Although I was born in Manchester, I moved to the Highlands of Scotland when I was 5 and started learning to play the bagpipes at the age of 8. As I progressed through school I was lucky enough to be taught by some great players, including Norman Gillies, whose son has won the world championships several times, and John D. Burgess, one of the great pipers of the 20th Century.
I became heavily involved in the local piping scene – I used to play with the Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band, and competed regularly both in local and national competitions – winning gold at the National Mod was a highlight!
At the age of 15, I gained a new tutor, Carol-Anne Faquhar, and became heavily involved in Fèis Rois, an organisation dedicated to promoting traditional music in the Highlands. I started to play with all sorts of excellent musicians, which really opened my eyes to the different styles of music in Scotland. I started to play the small pipes, border pipes and whistles, and began to develop my own style of playing.
At the age of 17 I became one of the founder members of the National Youth Pipe Band and was lucky enough to be able to play some incredible gigs with them, including playing to over 50,000 people in Spain with Carlos Núñez and the Chieftains.
— We know how to have fun too!
Once I finished school I moved to Edinburgh to study physics at Edinburgh University. At university I have the opportunity to appear on several T.V shows for BBC Scotland, and have since appeared on national TV in the UK, Ireland, Romania and Spain, as well as being recorded for several albums.
Since moving to Edinburgh I have become involved in several other musical projects. I founded Òr Ceilidh Band a few years ago, and we have since played throughout Scotland, and as far afield as Germany, Qatar and Beijing.
More recently, I have formed the band Awry, who have played psychedelic ceilidhs at many of Scotland’s festivals, as well I’ve also toured to South Korea, India and Lithuania and been very lucky to perform with many of Scotland’s best traditional musicians
Thank you so much for playing the pipes at our wedding. We loved having you there, you are truly a very talented person. Other than Jess the red-tailed hawk making off with the wedding rings before one last desperate attempt to kill Pete's sporran, and the castle ghosties cutting the power off to the entire site during the evening – thank goodness the best man was an electrician! - We couldn't have wished for a better day. A thousand thanks yous again for adding some class to our otherwise disorganised shambles!
Thank you so much for your beautiful playing welcoming our guests to Stockbridge Parish Church and with the Or Ceilidh band. Many guests comments on how much they enjoyed the Ceilidh band so please pass on our thanks to everyone.
Just wanted to say the biggest thank you to you for piping at our wedding on Saturday - we had the best day ever and were absolutely delighted to have you be part of our big day! I adore listening to the pipes and I'm sure all our guests enjoyed listening to you play. Honestly can't thank you enough!!
I just wanted to write to say a huge thank you for playing at our wedding on Saturday, especially through the rain! You were fantastic and we got so many impressed comments from our guests - they particularly loved the great job you did piping us in and the pictures are amazing!
We are just back from Honeymoon so apologies for taking so long to get this to you. Thank you so much for everything on our Wedding Day! Everything went so quickly on the day and we didn't get a chance to say thank you in person so apologies. We have passed your details to a friend who is getting married next year and will definitely recommend to any others looking for a piper/band.
Just wanted to say thank you for playing at the wedding, Richard and I had a lovely day.