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Livingstone Competitors

Alex Gandy

Alex has been piping since he was 10 years old and has had the good fortune of growing up in a piping family. Since starting he has been taught primarily by his father, Bruce Gandy and Colin MacLellan, his Godfather. Alex is currently Pipe Major of the Grade 1 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band. He is also a multiple prize-winner in the Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness, winner of the Gold Medal in Kansas City and the Canadian Gold Medal and Clasp in Maxville. Alex and his father Bruce are the only father-son duo to have competed against each other in the Silver Star Former Winner's MSR at Inverness and more recently to have won. Alex has won the Former Winner's MSR at Inverness twice and once at Oban. In 2023 he was the winner of the MSR at the Glenfiddich Piping
Championship

 

Outside of bagpiping, Alex works in the financial sector and lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his wife Chantal, sons Colin and Malcolm, and their dog Reggie.

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Ian K. MacDonald

"Ian K" began playing at the age of eight years old and was taught by his father, P/M John MacDonald. At thirteen he received instruction from Jim McGillivray who introduced Ian to Piobaireachd. This was the year he joined the ranks of the Toronto Police Pipe Band where he has remained a member eventually taking over as Pipe Major from his father in 1996. Ian has recently received instruction from Bill Livingstone and Peter Aumonier. In 2016 Ian became one of twelve pipers’ ever to win the "Double" Gold medal in Piobaireachd at Oban and Inverness in the same year capping off one of his finest years in his solo piping career. In 2019 he joined Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band along with compatriot and long-time friend Sean McKeown and in 2022, they won the World Pipe Band Championships. Ian is currently a member of the 78th Fraser Highlander’s Pipe Band.

Ian is a Sergeant with the Toronto Police Service and a proud husband to the beautiful Brenda, and father to Colin (24), Cameron (23) and the lovely, Ashlyn (21).

Ian K McDonald

Ben McClamrock

Ben McClamrock was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but now resides in Washington, DC where he works as a data analyst. Ben started piping at the age of nine. Growing up, Ben received tuition from pipers Roderick Alexander and Christopher Hamilton, as well as attending summer schools around the United States such as Invermark in Vermont. Ben quickly rose up the amateur competition rankings and became professional at the age of 17. Ben now travels extensively to compete and is a consistent prize winner in the United States, Canada, and Scotland. Some of his top prizes include winning the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering, Oban (2019), winning the US Gold Medal for Piobaireachd (2024), 3rd Place in the A Marches (2017) and A Strathspey and Reel (2018) at Oban, top overseas piper at the Braemar Highland Gathering (2016), 3rd Place in the A MSR at Inverness (2013), winning the US Silver Medal at Winter Storm (2013), 2nd Place at the Canadian Gold Medal (2015,2023), 2nd overall at the United States Piping Foundation (2017,2022). In addition to solo competitions, Ben has served as Pipe Sergeant to the City of Washington Pipe Band, formerly one of the top pipe bands in the United States and is the lead piping instructor to the Maryland Youth Pipe Band, formerly known as the Rockville High School Pipe Band. He currently receives piping instruction from William McCallum of Bearsden, Scotland.

Ben McClamrock

Sean McKeown

Sean began piping in 1993 with lessons from Gail Brown. Years later, he received tuition from Bill Livingstone in Piobaireachd, and has recently been receiving instruction from Roddy MacLeod. Some notable solo prizes include winning the Canadian Gold Medal and Bar to the Gold for Piobaireachd; the overall winner of the Livingstone Invitational three times; winning a 1st and 2nd in the Silver Medal for Piobaireachd at Oban and Inverness in the same year, and two 2nd placings in the following year at the Gold Medal at Oban and Inverness; winning the Golden Axe for piobarieachd and the light music at the Lochaber Gathering; winning the A-grade Hornpipe and Jig at Inverness; and numours prizes in the A-grade light music at Oban and Inverness. In pipe bands, Sean was a member of the Milton Optimist Pipe Band, led by Gail Brown, who went on to win the 1994 Juvenile and 1997 Grade 3 World Pipe Band Championships. He was a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, and the Toronto Police Pipe Band, where he was Pipe Major of the grade 1 band from the 2015-2018 seasons.  In 2016 and 2017, Sean was invited to take part in the '87 Live in Ireland concerts held in Glasgow and Belfast, and in 2019 joined the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band in Northern Ireland, placing second in the World Pipe Band Championships in 2019, and 2023, and winning the title of Grade 1 Pipe Band World Champions in 2022. 

 

Outside of competition, Sean has performed live and recorded his compositions with a ceilidh band called the Tartan Terrors, and performed live with Bryan Adams, Natalie MacMaster, and his brothers' rock band, Black Pistol Fire. Sean has a Physical Health and Education degree from the University of Toronto and works as a Detective Constable in the Gun and Gang Task Force with the Toronto Police.  He is incredibly grateful to have the support of his amazing wife, Amy, and kids Charlie and Isla on his piping journey, and equally supports them as they start their own piping and highland dance journey’s

Sean McKeown

Joseph Biggs

This is Joe's second time competing at "The Livingstone" and he is happy to return to this fantastic event. 


