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Background

A quick rundown

“I see England, I see France …”
Photo (and quote): David Fimbres

Here’s a brief rundown of my various experiences in my pursuit of piping. For a more in-depth accounting, head over to My Story, in this section.

Background synopsis:
  • Started learning around age 12
  • Studied under Eric Armour of Pawtucket and Brian Yates of Winchester (now living in Scotland). Now taking competition-geared instruction from Lezlie Webster.
  • Studied at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton for at least six summer sessions, taking classes from pipers such as Bob Worrall, Ed Neigh, Ken Eller, Ann Gray, Mark Stewart, and many others.
  • Played with both the Rhode Island Highlanders and Tullach Ard in my youth.
  • Played with several ensembles over the years, including a Cape Breton style group called Tri (then called the Boston Kiltics).
  • Later played with the Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band, serving as pipe sergeant and then pipe major before moving to the Boston area. The band was grade 4 at the time.
  • Frequent performer with Cu Dubh, a bagpipe and drum stage act that tours around the country year-round. Cu Dubh performances have taken me all over, from Ontario down to Florida, and California. Thank God for frequent-flier programs.
  • Moved to Salem, Massachusetts in 2018. Started actively teaching bagpipe lessons and actively competing in solo bagpipe contests.
  • Started solo competition in 2018 at the grade 3 level with the permission of the EUSPBA music board. Was named “Grade 3 Piper of the Day” in contests at Fair Hill (Group A), Round Hill, the Jersey Shore Piping & Drumming Classic, Quechee, Altamount, and Loon Mountain. Ranked #2 overall for grade 3 in 2018.
  • Granted an upgrade to grade 2 level for 2019. Took several prizes in 2019, including the Gordon Highlander Trophy for grade 2 Piobaireachd at the Fair Hill Highland Games, “Grade 2 Piper of the Day” at the Cumberland Valley Highland Games, and first place in piobaireachd at Loon Mountain. Ranked #3 overall for grade 2 in 2019.
  • Granted an upgrade to Grade 1 in piobaireachd for 2020.

Warming up Highland pipes while competing at the Loon Mountain Highland Games.
Photo: Mark Rooney