the band to the runner up spot at the World Pipe Band Championships in 2012 with consistent top six placings at all the major championships over the last fifteen years.
Chris was a full time instructor at the The National Piping Centre for fourteen years until 2014 when he launched his new company, Chris Armstrong Bagpipe Products, Ltd., which offers private tuition and manufactures X-TREME Bagpipe Products, including Drone Reeds and Armstrong Bagpipes.
Chris started drumming in P3 at age six at Mossley Primary School, where he also played recorder, handbells and euphonium. He graduated into the Monkstown Mossley Pipe Band in the winter of 1987, playing tenor. Chris's first contest was the 1988 Bicentennial Australian Championships.
Chris played with the "Monkeys" until 1995 and again when the band returned to competition in the early 2000s. He has also played with McNeillstown in the late '90s and West Midlands Police in 2005, before joining FMM for the 2006 season (initially on tenor but on bass after the first major of the 2007 season).
Chris's significant achievements include: winning the 1993 Grade 2 World Championships, the 1994 Grade 1 All Ireland Champion Drum Corps (while still in Grade 2) and a promotion to Grade 1 for the 1995 season with Monkstown Mossley, 38 Major championships with FMM, including seven World Championships (six on bass) two Grand Slams and a Sash. Chris retired from competitive band playing at the end of 2017 season to concentrate on work and spend time with his photographer wife, Amanda, young daughters Erin and Phoebe, and their Scottish Terrier, Mallory.
Ciaran Mordaunt is one of Ireland's most accomplished pipe band snare drummers. He has competed at the top levels, has an extensive teaching resume and is highly sought-after as an educator and adjudicator.
Drumming instructors that contributed to Ciaran's success include Alex Duthart, Tommy Merrigan, Frank Saunders, Sean (Bisto) Keogh and John Rea. Ciaran has dedicated many years of his life to playing with bands all over the country. Some of these include Fintan Lalor, St Lawrence Howth, Lord Edward's Own, Dunraven and several other bands. He has also recorded special tracks for The Chieftains and Sean O'Flynn and guested with the Irish National Symphony Orchestra.
Ciaran is the drumming principal for the Irish Pipe Band Association College, an examiner for the Advanced Certificate of the RSPBA, and is also an adjudicator for the IPBA, the RSPBA (Northern Ireland Branch), RSPBA (both as an overseas drumming adjudicator and an International ensemble adjudicator).
The scores that Ciaran has submitted are top-notch and are written with a very musical touch. His great knowledge and experience can clearly be heard in his drumming compositions!
Dani began her piping career in Saskatchewan, playing with the 96th Highlanders and learning from Hugh Fraser Sr., Gord Findlater and Grant Bunston. As a teenager, Dani continued on to the Strathfleet and City of Regina pipe bands and began having regular instruction with Iain and Barbara MacDonald. After completing high school she attended university in Vancouver, joined the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and was fortunate to win the World Pipe Band Championships in her first season! Since 1995, Dani is one of a few members of SFU to have played in all six World's wins.
Over her 26 years in SFU, Dani has competed with the band around the world and played in many concerts, from locations of Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Centre, the Sydney Opera House and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Dani teaches grades 6 and 7 in Burnaby, BC, and is a proud mom to two daughters, Erin and Megan.
Davey has played and competed for over 30 years, learning in Aberdeen, Scotland and now living in Wellington, New Zealand. He has played for numerous bands including the legendary Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, winning two World Championships in 2003 and 2005. In addition to band successes, he was the winner of the NZ Gold Medal for Piobaireachd in 2011. He is the current Pipe Major of the Wellington Red Hackle Pipe Band, moving them from Grade 4B to 2 in just five years. Davey has also been a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band based in Burnaby, British Columbia.
He currently works as a bagpipe teacher and performer. Davey is also the lead tutor of the CNI Youth Pipe Band and a tutor with the latest iteration of the The National Youth Pipe Band of New Zealand. He has also taught at the NZ Summer School and Piping Hot Summer Drummer in Canada many times. Davey also judges regularly when he is overseas in Canada and throughout NZ.
David is the leading drummer of the Grade 2 Winnipeg Police Pipe Band (2013 - present). He is also a former member of the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. During his five seasons with SFU, he was a winner of two World Pipe Band Championships and two World Drum Corps Championships. Before joining SFU, he spent five seasons with the Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band.
