Piping and Drumming Instructors within WUSPBA

WUSPBA provides this unofficial list soley as a convenience for the public. The individuals listed below have not had their qualifications screened to meet any criteria, other than they may have paid dues to become a member of WUSPBA. These individuals have provided their own biographies which have not been investigated for accuracy. Potential students are encouraged to fully evaluate possible instructors. WUSPBA assumes no responsibility should a listed individual not meet your expectations in any respect.

Students may also wish to contact pipe bands in their region for advice on finding an instructor since not all qualitfied instructors are listed below.

If you feel you are a qualified instructor and would like to be listed, please submit information as listed below to the webmaster. Please also include your WUSPBA membership number or band affiliation.

If you discover that any of information is below is no longer valid (disconnected phone number, bounced e-mails, retired) please notify the webmaster.



Index to the instructors below by state:



Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Don Carlos, William

Tucson, AZ 520-907-4460 P Pipe Major of the new Tucson Highlanders, aka The Tucson Pipers. The band rehearses both Monday & Tuesday evenings. We also offer private instruction. No experience
Donelson, Michael Flagstaff, AZ 928-853-7867 (cell phone) P Pipe Major of the recently-founded Southwest Skye Pipes & Drums based out of Williams, AZ since 2006, member of the Phoenix Pipe Band starting in 2003 and currently competing with Hugh O’Connor Memorial Pipe Band in Tucson, AZ for 2010 and 2011. Solo competitor currently in Grade I and instructor for several students of varying levels in the last five years. for more information regarding hiring and instruction
Gibson, Paul

Tucson, AZ 520-505-1254 S Currently Lead Drummer of Tucson & District Pipe Band and a guest player with Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band. Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in percussion performance with over 20 years of professional drumming experience. Beginning group classes are on Thursday evenings from 6-7pm. Private instruction is also available and open to people of all ages, experience levels, and band affiliation.
Knowles, Richard

Mesa, AZ 480-220-6990 P 25 years playing experience. Playing instructor for the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band, current playing member of Cabar Feidh Pipe Band (Studio City, Ca). Head instructor for the Southwest School of Bagpiping, located in Mesa, Az.
MacHeffner, Kevin

Mesa, AZ 602-363-3617 S T B DM 3rd in Adult Drum Majors at the 2004 World Pipe Band Championships, Band Experience in Grades 4, 3 and 1. Professional teaching experience. Will travel. Visit www.ScottishDrumming.comfor more info!
McKee, Mike

Mayer, AZ 520-632-9639 P Over 25 years of playing experience. I compete successfully at the grade II level and I am a member of the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band. I am an instructor and advisor for the Arizona Highlanders Pipe Band in Flagstaff, Arizona.
MacLeod, Scott

Phoenix, AZ 513-238-1757 P Former member of 78th Fraser Highlanders, Peel Regional Police, North Coast Pipe Band, 87th Cleveland pipeband, and current member of Mesa Caledonia. Professional level player. Over 10 years teaching pipers of all levels. I also do band workshops and can teach Piobaireachd. Also available for phone lessons.
Robinson, Denise

Prescott, AZ 928-443-5191 P I have been playing over 27 years; competed with Sacramento Camerons, Nicholson Pipes & Drums, Misty Isle Pipe Band.


Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Allan, John

Glendale, CA 818-243-7011 P Member of the L.A. Scots Pipe Band. 25 years piping experience and recording artist – available to help in band, solo, composition and playing bagpipes with other instruments. Visit my website at
Aguero, Mark

Hawthorne, CA 310-489-6557 DM Active in Scottish Style Drum Majoring for over 15 years. Adjudicator for California State High School Drum Major Circuit (Tom Peacock) since 1986 having judged state finals 10 times.
Adjudicator for the Southern California Judging Association since 1987 – judging all band related captions in parade and field events.
Adjudicator for WUSPBA Drum Majors since 1995.
Currently the Director of Bands at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, CA.
Calvillo, Darrell A.

