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McGillivray Piping
Jim McGillivray
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About Jim McGillivray

More than 20 years of international prizes in all branches of pipe music between 1971 and 1991 distinguish Jim McGillivray as one of Canada's best all-round pipers ever. Continued work since then in music publishing and research, bagpipe and reed development, professional teaching, judging, educational publishing and performing have established him as one of the world's leading piping figures.

Jim began piping in Kitchener, Ontario in 1966. By 1972 he had risen to the top of the amateur competition ranks and began competing as a professional. Over the next two decades he won the major piping prizes on both sides of the ocean, including the coveted Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness, Scotland, the Clasp at Inverness, The March/Strathspey and Reel at the Glenfiddich Championship and the North American Championship. The pipe band world also felt his influence. For 10 years in the 1970s he played a prominent role in the Guelph Pipe Band’s rise to the top rank of premier bands, leading the band in 1981 to it’s second North American Championship. From 1988-92 he was a member of the groundbreaking 78th Fraser Highlanders, winning three more North American titles with this illustrious band.

In recent years, Jim’s attention has turned to teaching, publishing and performing. His 1992 he made a solo CD – Volume 10 in Lismor Recordings’ World’s Greatest Pipers collection. His tutor and companion CD, Rhythmic Fingerwork, published in 1998, became an immediate bestseller and set a new standard for piping tutors. It is now in its fifth printing. His two instructional videos, Pipes Ready and Pipes Up were released in 2000 and 2001 respectively and have attracted attention from pipers worldwide. His Piobaireachd Fingerwork, a natural follow-up on his first book, was published in March, 2012.

Jim has also become an accomplished performer on the
Scottish smallpipes, Border pipes and Northumbrian smallpipes.

Since 1998, Jim has been the Piping and Drumming Program Director at
St. Andrew’s College, an independent boys’ school near his home in Aurora, Ontario. He was also the co-founder of the Ontario School of Piping and Drumming at St. Andrew’s College, one of the continent’s leading summer piping and drumming schools.

He is an active international piping judge, having adjudicated across North America. He has also judged such prestigious overseas events as the Clasp at Inverness, the Gold Medal and Senior Piobaireachd at The Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, The Bratach Gorm at The London Piping Society Contest and the March/Strathspey and Reel at the Glenfiddich Piping Championship.

His current labour of love is, a website where pipers can download individual pieces of sheet music. He is a member of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band.