John started piping at the tender age of 6. He was taught initially by Pipe Major Hugh MacGregor then Pipe Major Callum MacPhee. Both of these pipers were ex army Pipe Majors and highly Qualified. It was with Callum that John first competed at the age of 13yrs and was delighted to be placed 2nd. Since then he has been “placed” in every competition he has entered. (in the 2008/09 competition season he collected 26 medals as well as the title of British Legion Champion and World Solo Champion!)
At the age of 16 renowned Pipe Major George Stoddart BEM took over John’s tuition and encourage him to teach at his academy in the Lawnmarket Edinburgh. That was the start of his life long love of teaching and led to him study for the teaching certificates (see below).
Captain John MacLellan (the then Principal of The Army School of Piping) was one of the Board of Examiners during his Teacher’s exam and he invited John to join his select group of pupils. John jumped at this fantastic opportunity and “the Captain” not only taught him secrets of competing but also instilled in him a love and appreciation of Piobaireachd which is still going strong today.
But John has also played in Pipe Bands starting out as a 12 year old in Grade 4 before eventually playing with the Grade 1 band Bilston Glen. During his time with the band they won the Grade 1 Champion of Champions.
In a career spanning 46 years John has taught in many countries, mostly coaching solo pipers but occasionally advising Pipe Bands. John said in a recent interview “…pipe bands. without doubt, stir the blood but to really appreciate the grandeur and majesty of the bagpipe you need to listen to a solo piper…” I think that quote shows where John’s heart lies.
John has also proved himself as a presenter and producer of Scottish Shows and has entertained in most of the high end hotels in Edinburgh and further afield. The fact he has worked with Rob Roy Travel for 12 years says everything!
John’s piping qualifications include The Teacher’s Certificate, Senior Teaching Certificate and the prestigious Diploma of Piping from the Institute of Piping (Now incorporated into The Scottish Qualification Authority SQA.)
John also has an up to date PVG Registration from Disclosure Scotland so you know your child is safe.
2008/2009 World Solo Piping Champion
2008 Royal British Legion Scottish Champion
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