David holds a Master of Arts degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and works as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the Winnipeg Police Service.
David Hilder began his piping career at an early age with the Courtenay Legion Pipe Band, where he later was appointed Pipe Major. During his service to the Royal Canadian Legion he was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal. David went on to play with the Grade 1 City of Victoria Pipe Band under the direction of P/M James W. Troy and then the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band under P/M Terry Lee, winning back-to-back Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships.
David enjoyed a successful solo piping career under the tuition of Rene Cusson, James W. Troy and Jimmy MacMillan. David took over the Grade 2 Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band in 2000 as Pipe Major. The band made several successful trips to Scotland, including winning the Worlds qualifier on first attempt. After several second place finishes, P/M David Hilder led the band to win the Grade 2 World Pipe Band Championships. Following this win, David took over the Triumph Street Pipe Band. In the first season the band was undefeated and ended the 2007 season winning the Grade 2 North American Championships in Maxville. David had a very successful tenure as Pipe Major of the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band, including qualifying for the Grade 1 final nine times and winning the grade one qualifier twice.
David is a multi-album recording artist and has played several major concerts, including locations such as Carnegie Hall (with SFUPB), Copernicus Theatre in Chicago (with SFUPB), SEC Armadillo in glasgow (with DTSPB and FMM), the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 9with SPPB). David has also played with Carlos Nunez, The Chieftains, and the Piano Boys.
David is currently a member of the ScottishPower Pipe Band under the direction of P/M Chris Armstrong.
Dean started to learn the snare drum at the age of five and was taught by his father, Derek Smyth, who played with the RUC and Strathclyde Police Pipe Bands for over 30 years. His first band was Monkstown Mossley, tutored by James Laughlin in Grade 4b.
From there Dean went on to play with Cullybackey Pipe Band in Grade 4A, mentored by Adrian Hoy. He played in this junior band before progressing into the Grade 1 band in 2009. In 2012, Dean moved to play in Scotland for ScottishPower Pipe Band under the direction of P/M Chris Armstrong and L/D Barry Wilson, four-time world solo drumming champion. As of 2016, he joined Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band under the leadership of Richard Parkes, MBE and leading drummer Keith Orr, winning a number of major band and drumming championships, including two World Pipe Band titles in 2016 and 2018. In 2016 he was invited to be a guest player with the Western Australian Police Pipe Band and took part in the Australian National Championships in Sydney. The band won the Grade 1 competition, best drum corps and best dressed band under P/M James Murray and L/D Gareth McLees.
Dean also has many successes in the solo field, including various Ulster and All Ireland titles, now playing in the senior grade. His proudest achievement to date was placing second at the World Solo Drumming Championships in Glasgow, repeating this placing five times (and consistently staying in the top six between 2007-2013). Dean is also a fully qualified snare drumming instructor with SCQF Level 6.
Duncan Millar snare drummed in the House of Scotland Pipe Band in San Diego from 1983 to 1990, the Los Angeles Scottish Pipe Band in Huntington Beach, California from 1990 to 1997, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in Burnaby, Canada from 1997 to 2017, Canterbury Caledonia Pipe Band in Christchurch, NZ in 2014, the New Zealand Police Pipe Band in Wellington, NZ from 2015 and 2016, and the SAPA Pipe Band in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017.
Duncan won the World Pipe Band Championships four times, the World Drum Corps Championships four times, the New Zealand, Australian, North American, and South American Pipe Band Championships each one time, and appeared several times in the World Solo Drumming Championships final. Duncan was fortunate to play under the great lead drummers Robert Rez, Tom Foley, Joe Foley, J. Reid Maxwell, James Laughlin, Angus Crowe and Fernando Valles. Career highlights also include playing at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall and Port Moody Legion.
Duncan adjudicates drumming for the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, drumming and ensemble for the British Columbia Pipers’ Association, and other affiliated organizations.
Duncan lives in Vancouver, Canada where he is a partner in the cross-border firm Millar + Hayes U.S. Immigration and Business Lawyers, PC. He loves to cycle, hike, kayak and eat Branston pickle whenever possible.
Gary started his drumming career at the age of 11 with the Benoni High School Pipe Band in South Africa and was taught by Bruce Taylor. In 2000 he co-founded the Benoni Mac-Talla Pipe Band with Pipe Major Chris Macaulay. The band has gone on to enjoy great success both in locally in South Africa and internationally at the World Pipe Band Championships.
