Alasdair Gillies

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Alasdair Gillies
Born(1963-12-06)6 December 1963
Glasgow, Scotland
Died27 August 2011(2011-08-27) (aged 47)
Ullapool, Highland, Scotland

Alasdair Gillies (6 December 1963 – 27 August 2011) was an award-winning Scottish bagpiper and tutor. He became known as one of the most prominent figures in the Highland bagpipe fraternity and had an important influence on solo piping competitions in Scotland. Famous for holding the title of the last pipe major of the Queen's Own Highlanders, Alasdair left the army in 1997 to teach piping at the Carnegie Mellon University Pipe Band.[1]

Early life[edit]

Alasdair was born in Glasgow to parents Norman and Kathleen Gillies and lived there for the first eleven years of his life before moving to Ullapool, a fishing village on the West of Scotland where his father took on the position of piping instructor for the schools in Wester Ross.[2] Alasdair won his first major prize in 1981 at the Northern Meetings competition in Inverness, one of the most prestigious solo competitions in the world. He set records at the Northern Meetings by winning every trophy in the senior and junior piping competitions except one.[1] Alasdair was a military piper for 17 years (1980-1997) and gained a distinguished pass on the Pipe Major's course in 1986 where he achieved the Graduate certificate and the Senior Teachers certificate from the Institute of Piping.[3]


  1. ^ a b Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies | Herald Scotland
  2. ^ Alasdair Gillies
  3. ^ "Alasdair Gillies - bio". Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.