Glendora, CA 626-826-0381 P Darrell Calvillo is an open class solo competitor, professional performer, and current member of the Los Angeles Scottish (LA Scots) Pipe Band grade 1 and Celtic/World band Silent Planet. In competition pipe bands, he has served in leadership positions at the grade 2 level. Darrell studied classical and contemporary music theory and performance at Citrus College and the University of La Verne.These musical foundations in combination with tutelage of several master pipers have gifted Darrell with extensive experience in western music with specialization in the Celtic genre. Darrell is available for private lessons, group classes, band consultation, musical arrangement and composition, marching and deportment, workshops, and performances at any event.
Cisneros, Abraham
Fresno, CA 559-475-1802 P S T B I have been piping for over 13 years and drumming for about 16 years. I currently live in Stockton, Ca where I am the Pipe Major of the Jack Dunbar Memorial Pipe Band Grade 4. I have been teaching all levels and ages for most of my musical career. I have played with many bands and have given seminars up and down CA. My student pipers and drummers are the top in their Grade. Private lessons or group lessons are available. I do write pipe and drum scores if your pipe band is in need. Email me or call me but please leave a message.
Cousin, Lorne

Los Angeles, CA 310-801-9843 P Prize winning solo piper (Argyllshire Gathering, Northern Meetings, Scottish Piper’s Association, Royal National Mod) from Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Scotland. Toured with Madonna on World Reinvention tour and has played and recorded with a number of international artists. Played with the Kintyre District Pipe Band (1985-1996) and the Grade I David Urquhart Travel Pipe Band (1998-2000).
Lorne was taught by the late PM Tony Wilson and the late Duncan Johnston.
A tutor at the National Piping Centre Summer Schools, Lorne is teaches all levels either in person or online.
Also available for band tuition and weekend clinics in California.
Coyne, Seumas

Claremont, CA 909-267-9735 P Accomplished piper with over 30 years experience in bands and solos at professional level. Experienced teaching all levels and abilities: beginning through professional level. Also available for band clinics/instruction. Please see my web site:
D’avenas, Michel

Monterey, CA 831-372-2020 P S Teaching pipes all levels for approx. 30 years. Pipe major for the Monterey Scottish Grade III pipe band 1975 to 1983. Pipe Major for the Monterey/Salinas pipe band 1997 till present.
Foster, Dick & Gwen

Mariposa, CA 209-966-2832 P Dick has been playing in Grade 4 bands for nearly 40 years and Gwen for about 25. Both have served as Pipe Major at various times and for the last 10 years or so have been teaching the Fresno band. Students in the Fresno area can receive instruction at the reguar band practice on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7.
Gillespie, Max
Los Angeles, CA (310) 383-2193 P Max is a bagpiper based in Venice, Ca and is available to teach beginners and intermediate level individuals. Currently a member of the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band, (Grade I) Max has experience from Gr.4 through the Gr.1 levels, with success in both band and solo competitions. Was the Pipe Sergeant of the College of Wooster Pipe Band. Past member of the Misty Isle Pipe Band (WUSPBA champions) and the Pasadena Scots Pipe Band.
Graham, Kathleen Nicholson
(Telephone is preferred.)

Stanton, CA 7l4-534-8097 P My father, the late PM Malcolm Nicholson C.M. was PM of the Vancouver Police Pipe Band for 17 years, started me on the bagpipes when I was 4-1/2 years old. When I was 6 years old I was awarded the youngest piper in Canada trophy. When I was 12, I joined the Vancouver Ladies P.B. At 16, joined the Glengarry Girls P.B. In 1953 won the Aggregate piping with Willie Ross and John Burgess judging in Vancouver, B.C. Moved to Santa Monica, CA in 1966 and I started teaching the bagpipes. In 1981 started the Nicholson Pipes and Drums with all my own pipe pupils. In 1985, returned to Canada to caregive my father, turned the Pipe Majorship over to my pupil Robert Hackney. Returned to Orange County in 2002 and started teaching again.
Harrington, Jim

Glencoe, Ill 847-242-0148 DM Drum Major for over 35 years. WUSPBA Senior DM Adjudicator for over 25 years.
Hoinacki, Andrew

San Juan Capistrano, CA 714-392-7241 S T B Andrew is a premier instructor of highland drumming in all its forms. He teaches individuals, corps, and group sessions. He is also available for ensemble consulting, composition, arrangement, strategy and leadership development. Andrew is an adjudicator on the WUSPBA ‘A’ Panel for solo and band drumming, tenor/bass and band ensemble. On the Music Board he oversees the drumming panel and new judges. Andrew is the founder of ScottishDrumming.comand coordinates a faculty of regionally-based instructors. He welcomes the opportunity to help players and bands at all levels and in any location!
Lujan-Shaw, Mickie

