ASSESSOR PROFILES

Alfred, Jamie

Tenor and Bass

The Walkerton Legion Pipe Band, is where Jamie was able to learn the basic foundations of tenor drumming.  After a short time with the Legion Band, the opportunity arose to compete with two local pipe bands - Capercaillie Pipe Band & Strathnaver Pipe Band.
In 2000, Jamie joined the Toronto Police Pipe Band organization starting in the G3 band.  During her time with the band, she played in both the G1 and G3 bands and was midsection lead of the G1 band from 2012 through 2014.  Jamie played with the 78th Fraser Highlanders 2015 - 2017.  She returned to Toronto Police for two years as the midsection lead & bass drummer in the G2 band.  For the 2020 competition season, Jamie has joined the City of Dunedin playing tenor in the G1 midsection. 
Jamie has enjoyed many successes including winning the North American Championships and the drumming title in Grade 3B at the World Championships in 2018.   More recently, Jamie won the Professional Bass event at the 2019 Agnew-Harrison Invitational Drumming Contest.
Jamie is a Certified Midsection Adjudicator with the PPBSO holding an "A" Classification.

Bridge, Tyler

Piping

Tyler Bridge is a professional level solo piper and accredited B grade judge with the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Based in Guelph Ontario, Tyler is also Pipe Major of the Guelph Pipe Band and manages a music school called JamSchool. He holds a music degree from the University of Guelph where his area of concentration was jazz guitar performance. His competitive piping tuition and particularly Piobaireachd came from the late Ed Neigh and in recent years he has received help and guidance from Calum MacDonald of Wellesley Ontario. Tyler has made steady progress on the professional circuit and placed 2nd at the Maxville Gold Medal Piobaireachd contest in 2018 as well as winning the overall Champion Supreme for B level Piobaireachd in Ontario in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Tyler has been teaching for 13 years and many of his students have achieved competitive success in all amateur grades. Several of them have taken prizes in grades 2 and 1 in the Ontario games circuit over the past 4 years. 


Tyler's pipe band has also seen competitive success. Starting with 8 pipers and 4 drummers in grade 4 in 2014, the band has continued to progress, winning the Ontario Champion Supreme title in grade 4 in 2015 and the Ontario Champion Supreme title in grade 3 in 2019. That year, they also took 1st place at the North American Championship in Maxville Ontario. The Guelph Pipe Band currently has close to 80 members and fields both a grade 4 and grade 3 competition band. Tyler is also involved in several youth teaching projects including the Guelph Air Cadets and the Spirit of Ontario grade 5 band. Through these initiatives, many of the kids have come up through the ranks to play in Guelph's grade 3 band and play at the grade 2 and 1 solo levels. 


Outside of competition, Tyler plays regularly with other folk musicians for ceilidhs and scottish country dancing and has taken the stage with the likes of Natalie MacMaster and the Chieftains. In 2012 he also performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the 48th Highlanders of Canada. In addition to highland pipes, Tyler plays bellows blown small pipes and border pipes. 

Cairns, John

Piping

John Cairns comes from a piping family that has a long and prestigious musical history and he has studied under the best teachers in both Canada and Scotland.   
As a soloist, has won almost every major prize in North America, including: 

•    Eight Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) Champion Supreme designations,
•    Three North American Champion titles,
•    The Bratach Gorm,
•    The Piobaireachd Society Canadian Gold Medal, Bar to the Gold Medal and Former Winners March, Strathspey and Reel Contest,
•    Three Livingstone Invitational Contests, and
•    Three Fergus Gold Medals for Light Music.

