No matter where you go in Nova Scotia, you can't help but notice that there's always music. Rock bands and Cape Breton Fiddle music to be sure, but also the lovely haunting strains of the Great Highland Bagpipe that echo through the hallowed halls and dark green forested hills of this fair province by the sea. For those who live in Nova Scotia, Canada, pipe music is a part of the fabric of their very being.
"Pipers of Nova Scotia Biographical Sketches 1773 to 2000" lists more than 1600 pipers who were and are an integral part of Nova Scotia's cultural mosaic. Many entries have detailed biographies, and there are more than 200 photos, some of which never before appeared in print. Here you will find out about pipers young and old, male and female, famous and obscure, dating from the arrival in Pictou Harbour in 1773 of piper John MacKay aboard the immigrant ship "Hector" and continuing right up to the present time. Some of the most interesting stories are not about those who achieved the highest acclaim in provincial, national and international competitions, and many Nova Scotian pipers did, but from those for who piping became an integral part of their daily lives and of the social life of the communities in which they played. The stories of their struggles to learn and master the intricacies of this most difficult of instruments and their joy in the music they shared with others should serve to inspire pipers for generations to come.
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Scott Williams of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada began his piping career in 1966, while a first year student at St. Francis Xavier University (B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.). Over more than three decades, he has served the piping community of Nova Scotia as a performer, competitor, pipe major, teacher, composer, author, organizer, adjudicator and publisher. He served as Secretary of the Nova Scotia Pipers and Pipe Band Association for thirteen years, and as a member of the Association's piping and pipe band adjudicator's panel for more than twenty years. In 1999 he was named to the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario's panel of piping adjudicators. He taught individuals and bands for over thirty years, leading two of his bands to North American Championships (Clan Thompson Pipe Band, Grade 3 in 1989 and Antigonish Highland Society Pipe Band, Grade 4 in 1995). He founded The Scotia Highland Dancers, The Antigonish Highland Society School of Piping and Drumming, and The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish, and has served on the Boards of Festival Antigonish, The Antigonish Highland Society, St. Ann's Gaelic College, and The Celtic Travel Bursary Foundation. He has published four volumes of bagpipe music ("New Bagpipe Music From Nova Scotia, Volumes 1 - 4"), a children's novel ("Sandy Chisholm's Chanter Lessons"), and two major histories of piping in Nova Scotia - "Pipers of Nova Scotia Biographical Sketches 1773 to 2000" and "Pipe Bands of Nova Scotia 1898 to 2000."Review:
... impressive 260-page work ... will forever hold his place in Nova Scotia piping history as an important contributor ... -- Piper and Drummer Magazine, On-line Reviews, 10/11/2000
Pipers of Nova Scotia - A Useful Reference -- Jeannie Campbell, Piping Times, January, 2001
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