February 28, 2005

Willie McBride, Edinburgh

The well-known piper, Willie McBride, died in Edinburgh on February 1 after a lengthy illness.

McBride was Pipe-Major of the Monktonhall Colliery Pipe Band, one of Scotland’s top Grade 2 bands for many years until the 1980s. He was a prolific teacher, and counted dozens of successful pipers as his pupils.

Many pipers from Monktonhall went on to play with famous Grade 1 bands, including Muirhead & Sons, Lothian & Borders Police, Strathclyde Police, Shotts & Dykehead, and Polkemmet Colliery.

McBride’s most famous students were his sons, Donald and Kenny. Donald is a major prize-winner in top solo competitions, and Kenny rose to become pipe-major of the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band in the 1990s.

After he retired, Willie McBride taught piping at George Watson’s School in Edinburgh, again producing a solid competitive band.

On behalf of the piping and drumming world, our thoughts are with Willie McBride’s family and many friends at this sad time.

(With information from Les Hutt, Inverness, Scotland.)




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