In 1999, John achieved a feat that every piper dreams of - he became the 10th person in the history of piping and the first person from outside of Scotland to win the two Highland Society of London Gold Medals for solo piping at both Oban and Inverness, Scotland in the same year. 
As a teacher, John holds the internationally recognized Institute of Piping’s Senior Teacher’s Certificate and has taught all over North America.   
John is the Pipe Major (director) of the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band from Toronto, Ontario - winners of 5 North American Championships and 5 PPBSO Champion Supreme title. Before joining Peel, he spent twelve years as the Pipe Sergeant with the 78th Fraser Highlanders Grade 1 Pipe Band. John's experience in Grade 1 pipe bands dates to 1982.
John adjudicates regularly throughout North America, is an accomplished composer and is the owner of Bagpipe Solutions by John Cairns - www.bagpipesolutions.com. 

Caudill, William S.

Piping

Bill Caudill is a native of Waxhaw, NC and began piping at the age of 9 with the Charlotte Caledonian Pipe Band. He began attending the North American Academy of Piping in 1981 and credits much of his success to tuition received there from Sandy Jones and the late Hamilton Workman. In his teen years he joined the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders and was Pipe Major of that band from 1987-1990. He also played briefly with the Charleston Police Pipe Band during their time in Grade II. In 1991 he founded the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Pipe Band which has since become one of the top bands in the Southeast. He has also studied with the late Messrs. Fred and Ronald Morrison at the College of Piping in Glasgow and has received additional tuition from Colin MacLellan and Ed Neigh. Bill is a member of the EUSPBA Judges Panel and Education Committee. He resides in Laurinburg, NC where he a faculty member serving as Director of the Scottish Heritage Center and Instructor of the College Pipe Band at St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Dawson, Harvey

Owner

Harvey Dawson holds most of the Open Solo drumming records in North America today.


As a leading exponent of the Alex Duthart style of play, Harvey has accumulated 16 firsts at the North American Championships, 10 Open Champion Supreme titles, numerous Canadian (7) and US Open (8) Professional titles, including many invitationals, such as 5 George Harrison Invitationals, 3 Kirkwood Memorials, etc etc.


Most of these long strings of solo success are current records today.  This is all due to the rigorous emphasis on fingertip control and technique that was instilled in Harvey as a young lad by Alex Duthart, helping  Harvey to become a strong rudimentalist and composer.


As a result, Harvey has led a number of Gr1 drum corps to victory at Maxville including,  Glenmore, MacNish Distillery, 78th Frasers (4x), Toronto & District.


After spending a number of years learning from Alex, Harvey made every effort to learn from the best players of his youth, such as John Kerr, Jimmy Agnew, Joe Noble, Bobby Rea, Stew Liddel, Al Pocock, Billy Eison and to incorporate some of their best licks into his own sound.


Today, Harvey leads the Peel Police corps as they pursue a world’s gr2 championship.


Harvey takes a very positive and enthusiastic approach to pipe band drumming where he enjoys incorporating other drumming styles such as DCI and drumnastics into the traditional pipe band drumming repertoire.


As a result, Harvey and his teaching team, have built a rigorous drumming growth system leveraging Peel’s many piping ensembles of varying grades from Beginner to Gr 1.

Dudek, Kate

Bass and Tenor

After playing tenor for several years with the City of Regina Pipe Band in Grade 2, Kate Dudek (then Kate Rennie) competed with the 78th Fraser Highlanders for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Being a part of the Best Drum Corps and Best Bass wins at the World Pipe Band Championships in 2007 was a particular career highlight. She has been instructing, composing, and choreographing for tenor and bass drummers in private lessons and bands in Southern Ontario since 2008, including the Guelph Pipe Band, Grade 3 North American Champions and Best Bass Section in 2019. She has Intermediate and Advanced Theory and Harmony Certifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music and has been certified to judge bass and tenor for the PPBSO since 2014.

DuBois, Marc E.

Piping, Bass and Tenor

P/M Schenectady Pipe Band 2002-2008 North American Champion '02 Oran Mor Pipe Band 2007-2013 EUSPBA Piping and Ensemble Judge

Foote, Thomas C.