Between 2000 and 2005 Gary was a guest player with the Auckland & District Pipe Band from New Zealand. At the end of 2005 he made the move to Scotland and played with the ScottishPower Pipe Band under Leading Drummer Barry Wilson for two seasons before moving back to South Africa.
In 2014 Gary moved to Perth, Western Australia to take up a full time drumming position with the Western Australia Police Pipe Band. In 2015 the Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band appointed Gary as the Leading Drummer. Since taking the helm Gary has led the drum corps to two Grade 1 New Zealand National Drum Corps titles.
Gordon started his drumming career with the Boys Brigade. Shortly after, he joined his first competitive pipe band, the Knightswood Juv. P.B. After many successful years there, Gordon moved on to play with Grade 1 Pipe Bands, namely The Clan McRae Society P.B. Dumbarton & Dist. P.B., and the Glasgow Skye Association P.B, mostly in the capacity of Leading Drummer. In 1990 he rejoined the Dumbarton & Dist. P.B. in Grade 2 and commenced a structured learning program as well as creating a Nov. Juv. P.B. During Gordon's tenure with all of these bands, the drum corps were successful in winning at both Major and Minor Drumming Championships.
Gordon has been an RSPBA adjudicator for nearly forty years as a drumming and ensemble adjudicator, and has served as a member of the Adjudication Panel Management Board and Adjudicator Development Group. He has also been involved in a structured learning tuition program for children, and has taught bands both locally and in Europe. Gordon has also participated in workshops and teaching programs throughout Europe and South America. He is currently involved in the tuition of bands in both São Paulo, Brazil and the North Island of New Zealand. Gordon also teaches workshops on behalf of the RSPBA Grade 4 bands on March Playing Structure and M.S.R. Preparation and Presentation.
Gordon started piping at the age of eight and was tutored by double gold medalist Kenneth Macdonald. Some notable career prizes include:
- Argyllshire Gathering former winner for MSR, A Grade March, the Jig (two times) and Silver medal for Piobaireachd.
-Winner of the A grade MSR at the The Northern Meeting Piping Competition.
-Winner of the London Medallion former winners MSR competition, including the JB Robertson March prize and the John Mcfadyen Quaich. Winner of the Strachan MSR at the London competition.
-Two-time winner of the gold medal Piobaireachd competition at the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games Centre.
-Inaugural winner of the Captain John MacLellan Memorial competition.
-Winner of the Hornpipe and Jig at the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition and third in the MSR.
-Winner of the MSR, Hornpipe and Jig and Piobaireachd at the National Mod.
-Three-time winner of the World Pipe Band Championships with Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, including five Champion of Champion titles and a grand slam.
Gordon Parkes holds many drumming achievements from his thirty-year playing career, including a solo third-place championship in Senior All Ireland, a semi-final World Solo Drumming placement, and many band accolades, notably: forty-five major championship places, fourteen first places, two World Championships, two Supreme Champion of Championship titles, and one grand slam (all five majors in one year).
Gordon was a member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band for thirty years (including nineteen as leading drummer and Band Chairman/Chief Administrator), and served as Guest Lead Drummer for the City of Dunedin for two years.
Gordon worked as a coach/mentor for thirteen years in Florida and has been a RSPBA Adjudicator since 1990.
Greg began piping under the tutelage of Fergus Matheson and Airdrie Stewart at the age of nine, then under Donald Bain and Murray Henderson. He has had considerable success on the solo competition boards in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Scotland. Highlights of his solo piping career include Gold Medals at Oban and The Northern Meeting and three Clasps to the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting.
Greg joined the NZ Army from school, was educated at Duntroon in Australia and graduated into the Royal New Zealand Engineers. He left the army in 1998 to take up the position of Coordinator for National Schools Piping Project at The Piping Centre in Glasgow from 1998 - 2001. He returned to the NZ Army in 2002, serving in Iraq with the British forces 2003 - 2004. Greg runs a successful bagpipe reed-making business and is contracted as a program director to government agencies.
