February 13, 2021

Jim McGillivray joins PPBSO Music Committee as chair

Jim McGillivray in a 2013 photograph by Stuart Lowe.

The redevelopment of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario since the organization’s January 30th annual general meeting continued with the addition of Jim McGillivray as chair of the organization’ Music Committee, along with five other new members, pipers Andrea Boyd, Ross Brown, Trish Kirkwood and Doug MacRae, and Conor Cooper.

They join existing piper-members John Cairns, Alan Clark and Tyler Harris, and drummers Hugh Cameron, Harvey Dawson, Katie Dudek and Brian McCue.

McGillivray is well known around the piping world. He had a brilliant competitive career in which he won, among a raft of other major prizes, both Highland Society of London Gold Medals, the Clasp at the Northern Meeting, and the MSR at the Glenfiddich. In bands, he led the Grade 1 Guelph Pipe Band to a North American Championship and was a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders from 1990 to 1994 and Spirit of Scotland in 2008.

He has been a professional piper for the last 25 years, until recently teaching full-time at St. Andrew College in Aurora, Ontario. McGillivray also runs McGillivray Piping, which trades in, among other piping items, refurbished sets of antique Highland bagpipes. His service provides manuscripts and recordings of hundreds of bagpipe tunes.

“My recent semi-retirement from St. Andrew’s College – I still teach part-time – has opened up some time I’m grateful to have,” McGillivray said. “I’ve benefitted from the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario for my entire 54-year piping career so this seemed like a good time to step up.”

The PPBSO acclaimed Michael Grey of Dundas, Ontario, to a two-year term as president at its AGM. Grey took over from Chris Buchanan midway through Buchanan’s third two-year term. Chris Dodson of Ottawa was acclaimed as vice-president, agreeing to a one-year term.

At the meeting, Buchanan stated that the organization was expecting there to be no outdoor pipe band competitions in 2021.

“My first job will be to become familiar with ongoing tasks the committee conducts,” McGillivray continued, “judging, grading, judging accreditation and such, as well as current projects members are working on. Much will depend on what the executive board sees as both short- and long-term objectives. Over and above that, these are strange times and there will almost certainly be immediate needs to which we’ll respond.”

McGillivray has served as a judge on the PPBSO’s panel for almost four decades. In the late 1980s, he was one of the authors of an extensive recommendation to the PPBSO to respond to and prepare for the present and future of piping and drumming in Ontario, as a large population of first and second-generation immigrant Scots gave way to a far more diverse array of cultures.

pipes|drums published a second full-length interview with Jim McGillivray in 2019, and he is a long-time frequent contributor to pipes|drums.



PPBSO assumes no games in 2021
January 30, 2021

Jim McGillivray: the pipes|drums Interview II – Part 1
December 4, 2019

Jim McGillivray: the pipes|drums Interview II – Part 2
January 3, 2020


Jim McGillivray: the pipes|drums Interview II – Part 3
February 19, 2020

Jim McGillivray: the pipes|drums Interview II – Part 4
April 7, 2020

Jim McGillivray: the pipes|drums Interview II – Part 5
May 25, 2020

New competition band for Ontario; McGillivray gives way to MacIsaac
June 18, 2019




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