Trustees of the Society
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:
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Julia Say, Honorary Secretary:
I’ve been in involved in folk and other music since I was 4. My parents were Morris and Playford dancers, and my youth included dancing, piano, classical flute, singing and folk guitar. It also included a precocious interest in natural history. I helped to run the university folk club, where I first heard the pipes, and gained a degree specializing in ecology. I tried a succession of instruments whilst my family were young, settling with double bass and autoharp.
I’ve lived longer in the NE than anywhere else, considering it my adoptive home. I was familiar with Northumbrian music (Joe Hutton, Billy Pigg, High Level Ranters) long before starting to play it myself, first off in a ceilidh band which was an offshoot of a Durham Morris side. I joined the NPS in 1991 thinking pipes were to become a polite little hobby. In the event the record shows things have worked out differently: I have gained a piping competence in competition, discovered an ability to make things, and have tried to be otherwise useful to the Society.
I have two grown up offspring (one a piper, the other a Morris dancer) both with dancing and musical spouses, and 3 grandchildren. Other interests today include house and furniture restoration, family and local history, gardening, large hairy dogs, and natural history.
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Nigel Barlow, Honorary Treasurer:
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"I have been playing the Northumbrian Smallpipes since 1985 and have been a member of the NPS since 1986.. I have previously been Hon Secretary and Vice-Chairman (many years ago) and felt honoured to be made a Vice President. I am keen to support the continued development of the instrument and its music, particularly within the traditional style."
Maureen Davison, Newsletter Editor:
Born and raised in Gateshead, I am now resident in Morpeth, where I am a volunteer at the Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum. I took up the pipes 13 years ago and now play solo for events. I am an active member of both the NPS and APS. My other interests include playing concertina, photography, local history, cookery and travel. I am also enjoying bringing former print industry experience to the Newsletter Editor’s role and am particularly passionate about participation in the NPS schools’ initiative, as I believe that children from all backgrounds should have the opportunity for access to our unique bagpipe.
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I joined the committee in 2011. I have known and listened to Northumbrian pipes since childhood but have been learning since 2004. I play with Pipers’ Fancy and with Alnwick Pipers’ Society band. I recognize that the NPS has been an important factor in developing whatever capacity I have to make music, and I hope to give something in return. Relevant interests include: history of piping; general history of Northumberland; music and musical instruments. Current areas of activity on committee: indexing support for archive; publicity; work for the ‘Encouraging Young Players’ group. I am also currently (2011) a member of Alnwick Pipers’ Society committee.
Pam Horne, Membership Secretary:
which involves maintaining the database of members and their subscription payments. After getting her freedom from a working life spent in legal, charity and university admin work, she volunteered to help the Secretary after an appeal in the newsletter, and is enjoying being more involved in the Society. She is a co-opted Committee member because of this admin role. She has been a member since 2008, and feels she really should be a better piper by now, but is progressing well now that retirement means that she has been able to attend the Longframlington Pipers more regularly and has more time to play.
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 1987ish, 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.
Has appeared on 12 albums including the two Cut & Dry Band recordings (for Topic) in the 70s. Now regarded as seminal albums they have re-released on CD. He began teaching the pipes in the UK in1972 and has also tutored pipers in The United States, Germany and New Zealand. His proudest moments and fondest memories are of living amongst and playing alongside the legendary traditional Northumbrian musicians of the 80s and 90s, notably Will Atkinson, Willie Taylor and Joe Hutton. He currently plays in the Castle Band (Northumbrian dance band) and Windy Gyle Band (Northumbrian pipes-based concert band).
I have lived in the North East since 1977, but only came across Northumbrian music in 2004, and started playing in 2007. I am lucky enough to have the Chantry NPS meetings and several good pub sessions within a small radius of my home so have been exposed to a wide selection of tunes, instruments and styles in a very short period.
I make no claim to being a musician of quality, indeed six is the minimum number I need to hide in. However I was once told confidence is more important than competence, and I believed it.
I have been on the NPS committee since 2008 and bring to it the memory of what it’s like to be a beginner at piping which most trustees have long forgotten. I work behind the scenes on the website, and most importantly, organise the teas, coffees and biscuits at NPS meetings.