Harold Gillespie was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family when he was a small child. He commenced his drumming career at nine under the guidance of Cyril Bell of the City of Melbourne pipe band, quickly establishing himself as a successful soloist and leading drummer at both state and national levels, winning his first national championship as lead drummer of Grade 3 City of Nunawading in 1965 while still a teenager. Harold returned to County Down, Northern Ireland at sixteen, spending seven years enhancing his knowledge and practical expertise with tuition from Ballycoan greats Jackie Gamble and Bobby Rae and competing with local Ballynahinch pipe band. These years proved to be a significant learning experience and important influence on his future drumming successes upon returning to Melbourne in 1975.
Harold was the leading drummer with the world renowned Victoria Police Pipe Band for eight years up before leaving in 1999 to assume the position of Director of Haileybury College Pipes & Drums. Harold is very passionate about all aspects of pipe band drumming, from score writing, tuning and corps presentation. Focusing on a formula of correct execution, designing snare and mid-section settings to enhance bagpipe melody with the aim to project a balanced musical performance, Harold successfully won championships throughout Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United States of America, culminating in the pinnacle of success: the 1998 Grade 1 World Championship in the United Kingdom. He has taught and mentored numerous soloists and bands in Australia and New Zealand. Bands around the world continue to play his scores.
Harold has been an educator and drumming adjudicator for more than thirty years and retained the role of Vice Principal of Drumming for fourteen years with Pipe Bands Victoria. Harold was also a member of the RSPBA Drumming Adjudication panel. He is also an ensemble adjudicator, a member of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers, and a recipient of various awards including the Sir Rupert Hamer Award and Peter Clohesy Award for service to pipe bands and drumming. He was recently inducted into Pipe Bands Australia inaugural Hall of Fame in the highest categories — Legend, Performance, and Education & Training.
“Ian K” began playing at the age of eight and was taught by his father, P/M John MacDonald. At age thirteen he received instruction from Jim McGillivray, who introduced Ian and his older brother, Craig, to Piobaireachd. In the same year he also became a member of the Toronto Police Pipe Band and remains so today. He became Pipe Major in 1996.
In 1995 Ian won the Canadian Gold Medal and in 1997 he won the “A” Grade Strathspey and Reel at Oban and Inverness. In 2016 Ian accomplished one of his career goals in solo piping by winning a Gold Medal. He was extremely delighted to have won both Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness in the same year! With this accomplishment, he received his second invitation to the prestigious Glenfiddich Piping Competition.
In 2017, Ian was delighted to take part in Winter Storm - The Pipes & Drums Event in Kansas City as a judge, The Metro Cup as a Competitor (placing 2nd overall) and the Donald MacLeod Memorial as a Competitor (placing 2nd overall). Ian has also been a recitalist in the Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Challenge Recital and competed in 2019 with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band where he is a member still.
Ian is a Sergeant with the Toronto Police Service and enjoys spending his free time with his wife Brenda and their children Colin, Cameron and Ashlyn.
Iain Speirs was taught to play by Jack D. Crichton, his father Tom Speirs, and also by his grandfather, Pipe Major Jock Speirs. He has also previously received tuition from Donald MacPherson and Murray Henderson.
Iain is a double gold medallist and a two-time winner of both the Northern Meeting Clasp and the Glenfiddich Piping Championship.
Iain works as Head of Marketing for the private bank, Hampden & Co. and lives in Edinburgh with his wife Susanne and children Annie and John.
James is the Interim Executive Director at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He started piping in the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums in Saskatoon, SK, and since has lived in the principal hot-spots of piping across Canada. James has played with the Edmonton Caledonia Pipe Band, the City of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, the Toronto Police (including three years as Pipe Major), and the 78th Fraser Highlanders. He currently leads the College of Piping’s two competitive bands. He has also won numerous solo events internationally, including placings at the Gold Medal contests at Inverness and Oban.
James is busy as a competitor, performer, adjudicator, workshop facilitator, composer, band leader and teacher.
Hailing from Perthshire, John Dew is strongly rooted in the folk music of Scotland. He learned to play the bagpipes from Anne Spalding and had tuition from Cameron Drummond, Craig Muirhead, Chris Armstrong and Finlay MacDonald. He now receives tuition from Willie McCallum.
John plays with Inveraray and District Pipe Band, winners of the World Pipe Band Championships in 2017 and 2019 and runners-up respectively in 2014, 2016 and 2018. They have also won the 'Champion of Champions' trophy four years in a row. John continues to play in IDPB as they prepare for their 'Pre-Worlds' concert.
