Gregor MacGregor - Scottish Piper
Beginning in November, 1962 at age six, I took instruction from Walter S. Rose in the Detroit/Windsor area. Mr. Rose was one of the three most important pipers in North America from the mid-1930s through the mid 1960s. He, along with the other two, John Wilson and George Duncan worked relentlessly to raise the standards of piping to the same level as in Scotland. Walter Rose also created the St. Andrews Pipe Band of Detroit, which rose through the ranks to grade 1 with an almost entirely under-21 roster.
In 1966, Walter Rose passed away. I then attended the legendary piping school in Wilkesport, Ontario taught by John MacFadyen from 1968 through 1973. Throughout the years Pipe Major John Goodenow instructed me on piobaireachd and continued to mentor my solo career.
The Wilkesport piping school was attended by many of Ontario's and Michigan's best pipers --and some future world champions-- during the time I was there. The Americans included Lars Sloan, John Goodenow, Dave Martin, David Clark, Neil MacKinnon, Matt Turnbull and many others who I don't mean to forget. The Canadian roster is well-known: Trudy Campbell Skinner, Jim McGillivray, Ed and Geoff Neigh, Bill Livingstone, Syd Girling, Frank Edgley.
I continued to play with St. Andrew's until about 1978, when I decided to get married and then began raising a family, which left little time for piping.
In about 1996, I began to update my pipes, my repertoire and my uniform and I slowly returned to regular piping. By 1999, I was playing engagements all over Upper Michigan. During this time I re-established some of the connections I had made years previously, including Jim McGillivray, Dave Martin, the Neigh brothers and others.
In 2005, I played a six-concert stint with The Chieftains. These included appearances as special guest artist with the the Minnesota Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. This led to several other engagements with various other well-known performers. I have also consulted on and performed Maxwell Davies' 'An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise' with the Ann Arbor Orchestra and the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in Muskegon.
In the meanwhile, I have continued to provide music for weddings all over Michigan, as well as Wisconsin and Ohio, between thirty and forty per year. I especially relish every wedding ceremony, as it is an honor to be included. It seems most fitting to share this talent with which I have been blessed for such a special, important and joyous occasion.