Snare

Tom started learning pipe band drumming from his grandfather (Joseph Bevington) at the age of eight.  At this time he was also learning the bagpipes.  Drumming wise, he was taught by Jimmy Agnew of St. Catherine’s, Ont., Canada, and at that same time learning classical percussion through his local school district.  With Jimmy's example of strict study habits and rudiments study, Tom advanced to Open grade status in short order.
Tom has received PPBSO Champion Supreme Honors through all grade levels during his individual and band career.
He played briefly with "The Clan McFarlane" (1980) and then joined the 78th Fraser’s (1982-1986) while Reid Maxwell was lead-tip.  After a brief hiatus Tom began to instruct local bands in Upstate NY, and now teaches many bands and individuals across North America both in person and via web based lessons.  He has played for the Toronto Metro Police Band with Drew Duthart in the early 90’s, and then with Peel Regional Police (2001-2004) and with the innovative Toronto Police Pipe Band with LD Doug Stronach. Yep, the cool medleys. 

Tom is a certified snare drumming adjudicator with EUSPBA and PPBSO and holds the highest level of certificate in drumming from the combined Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, The Army School of Piping and Drumming and the Institute of Piping, known collectively as the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board.  Tom has received PPBSO Champion Supreme Honors through all grade levels during his individual and band career.

Hamilton, Christopher

Piping

Christopher Hamilton has been piping since 1972. His foundational instruction came from Joyce McIn-tosh, Ed Krintz, Sandy Keith, Roddy MacDonald, and James McIntosh MBE. He competed extensively and successfully in the EUSPBA solo circuit, turning Professional in 1980, and winning the Boreraig Trophy for Pibroch in 1986. He has also competed at the Metro Cup and other venues, including winning the Professional Jig at Fort Erie in 2001.
His first band was the Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh, followed by several decades with the Denny & Dunipace / Scottish & Irish Imports / City of Washington Pipe Band, including several stints as Pipe Sergeant. Highlights include a Grade 2 World Championship win (1999) and two appearances in the Grade 1 Finals (2001 & 2004).
Chris also founded and led the DelMar & District Pipe Band (1981-1983) and the Lionhart Pipe Band (1985-1986). In 2001 he helped found the MacMillan Pipe Band, and was Pipe Major for 15 years, lead-ing them to the 2015 North American Championship in Grade 3. He then served as Pipe Sergeant of the Grade 2 MacMillan band before retiring to become Pipe Major of the MacMillan-Birtles Memorial Pipe Band.
Chris has judged many solo and band contests in the US and Canada, including the Celtic Classic. He has taught at the first two Winter Storm workshops, and several years at the Ohio Scottish Arts School, the National Piping Centre Summer School, and the Jimmy McIntosh Summer School.
From 2000 to 2009 Chris was the owner of Tone Czar Bagpipes, a piping retail store and consultancy, with a focus on service, customer support, and teaching. He has taught several youth and adult pipe bands and many soloists, including several of the top-ranked young professional pipers in the USA.
Chris is known for his love of old-school pipe band music, fanatical attention to instrument mainte-nance as the foundation of good bagpipe sound, and intense devotion to solid clean finger technique … and imparting these passions to his students and bandmates, particularly the youngsters who often are not immersed enough in these critical elements. Debugging subpar finger technique is a particular speciality.


Jones, Reagan

Bass and Tenor

Reagan Jones has been playing in pipe bands since the age of 13. She started out as a snare
drummer with the Kincardine Scottish Pipeband. Over the years, she has played with various
pipe bands throughout Ontario including the Milton Optimist Juvenile band as a snare drummer,
78th Fraser Highlanders as a tenor drummer, winning the best bass prize three times. She
started playing the bass drum with the Toronto police pipe band, ran the midsection and snare
section with the Durham Police Pipeband and currently plays the bass drum and runs the grade
two midsection for Peel Regional Police where she also teaches and guides the midsection
players in both the grade five and four bands. Reagan has taught and still teaches various
workshops around Ontario, Canada and the USA for Bass and tenor students. Professionally,
Reagan is a full time elementary music teacher with the Durham District School Board. Reagan
is also a part time Bass and Tenor judge for the PPBSO. Reagan currently resides up in the
Kawartha Lakes region where she enjoys her down time out on the water in her Kayak, privately
teaching bass and tenor students, riding the ATV trails or walking her two dogs Sebastian and
Harrison.

