June 30, 2017

Canada 150: the 15 Greatest Canadian Pipers & Drummers (deceased)

#7: Scott MacAulay

Scott MacAulay

Scott MacAulay made a big mark on Canadian piping and drumming in his relatively short life. Struck down by cancer at the age of 52, it was MacAulay’s vision that helped to create the College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, which continues today under his successor, James MacHattie. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, and with Hebridean roots, Scott MacAulay emerged as a young upstart solo piper and bandsman, first with the Grade 1 Erskine Pipe Band under his first teacher, Pipe-Major Sandy Keith, and then as a front-rank member of the Grade 1 Clan MacFarlane under Pipe-Major Ken Eller. He went on to be pipe-major of the Grade 1 Dunvegan Pipe Band in Ottawa. MacAulay was a larger-than-life character and a true raconteur, able to command an audience and take over a room with his outsized personality and innate charm. He discover piobaireachd later in his career, but within a few years won the Silver Medal at the Northern Meeting. He taught and influenced numerous players, and his legacy continues with a collection of pipe music that features many of his original compositions and, of course, the College of Piping in Summerside.

+ Scott MacAulay, 1956-2008



  1. Nice work! John Wilson published 3 collections of pipe music, the third being the Canadian Centenial collection…all three of which I continue to use and teach my students today…

    Mike Baker

  2. It is interesting that none of the excellent 15 selected musicians appear to be players who played predominantly for dancing. Today, we seem to be band players, solo competitors or piobaireachd pipers. Would there be any interest in a list of 150 ceilidh/dance pipers.



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