Piper Biographies

See below for a list of the current roster of pipers.

Circle of pipers


Pipe Major Chris Armstrong 

Pipe Major Chris Armstrong started playing at 6 years old. He was initially taught at Torphichen and Bathgate Novice Juvenile Pipe Band. He received solo tuition from Pipe Major John Matheson BEM from the age of 8, then had lessons from Andrew Wright for Piobaireachd and now receives lessons from John Wilson. Chris has been a full time instructor at the National Piping Centre for the last 7 years, and holds the PDQB level 6 and Senior Teachers certificates. Past successes in solo piping include winning the Bratach Gorm, J. B. Robertson Rose Bowl and the Overall Champion Piper at the Scottish Piping Society of London in 2007, 1st in the Former Winners MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering and also the A grade MSR at the Northern Meeting in 2001. 1st in the PM Donald Macleod Memorial MSR, runner up twice in the Former Winners MSR at the Northern Meeting. He has been the overall champion in 2002/03 at the Cowal Highland Gathering; in 2003 he won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting. Previous bands include, Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band – Novice and Grade 2, Seafield and District Pipe Band – Grade 3, Coalburn I.O.R Pipe Band – Grade 3, Eden Pipe Band – Grade 1, Pipe Sergeant of Dumbarton and District – Grade 2 and Pipe Major of the David Urquhart Travel Pipes and Drums – Grade 1.

Pipe Sergeant Donald Mackay 

Donald started piping at the age of 9 and was originally taught in school by Pipe Major John D Burgess MBE.  He continued to receive tuition from him until John’s untimely death in 2005. On leaving school he served with the Queens Own Highlanders (now known as the 4th Royal Regiment of Scotland) for 11 years, qualifying as a Pipe Major from the Army School of Piping in 1996. In 2001, Donald changed career and joined Strathclyde Police.  He was appointed Pipe Major of the band after only 3 years and became hugely successful during his tenure in leading them to win the RSPBA Scottish, European and Cowal Grade 1 Championships and numerous minor competition wins. In 2008, Donald was approached by Chris to join ScottishPower to build on the vision and direction he had for the band.  Donald accepted this and now for over a decade, he and Chris have developed a unique and successful relationship leading the band to be consistent and realistic contenders for all the major titles. He is a qualified RSPBA Piping Adjudicator and is a holder of the RSPBA Advanced Certificate, Graduate and Senior Teachers Piping Certificates and is also a credited PDQB assessor.


Scott Barrie

Scott is originally from Maybole in Ayrshire. He has been playing for 14 years and played within a multitude of bands, such as Strathclyde Police and Shotts and Dykehead. Scott had previously had tuition from Brian Mulhearn and John Wilson which assisted in a successful time playing in the solo circuit as a regular feature in the prize lists, with such successes as Pipe Idol Champion, and winning 2 Gold medals at the National MOD.

Craig Davidson

Craig is 22 years old and is enjoying his third year in the band having started out previously with Johnstone Pipe Band. This was followed on with spells at Boghall and Bathgate, Glasgow Skye and Bleary and District, whilst also participating in the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. Craig was taught by Chris Armstrong from the age of 14 and his most memorable solo achievement was becoming Ulster Champion, winning the Junior MSR in 2016. The highlight of his pipe band career was winning the British Championships with the band in 2018. Craig’s other passion is motorsport and is currently working towards achieving a Masters in Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes University and while doing so is hoping to have many more successful years playing with ScottishPower.

Jamie Duffy

Jamie lives in Coalburn, South Lanarkshire and started piping at the age of 7 under the guidance of Pipe Major Donald Williams at Coalburn IOR Pipe Band. He played for Coalburn for 24 years as well as a spell with the Grade 1 Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band based in Vancouver, Canada before joining the ranks with Scottish Power. His successes on the contest field include a Scottish Championship, two British Championships, four Cowal Games Championships, a Champion of Champions title and a World Pipe Band Championship. Out with the competing circle Jamie has enjoyed playing at various venues which include The Edinburgh Parliament Square, Ibrox Stadium, Rolls Royce, Audi, The Clyde Auditorium and most recently The SSE Hydro alongside Andre Rieu and the Johan Strauss Orchestra.

