Winner of the 2010 New Zealand Silver Chanter and member of the 2012 New Zealand Grade 1 Championships, Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band.
What kind of pipes and chanter do you play?
I play a set of PH5’s with a PH Blackwood Chanter.
Where do you hail from? Where do you live now?
I’m from Dunedin, New Zealand, and have lived most of my 22 years here!
Tell me about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?
I began piping when I was 10, and I’ve never looked back! I started under the tutelage of Don Smith at John McGlashan College in Dunedin, and progressed into the Grade 4 band when I was 11. Since then, I have had some fantastic opportunities to compete at the highest level; I competed with the City of Dunedin Pipe Band when they won the Grade 2 National Championships in 2008. I then moved to the Canterbury Caledonian Society in 2009 and have competed domestically with them ever since, culminating in being part of the band when it won its first ever New Zealand Championship in Grade 1 in 2012. In Scotland, I have had the amazing opportunity to play under P/M Ross Walker in the Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, and being part of the band that won the European and Cowal Championships in 2012.
What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?
In terms of bands, I think it would have to be this year’s win at the New Zealand National Championships – winning our first national championship and being surrounded by some of my best friends was an experience I’ll never forget and something I’ll always be proud of.
For solos, winning the New Zealand Silver Chanter in 2010 and coming third in the Former Winners Clasp in the same year was a huge highlight.
What has been your most stressful moment?
I don’t think I’ve had a hugely stressful moment in piping – probably coming home from Scotland in 2012 to find out my two biggest exams of the year were on the same day!
Who were you taught by?
I was originally taught by Don Smith, but since then I have had tuition from Lance Turnbull, Stuart Easton, and currently study both Piobaireachd and Light Music under Greg Wilson.
What do you do as a day job?
I’m at Otago University doing a double degree in Law and Political Science, as well as teaching piping on the side.
What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?
Piping takes up a huge amount of time, but I’ve been keen on web design and photography for some time, as well as doing a bit of film making…. as well as being a fan of the All Blacks!
Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?
Scotland would have to be the most interesting place piping has taken me – for a boy from the deep south in New Zealand it was something you could only dream of doing some day, so to be able to do it has been such a privilege.
What would your most perfect piping event be?
Holding the Glenfiddich closer to home – and having an “all-time” Glenfiddich championship with all the former Glenfiddich Championships since its inception competing against each other. As well as this, holding Oban/Inverness on a Pacific Island in the sunshine and heat!