Kee, Thomas C.

Snare

Bio Coming

Lester, Neil (RIP)

Drum Major, Bass and Tenor

bio to come

MacDonald, Calum

Piping

Calum MacDonald’s piping career began with the practice chanter at the age of 6 and later the bagpipes at the age of 13 all under the tutelage of his father, Roderick MacDonald.  


He has won numerous awards in the United States, Canada, and Scotland.  His most memorable award being the “Champion of Champions” in P.E.I, Canada.


Calum has been very active in the pipe band circuit.   He currently plays with the Champion Supreme, 78th Fraser Highlanders, Ontario and has played for the Toronto Police Pipe Band, Ontario as well as Pipe Major of the DelMar and District Pipe Band, Delaware and the Grand Celtic Pipe Band, Fergus, Ontario. 


He became a EUSPBA judge in the late 80’s and is an active member of both the EUSPBA and PPBSO frequently judging throughout the US and Canadian circuits. 


Calum’s many years’ of involvement in piping have given him the opportunity to play at many Highland dancing competitions such as the U.S. and Canadian Championships.  He has also played in the musical “Brigadoon”, at professional sporting events and diplomatic functions.  


Calum has three children Carleigh, Liam, and Kieran MacDonald, all accomplished competitors/coaches in their own right. 

Mackay-Johnson, Glenna

Piping

At a very young age Glenna was singing nursery rhymes to pipe tunes and thus started her love of music and song. She comes from a family of talented musicians and attributes her success to the immersion she has experienced throughout her life.


Glenna started piping in 1981, after a long career of Highland and Scottish Country dancing.  She had no choice but to practice and succeed, as she lived with her main piping teacher and father, Reay Mackay.


Glenna has had a lengthy solo career playing throughout North America and Scotland - winning many prizes and scholarships.  Her pipe band involvement included playing with the City of Mississauga Pipe Band, Toronto Police Pipe Band and the 78th Fraser Highlanders.


Glenna is also an accomplished Gaelic singer and has preformed in many venues and sung on numerous recordings.


Glenna became a judge with the PPBSO in 2001. She continues to be a sought after teacher and adjudicator in the community.


Glenna is a teacher, by profession and has been actively teaching, as a professional teacher, for over 25 years.  She has her Special Education Specialist Qualifications and knows how to custom design learning that will fit the needs of all.  She understands how people work and knows how to get the best out of individuals.


Glenna is very passionate about piping and has devoted most of her life to the development of her craft. She has mentored many to the top of their game.

Glenna considers herself a life long learner and continues to actively learn and grow from others. 


Presently, Glenna lives in Aurora with her husband Alasdair and two children, Colin and Kayleigh.  Both Colin and Kayleigh are active competitors and have been taught by Glenna.

Mackenzie, Allan

Piping

Bio Coming

MacRae, Doug

Piping

Doug is a 20- year member of The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, 10 years as Pipe Major.  He is an A-certified adjudicator for the PPBSO in bands, light music and piobaireachd.  Solo highlights include winning the Professional Piobaireachd Award at the Maxville Highland Games, the Canadian Gold Medal Piobaireachd, and the Kansas City Silver Medal.  


From 2003-2008, Doug spent his time in Houston, TX teaching bagpipes at St. Thomas' Episcopal School Pipe Band.  There, he acted as the band director, leading the group to a Juvenile World Championship in 2006. Today Doug works in healthcare philanthropy for London Health Sciences Foundation.


Aside from competitive piping, Doug also tours with The American Rogues, playing bagpipes, guitar, piano, and vocals.