Gavin Ferguson

Gavin started piping at the age of 9, being taught by Ian McKerral and John Brown in Campbeltown. He first played with Kintyre Schools Pipe Band and his highlight with them was winning all 5 majors in 2003. He moved to Glasgow in 2006 to study Chemistry at the University of Glasgow and he now teaches this subject at Notre Dame High School. Gavin has been with us for many years and is enjoying a more active role in helping to set the sound. In 2019, Gavin tied the knot with Louise and they both now enjoy life living in Glasgow’s leafy West End.

Chris Gibb

Chris started learning pipes at the Boys Brigade in Edinburgh when aged 8. He has played with various bands but mainly Drambuie Kirkliston Pipe Band and ScottishPower. He joined ScottishPower in 2002 under P/M Roddy Macleod while studying on the Scottish Music Degree course at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music and Drama. His main piping tutors have included Willie McBride, George Lumsden, Gavin Stoddart, Bruce Gandy and Roddy MacLeod MBE. Chris is the piping tutor for Stirling and District Schools where he runs two successful competing pipe bands in the novice grades.

Andy Gibbs

Andy started piping at 10 years old and still plays the original set of pipes he got for Christmas 6 months later. His tutor was wee Kenny MacDonald and he played with Milngavie & City of Glasgow before joining ScottishPower in 1998. After moving to Campbeltown to complete his Optometrist training, he spent 4 years as P/M of the Sound of Kintyre in Grade 3 before returning to ScottishPower. August is always a busy month for Andy as he is the solo piper at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, as well as playing for the Highland dance team before heading home for the Worlds. Andy is also the band Quartermaster and takes great pride in ensuring everyone is well turned out to represent the band.

Tomoki Hayashi

From Bridge of Allan, Stirling, Tomoki started bagpipe tuition aged 8 under the guidance of Chris Gibb, a now fellow band member. At aged 10, he joined his local band, Stirling & District Schools Pipe Band. In 2016, he earned the rank of Pipe Sergeant and also became a member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. In his seventh and final year with Stirling and District Schools Pipe Band, Tomoki has been able to utilise this year as a transition year, attending practices and rehearsals with ScottishPower whilst still competing with Stirling and District Schools, much to his benefit.  Tomoki is also a keen rugby player and plays for his local side Stirling County RFC and has represented regional and national age grade sides including Scotland Under 16's and 17's.

David Hilder

David began his piping career at an early age with the Courtenay Legion Pipe Band, he was later appointed Pipe Major and for his service to the Royal Canadian Legion, David was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal. David went on to play with the Grade One, City of Victoria Pipe Band under the direction of PM James W Troy and then the Grade One Simon Fraser University Pipe Band under direction of P/M Terry Lee where he won two World Pipe Band Championships in 1995 and 1996. David enjoyed a successful solo piping career including winning the US Gold Medallion for Piobaireachd. In 2000, David took over the Grade 2 Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band as Pipe Major. The band made several successful trips to Scotland winning the qualifier on its first attempt and in 2006 David led the band to win the Grade 2 World Pipe Band Championships. David had a very successful tenure as Pipe Major of the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band including winning the grade two North American Championships, qualifying for the grade one final nine times and winning the grade one qualifier twice. David along with wife Shaunna are active members with the Scottish Power Pipe Band under the direction of PM Chris Armstrong. David is an active “A” level piping, bands and ensemble adjudicator with the BC Pipers Association. Professionally, David is an Advanced Life Support, Paramedic Specialist with the BC Ambulance Service. During his years of service David has been awarded the Emergency Medical Service, Exemplary Service Medal and Bar from the Governor General of Canada. David lives in Metro Vancouver with his wife Shaunna and children Liam and Andrena.