A keen competitive piper, John has won various piping competitions around Scotland. In the junior stages John placed second in the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd contest 2015 and placed third the following year. At professional level he has had a variety of successes, including winning the open Piobaireachd at Aboyne Highland Games, The Kempel Star for Marches at The Skye Gathering and taking 4th place in the Dunvegan Medal. He was also the overall champion at the Duncan Johnstone Memorial Competition, Inveraray Highland Games (B grade), Lochearnhead Highland Games (open), the Highlands and Island's Music and Dance Festival (B Grade) and aggregate B grade champion at The Northern Meeting piping competition in 2019 with a 3rd place in both the Silver Medal and B grade MSR. A major highlight for John was winning the Piobaireachd event at the Royal National MOD in 2019. John was crowned the 2019 MOD champion piper.
In 2020 John competed in several online solo events and was runner-up in the first World Online Solo Piping and Drumming Championships. In 2021 John was the overall champion at the Atholl Gathering, an online event. In 2016, John enrolled on the BMus Performance degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was taught by Willie McCallum and Finlay MacDonald. In 2020 he graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree.
Over the course of his studies John has continued to compose pipe music, completing a series of pipe tunes for various folk instruments and ensembles as well as writing classical music, completing a series of chamber works including two string quartets and several short pieces for mixed ensemble. He has since started exploring the combination of folk instruments and orchestral idioms. Now a full-time musician based in Glasgow, he is also a film music enthusiast and has composed scores for several short films. In 2020 he released his debut E.P. The High Bridge Walk and his first tune book Pipe Tunes by John Dew. You can find out more about John and his latest news from his website johndew-composition.com.
John is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and grew up involved in music at a very early age learning snare drumming and music of all kinds. Playing in pipe bands led him to take up bass drumming seriously as well. After playing in local pipe bands, John eventually became a member of the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band through a dedication to hard work.
John's accomplishments include three World Championships in 1995, 1996, and 1999. and Drum Corp Championships in 1999.
Keith has also won nine All Ireland Drum Corps titles, fifteen Ulster, four Northern Ireland COC titles, both Junior and Senior All Ireland solo titles and placed 8th at the world solos.
Since joining FMM in 2003, he has also helped them achieve 43 major championship wins (including nine World titles), two Grand Slams and ten Champion of Champion awards.
Matthew is a virtuoso of the Highland Bagpipe and is celebrated by Indie rockers as “the Eddie Van Halen of the bagpipes.” He has studied traditional Highland Bagpipe music with Gold Medalist masters such as James McIntosh M.B.E., Colin MacLellan, Mike Cusack, Jack Lee, Pipe Major Angus MacLellan, Andrew Wright and celebrated, repeat World-Champion Pipe Majors Terry Lee and Iain McLellan B.E.M. Matthew was a member of one of the most internationally known premier bagpipe bands of the last two decades: the six-time World Champions Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, playing with them during their World Pipe Band Championships wins of 1999 and 2001 in Glasgow. As Musical Director of the New York Metro Pipe Band, his unique way of teaching pipe music, musical ensemble cohesion and cultivating a bright, rich pipe corps sound helped steer NY Metro to their 2011 and 2012 wins at the World Pipe Band Championships and the North American Pipe Band Championships. He has served as elected Pipe Major for NY Metro PB, and is also in demand as a private bagpipe instructor.
Beyond the traditional use of the bagpipe, Matthew has pioneered new techniques and materials in his own works that include the bagpipe and has premiered a number of new compositions written for bagpipes by living composers. As a classically trained composer, he holds degrees in Music Composition from Simon Fraser University, Wesleyan University and Yale University. As a composer of progressive classical music, his albums have earned him global acclaim, making both Time Out New York’s classical and non-classical top-ten CD lists for the year 2005. The New York Times calls “Welch’s border-busting music...original and catchy,” Matthew was also listed as one of NPR’s top composers under age 40.
Matt Bellia started playing in pipe bands in 2005 and has played for the Strathroy Legion, Hamilton Police and 78th Fraser.
Matt is a two-time MHAF gold medallist, a three-time winner of the PPBSO'S Agnew Harrison, a three-time North American Champion and has won the PPBSO's aggregate Champion Supreme multiple times in both the amateur and professional categories.
A trained accountant, Matt resides in London, Ontario with his wife and dog.
Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Matt spent five years living in Northern Ireland while studying at university before returning to Scotland, where he is now the piping tutor at Dollar Academy. Matt was a P/M of George Watson's College Pipes & Drums. In September 2018, Matt was appointed Pipe Sergeant of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
Matt and his wife Tina reside in the village of Dollar, where they are raising their young daughters, Anna and Alexandra.
Nick Hudson teaches piping at Saint Thomas' Episcopal School in Houston and plays in the St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band, recently winning the Grade 2 World Pipe Band Championships and promotion to Grade 1. He received a BFA in Music Performance under Jimmy McIntosh and Alasdair Gillies from Carnegie Mellon University.
Performance highlights include winning the Braemar Gold Medal, the Silver Medal at the The Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games, the B MSR at the The Northern Meeting Piping Competition in Inverness, the London Ram's Head Snuff Mull for A-Grade Piobaireachd, the Overall A-Grade Winner at the SPSL Annual Contest in London (two times), the Piobaireachd Society Canadian Gold Medal, the USPF Piobaireachd, a Pipeline on BBC Radio Scotland session, overall winner of The Livingstone Invitational, first in The Metro Cup, and placement in the Oban Gold Medal.
Nick serves as the chair of the EUSPBA Music Board and is a member of the EUSPBA Judges Panel.
Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Nicola started tenor drumming in 2002 under the tutelage of her father Tony with the Auckland and District Pipe band. Since then, she has played with several bands around NZ. Over the years she has been part of four NZ Grade 1 Champion Bands, eight NZ Champion Drum Corps, and nine NZ Champion Bass Sections. In 2007 she moved to Scotland where she played for three years under Lead Drummer Mick O’Neil in the Clan Gregor Society Pipe Band and later the Fife Constabulary. In 2011 she was invited by Reid Maxwell to play with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. In addition to competing with the band over four years, one of her biggest highlights was performing with the band in concert at the Lincoln Center in New York City where they recorded their Live from New York City album. In 2016, Nicola took an opportunity to play with Jim Kilpatrick MBE in the reformed Spirit of Scotland band. During the season, the band featured in the prize list at several Major Championships. The Drum Corps also placed 1st at the UK Championship. Nicola returned to Scotland in 2019 to play with the ScottishPower Pipe Band, who finished as runner up at the British and Scottish championships. Additionally, the Drum Corps took 1st place at the Scottish Championships. Nicola also performed with the band at the annual pre-worlds concert at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Over her pipe band career Nicola has taught at schools and workshops all over the world including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Scotland, South Africa and Switzerland. She has recently stepped back from competing to start a family with her husband in NSW Australia, where she continues to teach locally as well as serving on the RNZPBA Bass section Judging Panel.
Peter started learning the pipes at age nine, taught by P/M Andy Wilson in Belfast. Life in a small Irish village was quiet and to pass the time he studied music ‘O’ and ‘A’ level (piano being his first instrument) and after Edinburgh Medical School and hospital jobs he became a GP in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.
In 1994 he took up Scottish and Northumbrian smallpipes – and simultaneously started Piobaireachd lessons with Tom Speirs. He had light music tuition from Roddy MacLeod MBE and now goes to Finlay Johnston.
He competed as an amateur for many years, and it was not until 2009 that he joined the CPA. Almost immediately he was successful, going on to win the Silver Medal in Oban (2012) and then the Gold Medal in Inverness (2018). His pipe band experience includes the Robert Armstrong Memorial and RAF Halton.
Peter has been an active member of the Piobaireachd Society, joining their committees and working behind the scenes on their website. He enjoys looking at alternative settings of tunes and has a particular interest in Canntaireachd.
Pipe Major Dr. Richard Parkes MBE, MSc, has been the Pipe Major of the twelve time World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band for 39 years. With the band’s twelfth World’s win in 2018, Richard equaled P/M Ian McLellan BEM’s record for the number of World Championship wins by a Pipe Major. He has also led FMMPB to a total of 67 major championships (including 3 Grand Slams and 14 Champion of Champion awards), a P/M record.
Richard’s success as pipe major has become a part of piping history, but he's also one of Ireland’s most successful solo players, participating in many competitions. Richard has consistently won all the major solo competitions in Ireland, including seven All Ireland Championships, nine Ulster Championships, and eight Northern Ireland Piper of the Year titles.
