Tam McGirr

By October 4, 2011Featured Artists

A well known Australian Piper and advisor to St. Kilda Retail Australia.

What kind of pipes and chanter do you play?

I have two sets of pipes I predominately play. Both are new Peter Henderson Pipes. One of full hand engraved silver and the other half ivory and hand engraved silver. I was brought up on the shepherd products but now play a wooden Peter Henderson Chanter and very happy with it.

Where do you hail from? Where do you live now?

I hail originally from Edinburgh where I was born but I now reside with my family in Brisbane Australia

Tell me about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?

I started in 1974 with the then Ballingry School Pipe Band that later effectively became Lochgelly School Pipe Band. I played with Dysart & Dundonald till I moved to Australia in 1985. I have guest played with The New Zealand Police for around 5 years and toured the worlds a few times with them. Recently played for just on 3 years with HOE Shotts and this year hoping to have a tune with Fife Police.

What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?

Winning the world pipe band championships with Dysart and Dundonald in 1978. I was only fifteen years old.

What has been your most stressful moment?

An incident during my police career that should probably be best left as no comment.

Who taught you?

My piping career began at school in Fife back in the mid 1970’s under the direction of PM RT Shepherd and Pipe Sgt GA Shepherd. They were both also my Mathematics and Arithmetic school teachers. They were both very very hard on some of us but as I reflect I would not have had it any other way.

What do you do as a day job?

I am a retired Police Officer formally of the Queensland Police Service having reached the rank of Sergeant. I now work part time in an administration capacity.

What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?

The relentless pursuit and hope that one of my kids would take up the pipes, but to this day still no end failing that I love computers.

Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?

In 2008 I travelled with a local band to Moscow for the first ever Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Russia. The tour was amazing. It was good to perform with other military bands from all over the world. The places we were taken too and the hospitality extended was unbelievable. Red Square and the Kremlin in the same day not to be missed.

What would your most perfect piping event be? Say if you could snap your fingers and make it happen. Describe.

I enjoyed my recent play with the HOE Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band. As a piper the most captivating experience to be part of a band with Jim Kilpatrick and his drum corps. Although recent results may not favor I still think they are the best drum corps in the world and Jim is second to none. I am very much looking forward to playing as long as I can with the Fife Police Pipe Band. I believe they are a band on the up and will feature in many prizes both minor and major in the coming seasons. But! If I could snap my fingers and make it happen? Then like so many other band players it would be to do a season with FMM under Richard Parkes.