Shaunna Hilder

Shaunna 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 on two occasions. Later Shaunna was Pipe Major of the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band. After marrying husband David they enjoyed several years together in the City of Victoria PB, SFUPB winning (2) grade one world championships, RMM2 winning (1) grade two world championship as P/S. For ten years Shaunna was P/S of the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and during that time the band was a 9 time world champion finalist, winning back to back qualifiers in 2011, 2012. Shaunna has been a successful piping teacher and has enjoyed seeing her students grow into piping champions. Some of those accolades include, 3 Nicol-Brown Invitational Championships, 3 George Sherriff Invitational Championships,2 USCC Silver Chanter Aggregates, the Cowal Highland Gathering Aggregate, among others. Shaunna is an “A” Solo, Band, and Ensemble qualified Adjudicator and since 2016 Shaunna has Chaired the Solo Grading Committee within the BC Pipers Association. During the day Shaunna is a Dental Administrator, holds a Marketing Management Diploma, and lives in metro Vancouver with husband David, and is a proud mum to son Liam and daughter Andrena.

Neil Johnston

Neil (aka Tetris) started piping at the age of 10 with the Knightswood Juvenile Pipe Band in Glasgow. He later played with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band for 8 years where he won numerous major championship titles. He has been with us for over a decade and is still enjoying it very much. Both Neil’s father and brother are also established pipers.

Chris MacDonald

Chris started playing at the age of 10 years old in his home town of Inverness. Originally taught by West Australian instructor Alasdair MacAffer, he then attended lessons at The National Piping Centre with Chris Armstrong amongst others, leading him to a place in the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. From here he went to the Royal Conservatoire to study a BA in Scottish Music (Piping) and joined ScottishPower in 2009. In 2016 he moved to Perth, Western Australia to work for the Western Australia Police Pipe Band but still travels back to compete with his one and only in the summer.

Robbie MacIsaac

Inspired by his piping Auntie, Robbie started his piping tuition aged nine, with Gary Nimmo through Camelon Pipe Band. Shortly after, he joined Stirling and District Schools Pipe Band and played five rewarding seasons under Pipe Major Chris Gibb, the competitive highlight was winning the European championship title. Over this same period, from age ten until present, Robbie has received solo tuition from Chris Armstrong which led him on to win numerous prestigious prizes in the Junior Grade, including winning 1st places in the SPSL London competition, the Northern Meeting, and becoming the CCF Scottish Schools Champion. In 2015 Robbie won a Piping Scholarship to Strathallan School in Perthshire, where he became Pipe Major of the Band run by Craig Muirhead for his final years at school and also became the Pipe Major of Stirling and District Schools Development Band. Robbie’s performing highlights include: Piping at a number of high profile events at Hampden Park and Murrayfield, performing at the Ryder Cup Gala Dinner, becoming Falkirk Musician of the Year, closing the main stage at the ‘T in the Park’ music festival, winning the ‘Piping Live!’ Pipe Idol competition and even piping down the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ross MacKay

Ross began piping when he was 11 years old with the Johnstone Pipe Band. He studied at Strathclyde University and now works as an electrical engineer for Scottish Power Energy Networks. 

John McElmurry

John is one of our guest players from Northern Ireland who was first taught by Lowry & Alan Ferguson. He played his first pipe band competition with Clogher & District Pipe Band in 2010. He then played with Matt Boyd Memorial pipe Band from 2011-2018. John has recently come on board having joined ScottishPower Pipe Band for the 2019 season. He also has a keen interest in the solo piping circuit and currently receives lessons from Norman Dodds MBE.

Richard McGrath

Richard started lessons at the age of 10 with Bellaghy Pipe Band in Northern Ireland where he was taught initially by Martin Clarke. He has previous playing experience with Ballycoan, Manawatu and also as the Pipe Major of Cullybackey Pipe band before joining ‘The Power’ in 2017. Richard currently receives tuition from Norman Dodds MBE and outside of piping he enjoys hiking, mountain biking and kayaking.

