The Northumbrian Pipers' Society
April 1st 2012 (no it's not an April Fool's) marks a landmark in the history of our Society as we become a fully registered charity.
Our Chairman Andrew Davison said "My personal thanks to everyone who has put so much effort and thought into this over a very long period of time – long before I became Chairman.
I am sure that we will find things we did not expect – both good and challenging – but the benefits that have been set out in various documents in the past have now been secured.
From today, the NPS enters a new chapter and I very much look forward to exploring with you what can be achieved in the further promotion of our objectives."
The Society produces a quarterly Newsletter and an annual Journal (which is despatched around the beginning of December).
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The Society has a significant range of music books which are available to members at discount. See the Music section of this site
The Society produced an LP in 1987 and this is still available. It has also recently been released on CD.
The Society has some bursaries available. The policy is currently under review but please contact us to find out more.
Andrew Davison, Chairman
"I have lived all my life in Northumberland. I started to play the pipes at the age of 15 in the 1970s, taught by Roland Lofthouse on a set made by David Burleigh. I made my first set of small pipes when still at school. Since then, I have made, played and judged both small pipes and Half Longs, been a tutor on a number of courses, established the Hexham Pipers' Gathering and made a CD. I have had the great privilege of knowing and sharing tunes with many who, like me, simply enjoy our wonderful instrument and its music. I am married to Nicola (an excellent piper in her own right) and we have two teenage children, Lucy and Thomas (who play electric guitar and drums!). I am a solicitor by profession and am Chairman of three regional charities."
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Andy May, Vice Chairman:
I started to learn the pipes in the late eighties, having been introduced to the instrument by my father Stan. I have learned to play from Roland Lofthouse and Adrian Schofield, and from studying the recordings of Billy Pigg and Tom Clough. Through the 90s I entered many piping competitions and studied music at the University of York with the pipes as my chosen instrument. In 2002 I decided to become a full-time musician. Nowadays I tour with North-East band Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies, UK/Finnish/Danish ensemble Baltic Crossing, my own Andy May Quartet, and various other projects. When not gigging I have become a pipemaker, again learning much from my father, and also Colin Ross. I’ve made around 30 chanters/sets of pipes so far. I have a particular interest in the study of old instruments as I believe there is still much we can learn from them. My current ongoing research project is into the pipemkaing of Tom Clough and Fred Picknell.
I joined the NPS committee in 2011 and in January 2012 was made Vice-Chairman.
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Pam Horne, Secretary and membership
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or for membership matters
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Mike Evans, Treasurer:
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Started playing in 1982, living near Cambridge. After 1 year, met Mike Nelson, who taught me a lot: tunes, playing, fettling, and introduced me to other pipers, particularly Joe Hutton and the Robbs. In 1993, Joe asked me to help teach on the Rothbury course, and I have taught there and on other courses, when invited, since. Moved back to Northumberland in 2003, joined Robson's Choice, went to Strakonice with Neil Smith and Robson's Choice in 2004, 6, 8 and 10
Is the Museums Officer (North Northumberland) for Woodhorn Charitable Trust, responsible for Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and Berwick Museum & Art Gallery. She is Curatorial Adviser for Ford & Etal Estates.She has looked after the collections in Morpeth since 1987, and has been involved with the Bagpipe Museum since it was at its previous home, the Black Gate in Newcastle upon Tyne. She learned to play the Northumbrian pipes early on during that time - though certainly not to a virtuoso standard – if only she had kept up the practising for all those years! Being at the museum, Anne knows most people in the piping world, has met them at some point, or has even inveigled them into playing in concert. Anne is a Vice President of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.
I joined the NPS in 1995 and began playing in 1996 when we moved to Northumberland - specifically for me to be able to meet with pipers as I had not played any musical instruments before and am not naturally musical! I've served on the NPS committee for over 10 years previously, and hosted the NPS annual day. I play with Piper's fancy the NPS performance group and also at NPS sessions and in other piping groups such as Alma Landles monthly coastal group, Alnwick pipers, and for church and charity events.
Tom started playing the Highland Pipes at school in 1980 and continued to play for the next two decades before switching to the Northumbrian Pipes in 1999 when his bride (a tactful lady) commissioned a set for him as a wedding present (possibly a subtle hint!). Tom is very much an amateur piper, playing for fun and for the joy of the music and the stories that go with it.
I was inspired to take up the Northumbrian Pipes by listening to Neil Smith busking on Milburngate Bridge in Durham and since I started learning at the Sage I have been obsessed.
I have enjoyed exploring the history and traditions of Northumbrian piping and have entered a number of competitions over the past couple of years. My current aspiration is to write a Pipers’ Book of Trivia.
I am a social worker by trade and have spent time working for local authorities. I am also Chair of a local charity for disabled children am well aware of the responsibilities involved in managing a charity. I would like to help develop, in the society, would include bringing piping and its traditions into a relevance for today, particularly seeing many more pipers involved in competitions at all levels and supporting the engagement of more young people in learning and enjoying the pipes
I have lived in South East Northumberland most of my life, my father had a part made set of pipes from evening classes and I had vowed to get them finished them one day and maybe learn them: both process have started. What I hope to bring to the committee, as well a shared passion for learning to play the pipes, is the beginner's view, as I'm very much still at the start of the piping journey. I work in project delivery for a global IT company, so I will be looking after the NPS Website and such matters, and your related comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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