March 08, 2019

pipes|drums honours women pipers and drummers

On this International Women’s Day, pipes|drums honours and celebrates the role and achievements of women in piping and drumming.

From Mary Collie, mother and teacher of the great Willie Ross; to the breakthrough accomplishments of Edith MacPherson in the 1940s and ’50s; to the barrier-crashing of Anne Stewart (Spalding), Patricia Innes (Henderson), Rhona MacDonald (Lightfoot) and Anne Sinclair (Johnston) at Oban and Inverness; to the historic marks that Gail Brown and Jennifer Hutcheon made on pipe bands and teaching; to Faye Henderson’s breakthrough win of a Highland Society of London Gold Medal in 2010; to the outspoken honesty of Megan Harrington . . .

To all women pipers and drummers who have persevered against at times difficult odds and circumstances and contributed to piping, drumming and pipe bands – we salute you today and every day.


Suggested reading

Patricia Henderson: the pipes|drums Interview – Part 1
January 25, 2015

10 Questions With . . . Anne Spalding
March 31, 2004

#MeToo: A collective call to members of our community
November 1, 2017

October 19, 2017


Piping history’s greatest mother
May 14, 2017


Faye Henderson wins Oban Gold Medal – first ever female winner
August 31, 2010




  1. Not forgetting Pipe Major Rose Fletcher who received the Balvenie Medal, talk about breaking the glass ceiling, Rose broke many of those,… and… drove the band bus.
    Of course many other female pipers, e.g. Annie Grant, Gail Brown. Also Drummer Sheila Annan, who played with Alex Duthart. Many more I’m sure worthy of a mention. We salute you ladies.

  2. Great to see you supporting the ladies, and special mention to Margaret Dunn, who became the first female piper in history to receive a “P” grading from the Competing Piper’s Association for her qualifying wins to play in the Former Winners MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2008.
    Patricia & Faye Henderson.



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