December 31, 2014

The 13th annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours!

2014 Piper of the Year

Ryan Canning

Ryan Canning

Whoever made the decision to recruit Canning in 2012 to take over Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia should be given a medal. In less than two years, Canning has led this historic band back from history’s abyss to top-six prizewinning at RSPBA majors. Canning has attracted new talent, worked in perfect sync with Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick, and has worked to start a new Shotts Juvenile Solo Competition for the local North Lanarkshire community. And in 2015 Shotts will return to the concert stage after a long hiatus. Under Canning, Shotts looks set for a long time at the top, and he gets the nod as pipes|drums 2014 Piper of the Year.

Also considered (alphabetical order):

  • Roddy MacLeod – he continues to amaze by managing the National Piping Centre, the Piping Live! festival and holding down an elite-tier solo competition schedule.
  • Liz Maxwell – okay, so she’s not a piper, but she continues to do a tremendous amount for piping through her promotion of the art via Glenfiddich-sponsored events. Without Maxwell’s smart marketing efforts, pipers and piping enthusiasts around the world would be a lot poorer. Thank you.
  • Douglas Murray – the Cupar, Scotland-native made history, becoming only the eleventh piper to take down both Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness.
  • Richard Parkes – advice to pipe-majors and future pipe-majors: do what he does.
  • Alen Tully – the first-year Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 St. Laurence O’Toole not only kept the band solid, but led the group to consistent prizing in RSPBA majors, returning them to realistic World Championship contenders in 2015.


  1. Always love this year end wrap and seeing the best recognised. Glad that it is not always all about prizes won but also about other accomplishments to piping and drumming. Well done all!!!



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