Melvin, Adrian

Piper

Adrian, born in Dundee, Scotland, began learning bagpipes at the age of 13 years from his father, P/M Kenneth Melvin.  With a strong introduction to piping they played together in the Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band.

 

His piping education continued with instruction from P/M Ian Duncan of the Scotrail Vale of Atholl pipe band.  Adrian was a member of the ‘Vale’ from 1988 to 1992, when the band won the European and British Championships.

 

Adrian moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1992 to become a police bandsman with the Victoria Police Pipe Band under the direction of P/M Nat Russell.  He played with them in 1998 when they won the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.  That same year he won both the Silver Chanter and past winners Clasp in New Zealand in the same weekend, an achievement repeated only one time since.

 

After the Victoria Police Pipe Band stopped competing in 1999, Adrian moved to North America and played with past world champions, The 78th Fraser Highlanders, winning a North American title in 1999. 

 

He has also played with Strathclyde Police, LA Scots and City of Washington.  He was P/Sgt and P/M of Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band during a 6 year stint, twice taking the band to 2nd place in Grade 2 at the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario.  

2013 saw Adrian playing with Dowco Triumph St PB and enjoying the tough competitive atmosphere of the BC association and the 2 day world championships.

 

Adrian then founded and led   the Greater Midwest Pipe Band in Battle Creek, Michigan, Michigan. They went on to win the North American Championships in Grade 2 in 2015.

 

In 2020 he has rejoined the famous 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band and looks forward to competing with them in the big circle.

 

Adrian has many solo awards in his pipe career.  He achieved a personal favorite in 2004 at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland, winning the ‘B’ Grade Marches and taking 2nd in the ‘B’ Grade Strathspey & Reel.

 

He is a full-time reed maker residing in Streamwood, Illinois, USA and is also a fully certified pipe judge with the MWPBA.

Regan, Patrick W.

Piping

Bio Coming

Recknagel, John R.

Piping

Bio Coming

Robertson, Ryan

Bass and Tenor

Ryan started playing tenor with the Hamilton Police Pipe Band when he was 11. He played with HPPB for 7 years and in that time won the North American championships multiple times in grades 4 to 2. In 2005 won best drum corps at the World Pipe Band Championships in grade 3. In 2011 he joined the 78th Fraser Highlanders and in his 5th year assumed leadership of the tenor section. He has had a few successful seasons playing snare for Hamilton Police grade 4 and 5 as well, winning Champion Supreme and the North American Championship. Ryan is also an accomplished professional solo player, winning the North American championships and Champion Supreme 3 times. He has placed top 3 in the professional Tenor and Bass contest multiple times at Winter Storm in Kansas City. In 2012 he won the professional tenor contest at the Agnew-Harrison Invitational Drumming Contest.
Over the last few years Ryan has been teaching private lessons, bands, and seminars and will continue to help instruct players coming through the Hamilton Police organization.

Sinclair, Peter

Piping

I started learning bagpipes in 1964 and in 1976 joined the Grade One Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band, and competed with them through their final season in 1992.  During this time my solo career advanced with 

a promotion to open piping in 1979.  I competed off and on through the early 2000’s.

After a slight break in 1993 and 94, I came back as Pipe Sergeant of the Niagara Police Grade 3 band and became Pipe Major for the 96 season, leading the band to the Canadian Champions at Cambridge and a fourth place at Maxville. 

 During the recesses I obtained my PPBSO judging certificates and started judging full time in 1997, and have continued judging since, and in the fall of 2018 I obtained my EUSPBA judging certificates.

In 2004, with my son Garth who I started teaching, I lead the Braemar Grade 4 band to a 6 place at Maxville, and played with my son in the Grade 2 Hamilton Police band in an undefeated Ontario season of 2009.

I am currently retired from the solo circuit, and was the Pipe Major of the Grade 3 Buffalo Bagpipe Band Club, from the fall of 2015 thru spring of 2020.