Jordan McIntyre

Jordan began learning the bagpipes aged nine under the tuition of Joe Bishop at Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, progressing through the ranks to Grade 1 whilst also receiving solo tuition from Ross Harvey. Jordan then moved on to further Grade 1 bands before taking some time out for his studies in Civil Engineering. Jordan returned to the pipe band world for the 2018 season with Dowco Triumph Street. He joined ScottishPower in time for the 2019 season!

Scott McKay

Scott comes from Dungannon, Northern Ireland and started piping at the age of 13. He was initially taught by John Black and Brian McMullan. Scott has previously played with both Syerla and Manorcunningham Pipe Bands. He joined ScottishPower in 2015. Scott enjoys watching/playing football and loves a good night out!

Gavin McPherson

Gavin started playing the chanter at the age of 9 having been taught by the late Alec Martin. He played with the Paisley Juvenile, Clan Gregor and joined ScottishPower back in 2010. Gavin works in Glasgow’s financial district which made him a prime candidate for the Band Treasurer’s role, a position which he has carried out for many years with true diligence. Gavin is often mocked about playing an ‘upside down birl’ but probably more so about being the only ‘baldy’ in the band.

Callum Moffat

Callum was taught by Tony MacDonald in Lochmaben, and has an Honours Degree in Scottish Music (Piping) from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. After starting out in Lochmaben Royal Burgh Pipe Band, he catapulted to Grade 1 to play with Shotts and Dykehead and now with ScottishPower Pipe Band since 2012. He is also a successful solo piper, having won and been placed at Cowal, Inveraray, London, the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting. He is the Principle Tutor at the South West of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy, and teaches in many of the schools in Dumfries and Galloway.

Ben Muir

Ben hails from Longniddry in East Lothian joined the band in 2016 from Preston Lodge High School Juvenile Pipe Band. Ben also accepted a piping scholarship that year to study at Strathallan School where he received tuition from Chris Armstrong and Craig Muirhead. Ben is currently studying traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and recently became a member of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. In 2019, he featured playing piano in Cameron Barne's 'Chasing Love', which reached No.24 in UK iTunes chart.

Owen Muir

Owen started with Lochmaben Royal Burgh Pipe Band when he was 10 years old, receiving chanter lessons from John Salton and his uncle George Moffat. At 15, he began taking lessons from John Cowan who he still receives weekly lessons from. Owen also received Piobaireachd lessons from Robert Wallace from the age of 17-19. He joined ScottishPower in October 2017 and is now receiving tuition for both Piobaireachd and light music from Chris Armstrong. His cousin Callum Moffat is also a huge influence on his playing and is always there offering support and guidance. Owen works as a buyer for a major construction company based in the north of England.

Maël Sicard-Cras

From Brittany, Maël started piping aged 9 in the Bagad Douarnenez, near Quimper. From 2004 he played with Cap Caval Pipe Band and won the Worlds with them in Grade 2 in 2008. Maël joined the band in 2010 when he arrived in Scotland. In parallel, he competes in the solos, including the silver medal and has won several distinguished prizes. Maël has brought the band the unique opportunity to play traditional Breton sets, starting with the "Power Gavotte" at the Energy concert in 2011. Since then, the band have played Breton sets at every concert, led by him and written by his father Ronan Sicard.

Karl Heiney (Drone Dragon)

Karl started playing originally under the instruction of his grandfather and was later taught by David Caldwell, Pipe Major of the Eden Pipe Band from Northern Ireland. A career highlight for Karl was going the full 2002 season undefeated in Grade 2 with Ballycoan, capturing all 5 major championships. Karl has also previously played with Clan Gregor and The Australia Highlanders. He has been with ScottishPower since 2012 after returning from 5 years in Australia. Karl, since coming on board has been instrumental in helping to achieve the band’s drone sound and strives to continually improve this. He detests poorly maintained bagpipes and woe betide any piper who falls short with lose tuning pins, or turning joints!