Johnston and Lynas move to front of Centre
The National Piping Centre has made a few important appointments to their full-time teaching staff, with Finlay Johnston and Clare Lynas taking roles vacated by Chris Armstrong and Glenn Brown, who each resigned early in 2015 after several years with the Glasgow-based organization.
Johnston joins the Centre’s staff on April 28th, and is well known as a solo piper, his biggest prizes to date the A-Grade Strathspey & Reel and the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2011 and 2012, respectively. His Grade 1 band experience includes stints with Inveraray & District, ScottishPower and Spirit of Scotland. He brings with him past teaching experience at the College of Piping in Glasgow and reedmaking expertise, working with Pipedreams, the makers of Ezeedrone reeds.
Clare Lynas has worked as an Administrative Assistant at the National Piping Centre, and has a BA in Scottish Music-Piping from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and a first class honours degree in music from Napier University. She’s been a member of Grade 1 ScottishPower and Grade 2 Drambuie-Kirkliston, and also plays clarinet, whistles and smallpipes, and a background in piobaireachd as a student of Tom Speirs.
“We are disappointed to lose staff of the calibre of Chris and Glenn, but people move on and inevitably look to develop their own opportunities in life,” National Piping Centre Director Roddy MacLeod said. “We obviously wish them every success and thank them for the significant contribution they have made to the growing success of the centre.”
Armstrong and Brown, both Gold Medallists, left to pursue other opportunities, primarily in piping. Armstrong’s X-Treme line of products has been well received, and both pipers are in high demand as teachers, recitalists and competitors at invitational events worldwide.
MacLeod added that the Piping Centre has also added several part-time staff, including Gold Medallist Wilson Brown, who recently retired from the Strathclyde Police force. Rising stars on the Scottish solo piping scene Andrew Bova, Jonathan Graham, Hayley MacInnes, Callum Moffat, Edward Seaman and David Shedden have also worked as part-time instructors.
He also said the National Piping Centre has worked with Lothian Kilt Rentals in Dunedin, Florida, at the new “Dunedin Tide” workshop and competitions, with Brown, Bruce Gandy, Finlay MacDonald, Colin MacLellan, Robert Mathieson and MacLeod handling the teaching with more than 80 students enrolled.