Stack, James E.

Piping

Jim began his piping career at eight years of age under the tutelage of John Rae

Miller who at the time was the Pipe Major of the Lovat-Cameron Pipe Band in Kearny, New Jersey. John was a machine gunner in the famed Highland Light Infantry (HLI) and had emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland years earlier. John was a member of the famous Glasgow Corporation Transport Pipe Band and as a boy received instruction John MacDougall Gillies and later from PM Willie Gray.


Through the years, Jim has received tuition from many top instructors including; Duncan McCaskill Sr., John Sabiston (also a student of John MacDougall Gillies), Donald Lindsay, Roddy MacDonald and Capt. John MacLellan of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Over a competitive span of 15 years, Jim's National awards include the Clan Donald Quaich and Boreraig Trophy for Piobaireachd, the St. Andrew Society Charger (for MSR) and nearly all professional U.S. Highland Games championships.


Jim’s top international prizes include; the Silver Medal for Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland, the Open Piobaireachd competitions at Crieff and Chatsworth, and the Piobaireachd Society's Gold Medal at Ottawa. Jim also placed 2nd in the under 18 Piobaireachd at the Cowal Highland Gathering on his first trip overseas. In addition to these Piobaireachd awards, a number of light music awards were also achieved at contests in Birnam, Chatsworth, Crieff, Perth and Inverness.


Jim has been involved with many notable Pipe Bands throughout the years, these include; Kenmure, Parlin & District, Dunvegan (Ottawa), Lehigh Valley and N.Y. Metro and the 78th Highlanders – Halifax, Citadel.


Jim is also a past President of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, an active piping teacher and adjudicator and has been working with both bands and individuals in the New York Metropolitan area for over 40 years.

Stronach, Doug

Snare

Doug Stronach is one of North America’s top pipe band players and educators. He is a World Junior Solo Snare Drum Champion, winner of the Scottish, British and European Championships, as well as top-six World Championship finishes with bands both in Scotland and Canada. He was the leading drummer of the Toronto Police and Peel Regional Police Pipe Bands with multiple Grade 1 North American Drum Corps Awards.  He recently retired from competition with the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver, BC. He has taught and played throughout the world including Canada, USA, South America, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, France, Germany, Sicily and the UK and has authored five books on Pipe Band Drumming including North America’s best-selling beginner tutor book. Doug is an accredited judge and holds the highest level of certificate in drumming from the combined Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, The Army School of Piping and Drumming, and the Institute of Piping, known collectively as the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board.  He is also a qualified assessor for the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board.

Wassman, John

Piping

John Wassman is an established solo player, bandsman and judge.  A student of Pipe Major George M. Bell, John has competed extensively as an amateur and professional, playing throughout the United States, Canada and Scotland.

As a bandsman, John Wassman has contributed his skills to two of the best bands this country has ever seen. A founding member of Parlin & District, John was a key player in this band as they dominated the US Piping scene for many years and won the Grade 2 North American Championship in 1984. John would then participate in a marvelous six year run with Parlin in Grade 1. John has also been a key member of the City of Washington Pipe Band having played with them when they won the Grade 2 World Championship title in 1999, as well as several North American Championships. John also served as Pipe Major of The County Monaghan Pipe Band for a few years. John lives with his wife Eileen and their family in Tinton Falls, NJ. A true professional in every sense of the word John carries himself with a humble pride that garners the respect of his band mates. A much sought after teacher, John also serves as an EUSPBA panel judge for both piping and ensemble.

Williamson, Brian

Piping

Brian is a certified judge for solo piping and pipe band competitions by the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario and the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, and holds the Senior Certificate from the Institute of Piping. His solo competitive piping career includes performances at contests across Canada, the US, and in the UK (including the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, the Northern Meeting in Inverness, and the Dunvegan Medal on Skye).
Brian is an experienced teacher whose pupils have become award-winning soloists and pipe band members.

 

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