Norman Gillies, 1935 – 2007
Norman Gillies, one of the best pipers of his generation, died peacefully on February 25 at his home in Ullapool, Scotland.
Gillies was born in Glasgow, and taught first taught by Iain MacPherson, and then William Fergusson and Peter R. MacLeod. During the 1950s and ’60s he competed very successfully, and gained recognition particularly for his excellence with 2/4 marches. Many referred to him as one of the finest march-players the world has known.
With pipe bands, he played in the Boys Brigade, Red Hackle, the Glasgow Transport, and was Pipe-Sergeant to “Big Donald” MacLean in the 5th/6th Highland Light Infantry. Gillies later became Pipe-Major of the 1/52 Lowland Volunteers, and in 1971 was the first civilian to complete the Army’s Pipe Majors’ Course, under Captain John A. MacLellan.
Norman Gillies moved to Ullapool in 1975, where he became the piping instructor in the schools of Wester Ross, covering the area from Gairloch to Achiltibuie. There he started the Ullapool & District Pipe Band. In his later years Gillies was a regular instructor at piping schools around the world.
We extend our deepest condolences to Norrie Gillies’s family and friends at this sad time.