Canada 150: the 15 Greatest Canadian Pipers & Drummers (deceased)
#5: Ed Neigh
Ed Neigh was one of the early native-born Canadian pipers to make a mark on the world solo stage. His solo talents took him to Scottish success in the 1970s, winning the Dunvegan Medal at Skye and other awards. From unlikely parents of German lineage, he was the first piper in his family, growing up in the Brantford, Ontario, area. Neigh was drawn to piobaireachd through early summer schools in Ontario with John MacFadyen, who would give Neigh a teaching job in Glasgow for a year at the school at which MacFadyen was headmaster. He studied piobaireachd relentlessly, and freely passed along his knowledge and techniques, which heavily influenced the great piper, Jim McGillivray and many others. His impact on pipe bands was profound, leading the Grade 1 Guelph Pipe Band, a group that pushed the envelop of medley construction with adventurous orchestrations unheard of at the time. Ed Neigh also was the first to adopt the chromatic tuner, experimenting with an early device in the 1970s, opening the door to a completely new era of sophisticated pipe band tuning.