June 30, 2017

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

#5: Ed Neigh

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.

+ Ed Neigh, 1945-2015



  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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