Los Angeles, CA 818-486-4439 T DM 5 time World Championships Best Overseas Drum Major, North American Champion, 4th at the World Championships. Won at every major contest in Western U.S. Drum Major for 18 years with the Cameron Highlanders of San Diego. WUSPBA Drum Major judge. Available for private/group, workshops, and pipe band marching / drill instruction. Students include a Juvenile World Champion, four California State high school champions, and two WUSPBA champions. Have mace, Will travel.Tenor drum instructor. Flourishing (spinning) instruction a specialty.
Mitchell, John

Modesto, CA P Have played with top Grade 1 world class Canadian Pipe Bands for 27 years and won many Solo championships in Ontario, Canada. Currently teaching players of all levels and conducting workshops for pipe bands.
Naismith, Campbell

San Diego, CA P Experienced, professional piping instruction for children aged 7 – 14 years. for resume and more information.
Partanen, John Eric PhD

Bakersfield, CA 661-817-5950 P Professional Piper since 1961. Qualified instructor of piping with particular experience in Piobaireachd.
Payne, Fred

Albany, CA 510-926-9579 P Piping since age 11. Playing professionally since age 14. Teaching since age 16. Solo Experience: Currently competing in Grade 2 solo piping after a 4 year break. Solo Awards: 2004, 2003 Grade 3 Western US Champion. 2002 Grade 4 Western US Champion. Band Experience: Currently performing with Bushmill’s San Francisco Irish Pipers (Grade 3). Formerly with The Monterey Bay Pipe Band, The Central Coast Pipes and Drums, and The Walter B. Truman Pipe Band.
Reoch, Tom

Hawthorne, CA 310-539-4302 P I am the PM for the Misty Isle Pipe Band. I have been playing over 20 years and have received many awards. For more information please visit I teach all levels and beginners are most welcome. Any age, and gender, any level.
Richey, Janice

Marin County, CA P As Pipe Major of the MacIntosh Pipe Band, Grade IV, I have been involved in teaching adult beginning pipers for over two decades. I love the fact that all my students are fulfilling a dream and I understand that they will move at exactly the rate they need and want to.
Robinson, Tom

Modesto, CA 209-380-8153 P S T B DM Tom Robinson is from Canada and is a past member of MacNish Distillery PB, Glenmor PB, 78th Frasers PB, and St. Thomas Police PB (all Grade I bands). With over 34 years of experience with people like Alex Duthart, Jim Kilpatrick, John Cairns, Jake Watson, Bill Livingstone, John Walsh, Duncan Gibson, and Luke Allan. Tom has won almost every top prize in North American and has had winning students in every grade. Tom is a past Pipe Major of several lower grade bands and former leading drummer of the St. Thomas Police, Grade I. Tom is a Champion Supreme winner in Open Snare for Ontario, Canada, was co-owner of the Norm Campbell memorial school of music. Tom also teaches many other Celtic instruments.
Salter, Jay

jaysalter [at]

Santa Cruz, CA 831-429-5836 P Pipe Major of Santa Cruz Pipes & Drums. Piping for over 30 years, many prize-winning students, including piobaireachd. One of his students won the WUSPBA 2008 Season Grade IV Solo Aggregate award. Studied under Jimmy McColl, Donald Shaw Ramsay, and Jimmy
Shaw, Aaron

Los Angeles, CA 323-665-PIPER (7473) P Over 25 years of experience. Piper with Los Angeles Police, Wicked Tinkers. Instructor at the College of Piping Summer School for 6 years. Holder of Institute of Piping Senior and Teaching Certificates. Professional level competitor and prize winner at home and overseas. All levels, light music and Piobaireachd.
Sherwood, Iain

San Leandro, CA 510-569-1689 P Solo instructor for the last ten years, piping for over thirty-five years in bands and as soloist. Current member of Scottish Piping Society of London, Eagle Pipers Edinburgh, Piobaireachd Society. I published my own tutor book in 1993, now in its fourth printing. Group piping sessions are Thursdays at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Leandro. I teach all levels from absolute beginners to piobaireachd in one-on-one lessons. Weekly group sessions reinforce the learning process and provide additional exposure to playing pipes, learning tuning, and reed techniques.
Skinner, Bob

