A talented young piper with Canadian Pipe Band, Dowco Triumph Street, Alexander shares his piping stories.
Where do you hail from? Where do you live now?
I am originally from Seattle, Washington and now I live in Snohomish Washington.
Tell me about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?
I started just before I turned 8. I started with the Northwest Junior Pipe Band of Shoreline, Washington and for the last few years I pipe majored that band. In 2010, I started playing with the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band as well as Pipe Majoring a project band called “The Northwest/Whitespot United Pipe Band” which was 2 youth bands combined into one for one year. The Northwest Junior Pipe Band and the Whitespot Pipe Band (from Vancouver, British Columbia).
What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?
There have been many fantastic moments. I would say that winning the 2011 US Junior Solo Bagpiping Championships and winning the Piobaireachd at the George Sherriff Memorial Invitation competition the next weekend is a major highlight.
What has been your most stressful moment?
The most stressful moment was not while I was actually playing. It was at the World Pipe Band Championships this year (2011). I had just finished Pipe Majoring the MSR for the United Pipe Band and needed to get to the final tuning area to play with the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band. I ran over to the Final Tuning area but I was early so I ran toward where they were warming up only to find that the way I had chosen to go was blocked. I ended up running all over the park just to find out the band had arrived at final tuning shortly after I had left. In the end, I ran back to the final tuning area, grabbed my pipes from the Pipe Major of the Bushmills Irish Pipe Band of San Francisco, who I am grateful had kept my pipes warm while I was gone. I took a few deep breaths, tuned with the band for a couple short minutes before having a successful run in the qualifying round.
Who were you taught by?
I have been very fortunate to have the support of a number of great piping instructors, including; Kevin Auld, Brian McKenzie, and Hal Senyk. Most recently, I have been fortunate to be guided by Shaunna and David Hilder. In February, I attend a week long, intensive piping program called The Celtic Arts Foundation Winter School where I receive excellent instruction from world class pipers such as Roddy MacLeod, Brian Donaldson, Stuart Liddel, Bruce Gandy, Murray Henderson, Jack Lee, Fred Morrison and more.
What do you do as a day job?
I am a high school student.
What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?
I enjoy the sport of fencing, I own and ride horses, I play guitar and piano, I am also very interested in Audio Engineering and Music Production.
Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?
I would say that the most interesting place my piping has taken me so far is Scotland.
What would your most perfect piping event be? Say if you could snap your fingers and make it happen. Describe.
Enjoying an evening of tunes with all the great pipers of history.