Bagpiping and Drumming Instructors 2017
Pipe Major Robert Mathieson has been at the forefront of piping and pipe bands for well over 30 years. Having been a young piper in the ranks of world famous Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band in the early seventies, he took over as Pipe Major from 1987-2010. During his reign he led the band to win over 30 major grade one championship titles including 5 world titles as well as 9 champion of champions titles, making him the most successful prize winning pipe major that Shotts have appointed. He is the only Pipe Major to have won the worlds 5 times, playing his own compositions and arrangements, opening each winning medley with one of his own tunes.
Jimmy Bell is the Director of the Scottish Heritage Program at Lyon College and Pipe Major of the Lyon College Pipe Band. He served as Pipe Major of the award winning Grade 1 - Parlin & District Pipe Band, and has won countless individual awards and titles as one of North America's top solo pipers. Starting out as a Highland Dancer at an early age, Jim was given his first piping instruction by his mother, and then by his father, George Bell. Jim played in the legendary Kenmuir Pipe Band. He is a judge in the EUSPBA, has served on the Music Board, and is a highly skilled composer of pipe music.
Born in 1956, Terry Tully first became interested in the pipes by hearing his father Tommy play them in the house. An award-winning solo piper, he joined St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band of Dublin in 1973, becoming Pipe Sergeant in 1980 and Pipe Major in 1984. in 2010, he led the band to win the European and All-Ireland Championships, going on to win the Grade One World Championship in Glasgow, the first time in history for a band from the Republic of Ireland. Terry Tully has authored several widely acclaimed books of traditional Irish Music, arranged for the Highland bagpipe, and his name has become synonymous with traditional Irish Music in the world of bagpipes.
Gordon Bell began drumming at age eight, under the guidance of Norman MacLeod in the Kenmore Pipeband, later named the Parlin & District. In 1975, he took over the corp. The band and corp dominated the pipeband scene in the 1980s in the EUSPBA, winning the North American Championship in Grade 2, placing them in Grade 1. He has also been a member of Muirhead & Sons, Kenmure, Worcester Kiltie, 78th Fraser Highlanders, and the City of Washington Pipe Bands. Gordon was successful in the solo field winning the EUSPBA Overall Champion each year from 1979 to 1987. He has recorded with The Empire Brass Quintet, 78th Frasers Live in Scotland, and with his own Celtic Rock group 51 Ash.
Duncan Bell started his piping training in 1964, taught by his father George M. Bell. He is still active on the competitive circuit, at the open (professional) piping level. He sits on the EUSPBA Adjudication panel and has been an active judge since 1983. He has served as the P/Sgt and founding member of Parlin and District Pipe Band, P/Sgt of Lehigh Valley Pipe Band, and i a former member of The City of Washington Pipe Band. Duncan actively teaches private students in both bagpiping and guitar. He taught music theory and bagpipe performance at New York University in 1999 and 2000.
For more than three decades, George Balderose has taught piping to adult beginners. Several of his adult Highland piping students have won firsts at EUSPBA-sanctioned piping competitions. He's performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as a soloist for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. George has won the MacCrimmon Quaich for Grade 1 Piobaireachd four times, and is a member of the performance ensemble Road to the Isles. In 2014, he was recognized by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in Pittsburgh with the "Master Artist and Tradition Bearer" Award.
Richmond Johnston became a School administrator shortly after his first summer at Balmoral in 1991. Serving that post, he's been able to study with Alasdair Gillies, Norman Gillies, Jack Lee, James MacColl, John MacDoughall, Iain MacLellan, Jimmy McIntosh, Gordon Mooney, Iain Morrison, Donald McPhee, Nancy Tunnicliffe and John Wilson. An experienced solo piper, he competes with Award-Winning Grade 3 Capital Region Celtic Pipe Band of Albany, NY. A number of his students have become award-winning pipers. A late starter himself, he enjoys teaching adult beginners.
A music educator, percussionist and composer, Colin Bell teaches band and orchestra in several schools, composes percussion music for marching band and percussion ensembles, and is acting director of the Old Bridge High School jazz band. Under the instruction of his father, Gordon Bell, he grew up playing snare drum in solo competition and with several bands, such as the Lehigh Valley Pipe Band, and the Kenmure Pipe Band. He later went on to the world of Drum Corps International, touring for three years as a snare drummer with the Boston Crusaders. Colin has written and arranged music for Janina Gavankar (The League, True Blood, Mysteries of Laura, Blindspotting) and Questlove (drummer for The Roots and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon). He will be directing the multi-instrumental Celtic music ensemble in East Stroudsburg, for Balmoral students who play other instruments.
Balmoral Instructor Terry Tully plays at the 2015 Pittsburgh Summer School's Concert.