Redding, CA 530-949-7430 P Piping for 25+ years. Music director/instructor of the Jefferson Pipe Band (South), Redding California.
Instructors: Past – Seamus MacNeill, Dr. John MacAskill, Tom McVey, Murray Huggins.
Current – Rob Jeffs.
Will teach: Beginner through Grade 3.
Speed, Gary

Modesto, CA 209-404-8034 P Played with City of Sacramento Pipe Band, founder and instructor for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Pipe Band. Consistent winner in grade 4 and grade 3 solo contests. Passed the grade 3 test at the College of Piping in Glasgow, Scotland.
Whitelaw, Ian

Redondo Beach, CA 310-634-9726 P 35 years experience as an accomplished soloist, competitor, performer, band leader and teacher. Winner of U.S. Gold Medal for Piobaireachd. Please visit my web site at
Willis, Malcolm

Westminster, CA 714-895-4127 S I’m currently the lead tip and co-director of the Nicholson Pipes and Drums, which was founded by my mother Kahtleen Nicholson Graham P.M. and was named in honour of my grandfather. The band is currently under the direction of P.M. Robert Hackney. I’ve been living in Westminster since 1983 with my wife and two daughters. I have over 4 decades of pipe band and modern drumming experience and have openings for drum students in the Orange County and South Bay areas. I specialize in the young and adult beginning students.


Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Becker, Reil

Denver, CO 720-384-4682 P I have been playing for several years, and competiting successfully at the grade 1 level. I am currently a member of the Windsor Police Pipe Band grade 1, and a retired member of the successful Colorado Skye Pipe Band. I have studied under great instructors such as Allisdair Gillies, John Cairns, and Bruce Gandy, and am available for instruction. If you are interested in lessons, or have any questions about the set up of an efficiant bagpipe, give me a call.
Wilson, Dennis

Loveland, CO 970-613-9090 P I have over 40 years’ experience playing the Great Highland Bagpipe. I am very active in pipe bands, having performed with The New Zealand Police Pipe Band at the Grade I Worlds in Scotland numerous times. Since leaving New Zealand and settling in Colorado I have been appointed the Pipe Major and Musical Director for the Fort Collins Pipe Band. I am now offering private lessons to all grades of pipers. I am also available for weddings, memorials, and other gigs. Please see my website at for more information.


Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Rock, David

Rexburgh, ID 208-656-0059 P I have played bagpipes since 1982. Currently Pipe Major of Henry’s Fork Pipes and Drums and the Snake River Pipe Band. Group or individual lessons available.


Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Packer, Daniel

Las Vegas, NV 702-243-9023 P Pipe Major and Instructor of the Desert Skye Pipes & Drums.


Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Bartlit, John Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM 505-262-4993 S T B Professional drummer with several years pipe band drumming experience.
Machen, Don

Los Alamos, NM 505-662-3476 P Former pipe major of a Gd. IV band and solo judge for grades 2/3/4. Completed the III/IV band apprentice judge shadowing program and competed Gd. I in piobaireachd, Gd. II in light-music.
Teaches: Highland and Scottish Small Pipes
Member of Albuquerque and Four Corners Pipes and Drums



Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Harrington, Jim

Oregon 541-261-6119 DM Drum Major for over 35 years. WUSPBA Senior DM Adjudicator for over 25 years.




Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Baxter, Bruce

Salt Lake Valley, UT 801-255-2529 (Home)801-386-2618 (Cell) S I have led and played in many successful drum corps for the past 38 years in the State of Utah and also competed successfully in Grade I and Open solo competition.
My Scottish drumming background is well grounded in the rudimental areas of pipe band drumming using multiple teaching resources from world class instructors to ensure a full on approach to the art form.
Christensen, Joseph

Provo/Orem, UT 801-226-5204 P I have been playing the pipes for the 12 years, since I was 9 years old, my instructors were Gary Hall and Ian White. I currently play with the Mt. Timpanogos Pipe Band in the Utah Valley and give lessons in my home in Provo Canyon. I can also travel to student’s home if necessary.
Dalpias, Emily

Salt Lake City, Utah 801-710-7980 T B I have been playing Scottish tenor drum for 7 years, and Scottish bass drum for about 4. I am currently playing with the L.A. Scots Pipe Band while still living in Utah. I have been under the instruction of Tyler Fry in tenor drumming at The Mastery of Scottish Arts Drumming School for four years, and was taught to play bass by Craig Calhoun also at The Mastery of Scottish Arts. I have had lots of experience with different bands, teaching beginning drumming classes at Ben Lomond High School for 3 years, and experience with solo drumming events, including winning the WUSPBA championships for tenor drumming in 2003. I currently teach private or group lessons, specializing in tenor drumming flourishing and choreographing.
Goodman, DeAnn