Originally taught by Tristan Wilson, he is currently taking solo instruction locally in Ontario from Jim McGillivray. Recent notable solo results include taking 3rd in the 2024 MHAF Silver Medal Piobaireachd event in Kansas City, and winning the Aggregate Open Piping at the 2024 BCPA Annual Gathering in Vancouver, BC, on his first visit to that event. He has been a member of the Scottish Power Pipe Band since 2021, and currently holds a B- ranking from the Competing Pipers Association in Scotland. 


He would like to congratulate the event organizers for their efforts, and thank his wife, Bonnie, for her constant support and encouragement. 

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Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson teaches piping at St. Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston, Texas, and plays with the St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band in Grade 1, arranging their medleys.  Nick began playing in Maryland with the Rockville High School Pipe Band. He holds a BFA in Music Performance from Carnegie-Mellon University, where he studied under Jimmy McIntosh and Alasdair Gillies. 


Nick’s solo piping performance highlights include winning the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, the Braemar Gold Medal, the London Ram’s Head Snuff Mull for A-Grade Piobaireachd, twice the Overall A-Grade Winner at the SPSL Contest in London, the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada), the US Piping Foundation Piobaireachd and MSR on multiple occasions, the Gold Medal MSR at Winter Storm, 2nd in the P/A Hornpipe/Jig at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, the B MSR at the Northern Meeting, overall winner of The Livingstone Invitational, and overall winner of The Metro Cup. Nick has recorded a BBC “Pipeline” session and has played at the Piobaireachd Society's annual recital in Edinburgh, the Glenfiddich, and the Capt—John MacLellan Memorial Medal Competition-Recital in Edinburgh. Nick is a member of the EUSPBA judges panel and serves as chair of the Music Board.


Aside from his musical pursuits, Nick enjoys bicycling and has cycled coast-to-coast across the United States. He resides in Houston with his wife, Amanda, and their son, Alan.
 

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Tyler Bridge

Tyler Bridge is a professional level solo piper and accredited B grade judge with the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Based in Guelph Ontario, Tyler is also Pipe Major of the Guelph Pipe Band and manages a music school called JamSchool. He holds a music degree from the University of Guelph where his area of concentration was jazz guitar performance. His initial competitive piping tuition in piobaireachd and light music came from the late Ed Neigh. He currently sees Bob Worrall for both light music and piobaireachd instruction. Tyler has been a regular competitor on the professional circuit in Ontario and placed 2nd at the Canadian Gold Medal Piobaireachd contest in 2018 as well as winning the overall Champion Supreme for B level Piobaireachd in Ontario in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022. Tyler has been teaching for 15 years and many of his students have achieved competitive success in all amateur grades. Several of them have regularly taken prizes in grades 2 and 1 in the Ontario games circuit over the past 5 years. 

 

Tyler's pipe band has also seen competitive success. Starting with 8 pipers and 4 drummers in grade 4 in 2014, the band has continued to progress, winning the Ontario Champion Supreme title in grade 4 in 2015 and the Ontario Champion Supreme title in grade 3 in 2019, 2022, and 2023. The Guelph Pipe Band currently has close to 80 members and fields both a grade 4 and grade 3 competition band. Tyler is also involved in several youth teaching projects including the Guelph Air Cadets.

 

Outside of competition, Tyler plays guitar and border pipes for ceilidhs and Scottish country dancing.
 

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Derek Midgley

Derek hails from Tinton Falls, New Jersey and began piping at the age of 12. His first tutor was George Bell, formerly of Parlin, NJ who was instrumental in Derek’s early education. After his passing, Derek is fortunate to receive instruction from Roddy MacLeod, MBE.


Derek’s notable solo prizes include the Silver Medal and B Marches at the Northern Meeting, and multiple placings in the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal and A Grade Light Music at both Oban and Inverness. He has won the the A Grade MSR, Hornpipe/Jig, and Piobaireachd at the Scottish Piping Society of London Competition, the Dunvegan Medal and Open 2/4 and 6/8 Marches at Skye, the Lochaber Axe for Senior Piobaireachd at Fort William, and won the light music at the Royal Highland Gathering at Braemar. In Canada, Derek was the third person ever to win the “Double Gold” Gold Medal and Bar to the Gold Medal of Canada on the same day. In the USA, he has won the Metro Cup Piobaireachd, the United States Piping Foundation Piobaireachd four times, and the USPF Overall in 2022. Most recently, Derek won the PM Ian Swinton Open and Col Jock MacDonald Clasp at Skye in 2023. 


Derek also has many years of domestic and international Grade 1 Pipe Band experience, having played with the City of Washington Pipe Band, Toronto Police Pipe Band, the Scottish Power Pipe Band, and is currently a member of the St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band. 


Derek became a piping adjudicator for the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association in 2016 and a member of the EUSPBA Music Board in 2017. He is also the EUSPBA Metro Branch Chairman. After serving for many years on the Competing Pipers Association Committee, Derek was elected President of the CPA in 2020 and works to facilitate solo professional piping in Scotland and abroad.
 