In the late '80s and early '90s, Richard also placed regularly in most of the top class light music competitions on the mainland, the most significant of these prizes being 1st in the jigs at both The Northern Meeting and London Competitions in 1989, 1st in the Strachan (open) MSR at London 1990 and 3rd in the London Medallion (former winners) MSR 1991.
Richard holds the RSPBA Advanced and Instructors Certificates, is a member of the RSPBA Adjudicators panel, and became a member of the Solo Piping Judges Association in 2018.
Seamus Coyne started playing bagpipes at the age of 3 1/2 and became the youngest professional piper in the world at the age of 12. Seamus was taught by Jim Coyne, Angus Mackay, Jimmy McIntosh, Murray Henderson and Jack Lee.
He is a long-standing member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in Vancouver, Canada and competes as a professional soloist at the highest levels around the world. He has taught many a successful piper and has students from around the world.
Sean is active on the competitive solo piping circuit, winning the 2015 Silver Medal at Inverness, a double-second placing at the 2016 Gold Medals in Oban and Inverness, the Open Hornpipe and Jig at Inverness in 2015, the Lochaber Axe for Piobaireachd and the light music at the 2019 Lochaber Gathering and regularly taking prizes in A-grade light music. At home Sean has won the Canadian Gold Medal, Former Winners Piobaireachd twice, and the Overall at the Livingstone Invitational.
Sean was formerly Pipe Major of the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band, a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, and won the Juvenile and Grade 3 World Championships with the Milton Optimist Pipe Band. He currently plays with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
Outside of competition, Sean has played with the Live in Ireland 87 cast, a ceilidh band called the Tartan Terrors, and with some great Canadian artists Live in Concert, including Bryan Adams, Natalie MacMaster, and his own brother’s rock band, Black Pistol Fire. Sean is a University of Toronto graduate and a police officer with the Toronto Gun and Gang Task Force.
Shaunna Hilder began piping in the Vancouver area, where she studied under Angus MacPherson and the late Jimmy McMillian. She enjoyed a successful solo piping career, winning many aggregates and Piobaireachd prizes, including the Clan MacLeod, McCrimmon Quaich two times.
Shaunna was Pipe Major of the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band. After marrying husband David they enjoyed several years together in the City of Victoria Pipe Band and the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band winning two grade one world championships, RMM2 winning one Grade 2 World Championship as P/S. For ten years Shaunna was P/S of Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band helping them become nine-time World Champion finalists and winning back-to-back qualifiers in 2011 and 2012. Since the fall 2018, Shaunna has been a member of the ScottishPower Pipe Band.
Shaunna has recorded five pipe band albums and played several major concerts, including at Carnegie Hall in NYC (with SFUPB), Copernicus Center in Chicago (with SFUPB), SEC Armadillo in Glasgow (with DTSPB), The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (with SP+R). Shaunna has also been a successful piping teacher and enjoys seeing her students grow into piping champions. Some of her students' accolades include three Nicol-Brown Invitational Championships, three George Sherriff Invitational Championships, two USCC Silver Chanter Aggregates, the Cowal Highland Gathering Aggregate and more! Shaunna is an 'A' Solo, Band, and ensemble-qualified adjudicator and has chaired the Solo Grading Committee within the BC Pipers' Association since 2016.
Stuart Easton is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished solo pipers. He has won every major solo piping prize in New Zealand and Australia, and has had considerable success in Scotland, England and France. Stuart won the Highland Society of London Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2018, off the back of his 2017 Northern Meeting Silver Medal and overall prize at Inverness. He qualified to compete in the prestigious Glenfiddich Piping Championships at Blair Castle and took 5th prize in Piobaireachd. Some of his more recent successes include 3rd prize in Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering 2019 and runner up in the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting.
After returning to New Zealand he went on to win his third Former Winners Clasp at the Highland Society of Canterbury Silver Chanter Contest.
Stuart is committed to passing on his passion and teaches a large number of pupils. His students are regular major prize winners on the solo boards in NZ and overseas, and many have competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland.
He is also the Pipe Sergeant of the seven-time NZ Champion Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band. Stuart and his wife Shelley own Easton Pipes & Dance, a piping and highland dancing business in Palmerston, North NZ.
P/M Terry Lee is one of the most prominent and successful pipe band leaders in the world. Under his direction, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band captured the World Pipe Band Championship six times. They are one of only two bands in history to win both the Medley and MSR events at the World Championships more than once (MSR five times, Medley five times).