Cedar Hills, UT 801-358-0382 P I have been playing bagpipes since 1984. I was pipe major of the Utah Pipe Band for 10 years. My teaching experience is more than 30 years and I specialize in teaching beginners, including children as young as 5. My pipe band experience includes Payson High School Pipe Band (Pipe Major 1988), SUU Scarlet and Black Pipe Band, White Peaks Centennial Pipe Band, and currently am roster with Utah Pipe Band.
Gibbs, Michael


Orem, UT 801-244-4463 P I learned to play the bagpipes over 23 years ago. As a student, I couldn’t put my practice chanter down. All I wanted to do was play the bagpipes. As I advanced in the bagpipe band, I quickly became a lead piper and a bagpipe instructor. I began teaching students at a young age and have continued to teach those who want to learn how to play the bagpipes. I competed and performed with the Salt Lake Scots Bagpipe Band for many years before departing from them. Since then, I have played with many local bands, as well as the L.A. Scots Pipe Band in California. I am rostered with the Utah Pipe Band currently.
Gunn, William J.

Salt Lake City, UT 801-963-4970Celtic
S T B Drum Sergeant for Salt Lake Scots. 20 years of pipe band drumming experience. Active member of WUSPBA as a solo Grade I competitor. 1993 DCI semi-finalist with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corp. A member of the University of Utah marching band 1990-1994; section leader in 1993 and 1994. Grade II drumming champion in Alberta, Canada and WUSPBA Grade I Drumming Champion in 2004. Currently the head percussion instructor at the Celtic Center in Salt Lake City, Utah
Howland, Justin

Salt Lake City, UT 801-231-3237 P I have been playing the bagpipes since 1994 and currently compete Grade I in both the WUSPBA and BC Pipers. I am one of two instructors for the Wasatch and District Pipe Band, a former member of Prince Charles Pipe Band (Grade I) and current member of the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band. I have limited availability but will take on new students who are serious about learning. For more information view my website:
McMaster, Dennis

Salt Lake City, UT 801-484-7733 P Teaching since 1976 with an emphasis on using canntaireachd.  Member of The Celtic Center staff.
Pipe Major of the Salt Lake Scots since 1983.  Specialize in training from beginners to accomplished pipers.
Rack, Richard J.

Salt Lake City, UT 801-264-1803 S T B I have been playing drums in pipe bands for just over 15 years. I currently play snare with the Wasatch and District Pipe Band and instruct their Grade IV group. I was also drum sergeant of the Grade III Utah Pipe Band for several years and a member of the University of Utah drum line. I compete solo at the Grade I level and have won many solo competitions throughout the western USA. I thoroughly enjoy music and am also an accomplished pianist with 9 consecutive years of superior ratings soloing at the Utah National Federation of Music.
Postma, Mike

Bountiful, UT 801-294-2391 S T B Current DS of the Wasatch & District Pipe Band. I have been drumming since 1990, and have been in many musical ensembles. I was on a percussion performance scholarship at the University of Utah for 3 years, until my studies in Engineering demanded too much of my time to continue. I continued playing as DS in the Utah Pipe Band (Grade III) for the remainder of my college years, and I then helped with the formation of the W&D PB. I teach students of all ages and of all ability levels.
Rawlinson, Ian

Orem/Provo, UT 818-577-3225 (cell) P Over 20 years of experience. Received primary instruction from Seamus and James Coyne from the age of 9. I studied piobreachd under James McColl. Offering professional instruction to all levels. References available upon request. [website]



Name & E-mail City, State Phone Number Pipes Snare Tenor Bass D/M Biography
Bautz, Melissa (formerly Pratt)

Lander, WY 307-330-7539 P Piping 20 years. Instructors include James McColl, John MacAskill, and Ian Whitelaw (current teacher). Currently competing Grade I – level WUSPBA competitor. Plays Ceol Beag and Ceol Mor. Will teach beginner level through Grade III. Melissa is building her own Grade IV band in Lander, Wyoming (Population ~7,000). There are currently four member pipers and three guest pipers in her band, the Lander Volunteer Fire Department Pipe Band.