Derek Midgley

Daniel Carr

Daniel Carr began dancing at the age of three with the Sheila Milne School of Dance in Owen Sound, Ontario. He received world class training in highland dance from Mrs. Milne as well as ballet, modern, jazz, tap and musical theatre from top instructors that came from all over the world. Some highlights of his highland dance career included winning major championships throughout Canada, US and Scotland including the Ontario, Canadian and World championships. Daniel teaches highland in Collingwood, ON and is very grateful to teach at workshops and camps within our Scottish dancing community.

Aside from dancing, Daniel plays bagpipes and teaches local students in Collingwood, ON. He was taught by Ed Neigh and now Jim MacGillivray. In 2023, he was very fortunate to have been awarded the Canadian gold medal for Piobaireachd at the Glengarry Gathering. He is also a member of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and Alpine Canada and has taught/coached skiing for 15+ years in the Collingwood area. He is thrilled to be invited to play at the Livingston this year.

Daniel Carr.jpg

Andrew Carlisle

Andrew Carlisle is originally from Ballygowan, Northern Ireland and since 2010 has lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a Professor of Music and the Director of Piping at Carnegie Mellon University.


He has won numerous prestigious solo piping awards including:
The Gillies Cup for Piobaireachd at London
The A Grade Strathspey and Reel at The Argyllshire Gathering, Oban
The A Grade Piobaireachd and Overall at The Cowal Highland Gathering, Dunoon
The US Gold Medal for both Piobaireachd and Light Music at Kansas City, Missouri
The Metro Cup Light Music Medley Champion at Newark, New Jersey
Five United States Piping Foundation Championship wins at Newark, Delaware
The Macallan Trophy on three occasions at Lorient, Brittany, France
The William Livingstone Memorial at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Three Toronto Indoor Gathering overall wins, Toronto, Canada
The Gordon Duncan Memorial on two occasions at Glasgow, Scotland
The British Army Championships at Edinburgh, Scotland
And three All-Ireland titles at Senior level.
 
For twenty-two years, Andrew has been an active member of the world-renowned Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, sharing in the success of over forty-five major championship wins, including ten World Pipe Band Championship wins. He has been featured as a soloist on the band’s ‘Re:Charged’ and ‘Impact’ albums.

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Matt MacIsaac

Hailing from a Maritime family deeply rooted in piping and Scottish heritage, Matt's passion for music and piping developed at the earliest age from listening to his uncles play, though it was the piano and tin whistle that he first picked up at age 6.  He was fortunate to work with some superbly musical teachers as a young piper, like Dr. Angus MacDonald, Scott Macaulay, and John Walsh.  

As a competitor he has won the Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal, the MHAF US Gold Medal for Light Music, the Canadian Gold Medal for piobaireachd, the Light music here at the Livingstone Invitational and the Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge amongst others.

Aside from his solo piping performances, Matt has had some extraordinary opportunities to travel and record with some of the best traditional and contemporary musicians in the world while playing pipes, whistles, and guitar.   He is a member of the Cape Breton group Beólach who were nominated for a Juno in 2021 for their album “All Hands”, and he spent 12 years touring as a member of famed Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster’s band.  His contributions can be heard on many recordings and soundtracks, showcasing his versatility and adaptability as a musician and commitment to his craft.

Matt also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 9 years as a sergeant in the Music Branch, and now teaches full time at St. Andrew’s College as the Director of Piping & Drumming and leads their grade 2 St. Andrew’s College Association Pipe Band.  

Matt McIsaac

Jacob Dicker

Jacob is originally from Sarnia, Ontario. He began playing with the local legion band and moved up the solo grades under the tuition of Bill McLeod in Kincardine. He then received tuition from Willie Connell for the better part of a decade. Willie guided Jacob into the professional ranks at age 16 after a successful amateur career, during which he won or tied for Ontario Championship Supreme awards in all but one grade.

As a professional, Jacob has seen increasing success in Canada and abroad. Some highlights from last season include winning PPBSO Champion Supreme for Professional Piobaireachd for the third time, winning the Professional Piobaireachd at Maxville, placing 3rd in the former winners' Bar to the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada), and winning the Glengarry Cup MSR contest in Ottawa.

Jacob has also been an active member of several top bands. In the 2000s, he played with the Windsor Police, which finished in the top five in Grade 2 at the World Pipe Band Championships every year they attended (2001-2005). In Grade 1, they took second at the 2006 North American Pipe Band Championships.

After graduating from Queen’s in Kingston with a Master’s in History, Jacob moved to Ottawa in 2012 to complete a Master’s in Public Administration. He joined the Ottawa Police the following year and played an integral role on the band's tuning team. Since 2017, Jacob has been pipe major of that organization.

Jacob has also played a significant role in the PPBSO through his former role as president of the Ottawa Branch. During his tenure, he was instrumental in introducing several competitions and teaching initiatives.

Today, Jacob lives in Maxville, Ontario with his wife Emily.

Jacob Dicker
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