Isla is a talented piper, singer-songwriter from Orkney.
What kind of pipes and chanter do you play?
I play a set of PH01A Antique Celtic Nickel Bagpipes and an R.G. Hardie Infinity Pipe Chanter.
Where do you hail from? Where do you live now?
I hail form Kirkwall, Orkney but currently live in Glasgow, Scotland.
Tell us about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?
I started tuition 11 years ago at the age of 12 and joined the Army Cadet Force Pipes and Drums where I was then appointed as the first female and youngest Senior Pipe Major at the age of 16. Throughout the years I have guested with the Royal Air Force Pipes and Drums and I am currently a member of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Association Pipe Band. I have played with Methil and District Pipe Band and The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. I am currently auditioning for another top Grade 1 band… watch this space.
What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?
There have been quite a few but I think it has to be playing alongside my father Jim Stout during my 4th and final recital at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in May 2021 after having just launched our book “The Stout Collection”
What has been your most stressful moment?
I used to get incredibly nervous when I was younger until I learned how to better control my nerves as an adult…My audition to secure a place on the Traditional Music – Piping Degree at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was probably my most stressful time. I was a wreck that day and really struggled to keep the nerves at bay as I had never wanted something so much as getting into the RCS, but thankfully it went well and I got in!
Who were you taught by?
I was mostly taught by my father Jim Stout who became not only my tutor but best friend. I was incredibly lucky to have received such great tuition from my dad as I honestly would not be anywhere near where I am today if he hadn’t pushed and encouraged me when I was younger… hats off to him for putting up with me during my stroppy teenage years!
In later years during my time at the Conservatoire I received tuition from the great Willie McCallum, Finlay MacDonald and for a short spell Ross Ainslie. Who could ask for more!
What do you do as a day job?
I am a Sales Administrator for St Kilda Holdings, working mainly in St. Kilda UK Retail and in the R.G. Hardie Bagpipes division. Alongside this I teach, gig and tour when I can!
What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?
I really enjoy cooking, there’s just something incredibly therapeutic about putting on some good tunes, pouring a glass of wine and cooking something really tasty! I also enjoy being creative in general and socialising with friends and most importantly, family.
Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?
Oh that’s a tough one! I have been so lucky over the years having played in lots of Europe, Oman and soon to be Las Vegas but my favourite so far has to be Havana, Cuba! What an experience that was! Piping, sun, rum and good company… what more could you ask for!
What would your most perfect piping event be?
I think standing next to my dad and being able to play alongside the top and most influential pipers there has ever been, including the ones that are unfortunately no longer with us… what a feeling that would be! Legends!