He now is retired as Pipe Major of the SFUPB and has become a member of the The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association - RSPBA Adjudicator’s Panel.
He has been the leader and musical director at the band’s concerts in many of the world’s most well-known venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Sydney Opera House, the The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and many others. In 1999, P/M Terry Lee and P/S Jack Lee were each presented with Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal by Governor General Romeo LeBlanc in Quebec City. In 2013, Terry and his brother Jack were presented with Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Simon Fraser University for their exemplary work with the Pipe Band.
Terry is president of the well-known Scottish imports store, Tartantown Ltd..
A native of Campbeltown, Kintyre, Willie received his main tuition from his uncles Ronald and Hugh, coming under the guidance of another relation, P/M Ronald McCallum, MBE. The McCallum family can trace their piping back to John McAlister (Willie’s 4-times great-grandfather) who won the prize pipe in 1782 at the Falkirk Tryst. Willie started playing at age 8 and has been competing since 1973. In 1979 at age 18, he won his very first professional contest, the Piobaireachd event at Inveraray Highland Games against some of the finest competitors in Scotland. That year he followed that up by taking 2nd prize in the Silver Medal at the The Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games. From 1986, he entered the Top 10 in world piping, maintaining placement in the Top 5 from 1990 to this day. During that time Willie has collected a huge number of major awards, including the Glenfiddich World Solo title 8 times, and runner up on five occasions. He has won almost every prize in piping, including the Highland Society of London Gold Medals at the The Northern Meeting Piping Competition and Argyllshire Gathering.
He was a member of the successful Grade 1 Pipe Bands Babcock Renfrew, British Caledonian Airways and ScottishPower Pipe Band. He has enjoyed Championship wins and worked with some of the most successful Pipe Majors in the history of pipe bands. Willie is currently a member of the Grade 1 Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band.
Willie is known as a meticulous piper in terms of his preparation, technique, interpretation, and his instrument. He is a fierce and unflappable competitor, encouraging his students to maintain sporting behavior and respect, which he believes to be the lynchpin of the competitive circuit since 1979.
Judges for our previous competitions have included:
Aaron MacLean - N. Ireland
Alan Bevan - Canada
Alastair Dunn - Scotland
Alex Wilson - New Zealand
Andre Tessier - Canada
Andrea Frewen — New Zealand
Andrew Bonar - Canada
Andrew Donlon - USA
Andrew P. Hayes - Canada
Andrew Rogers - Canada
Andrew Womersley — Australia
Ann Gray — Canada
Arthur Cooke - Scotland
Blake Schmidt - Canada
Bob Worrall - Canada
Brendon Eade – New Zealand
Callum Beaumont — Scotland
Calum Watson — Scotland
Cameron MacDougall — Scotland
Chris Armstrong — Scotland
Chris Pollock – N. Ireland
Colin Clansey - Canada
Dani Millar - Canada
Davey Welsh — New Zealand
David Bowman - Canada
David Hilder — Canada
Dean Smythe — N. Ireland
Duncan Millar – Canada
Euan MacCrimmon - Scotland
Finlay Cameron — Scotland
Gary Potter — Australia
Gordon Craig — Scotland
Gordon Lee - Scotland
Gordon McCready — Scotland
Greg Wilson – New Zealand
Harold Gillespie — Australia
Harvey Dawson — Canada
Iain Speirs — Scotland
Ian K. MacDonald – Canada
James MacHattie – Canada
James W. Troy - Canada
Jim Kilpatrick - Scotland
John Dew — Scotland
John Don MacKenzie - Scotland
Johnny Rowe — Canada
Keith Orr – N. Ireland
Keith Paton - USA
Matt Turnbull -USA
Matt Wilson — Scotland
Michael Cusack - USA
Michael O'Neil - USA
Mike Cole - USA
Niall Stewart - Scotland
Nick Hudson — USA
Paul Turner - Scotland
Peter Aumonier - Canada
Peter McCalister - Scotland
Richard Hawke - New Zealand
Richard Parkes - Northern Ireland
Robert Mathieson - Scotland
Sandy Cameron - Scotland
Scott Currie - Scotland
Seumas Coyne — USA
Sean McKeown — Canada
Shaunna Hilder — Canada
Stuart Easton – New Zealand
Stuart Liddell - Scotland
Terry Lee – Canada
Tyler Fry - Canada
William McCallum – Scotland