Canberra College of Piping and Drumming

Tutor Biographies 2017

Jim Kilpatrick MBE 

We are please that the legend and titan of the pipe band world Jim Kilpatrick will join us at the workshop again this year.

Jim Kilpatrick MBE started playing drums at the age of 10. His progress was so rapid that within two years he was competing at the highest level in Grade 1 competition.

Jim has won a record nineteen World Drum Corps Championships. Fifteen of these titles have been won as a leading drummer. This also includes winning the World Drum Corps Championship for a record breaking eleven years in a row between 1988 and 1998.

Jim’s move into the solo drumming arena proved to be equally successful. He has smashed every record in the books by winning the RSPBA World Solo Drumming Championships no less then sixteen times. He is also the current holder of the Champion of Champions title, a title he has won three times.

Another record Jim holds is that of being the only leading drummer ever to win the 'Grand Slam', which consists of winning all five major drum corps championships in one season in 1991. This run coincided with him actually winning 10 major drumming championships in a row over three seasons between 1990 and 1992.

Jim’s talent and reputation is such that he is continuously invited to teach in schools and colleges all over the world, as well as making countless master class appearances at drum clinics and percussion festivals around the world including the Royal School of Music (London & Glasgow) and the Percussive Arts Society conventions in the USA.

Jim instructs percussion students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where he holds the post of principal percussion instructor for the BA (Scottish Music) with Honours. He is also an appointed examiner to the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which involves the assessment of Standard and Higher Grade Music students from all over Scotland.

Richard Hawke MNZM 

A good friend of the college Richard Hawke will return to Canberra for this years workshop.

Richard lives in Christchurch New Zealand. He is the Pipe Band Director and full time piping tutor at St Andrew's College - the premier pipe band school in New Zealand.

Richard was the Pipe Major of the Canterbury Caledonian Society Pipe Band for over 8 years.

In 2012 Richard was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Richard has had a successful solo piping career, with achievements including:

  • Winner Gold Medal (Oban) 2007
  • New Zealand Gold Medal & Clasp
  • Winner Dunvegan Medal & Braemar Gold Medal (Twice)
  • RU Brown Gold Medal 2004 and 2006
  • Commun na Piobaireachd Gold Medal
  • Highland Society of London Gold Medal at the Argllshire Gathering 2007

Tyler Fry

We are delighted to welcome back to Canberra, one of the workshop regulars and a great friend of the college (some might say our bass friend...) the mid-section man himself Tyler Fry.

Tyler first tenor drumming at the age of 11,  He then joined the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band as a tenor drummer in 1995 at the age of 13. While at the Frasers, Tyler has won three World Best Bass Section Championships as well as numerous Canadian, United States and North American Best Bass Section titles. In solo competition, Tyler has excelled by winning every top award available in North America.

Tyler transferred to The House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band in 2004, fulfilling a childhood dream of his to play alongside Drum Major Jim Kilpatrick. He won the British Drum Corps Championships with the drum corps in his first season. In 2005, Tyler helped the band to win the top awards for both band and drum corps at the World Pipe Band Championships.

Away from the band, Tyler is a qualified tenor drumming adjudicator with the PPBSO and regular master class instructor at workshops throughout North America, South America and Europe.

(sourced from http://lfdpipesanddrums.com/TyFry.html)

Stuart Liddell

We are pleased to welcome back to Canberra one of the piping worlds greats. Stuart Liddell is one of the worlds greatest pipers and it is a great pleasure to have him back in Canberra.

Liddell lives in Inveraray and is Pipe Major of the Grade 1 Inveraray & District Pipe Band—a band he helped found. For ten years (1998–2008), he played with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in Burnaby, British Columbia.With the SFU Pipe band he won three World Pipe Band Championship titles, in 1999, 2001, and 2008. Before joining the SFU Pipe Band, he played with ScottishPower Pipe Band.

Liddell has won many of the top awards in solo piping, including the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering (2000), the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting (2004), the former winner's Clasp at the Northern Meeting (2007 & 2009), the Bratach Gorm at the Scottish Piping Society of London (2009) and

Some of his key achievements:

  • Winner of Gold Medal (Northern Meeting, Argyllshire)
  • Winner of Multiple Glenfiddich Championships, The Clasp
  • Member of 3 SFU World Championships 1999, 2001, 2008
  • Pipe Major Inveraray & District Pipe Band


Brenton Earl

We are pleased to welcome back Brenton Earl as a tutor for this years workshop. 

Member of the UK Champion Spirit of Scotland Drum Corps
Grade 1 New Zealand Champion, drum corps champion and best bass section prize
Numerous Australian Championship wins as a band and best drum corps
Head Bass and Tenor Instructor at Australia’s Premier Juvenile Pipe Band – Scotch College Melbourne

Lincoln Hilton

We are pleased to introduce Lincoln Hilton as a new tutor for this years workshop. You can check out his bio and some of his work below. 

Founder of Modern Piping
Multiple winner of Professional Victorian Quiche
Two times Australasian Young Piper of the Year
Leading Contemporary Bagpipe Composer
Avant-garde YouTube/Facebook Artist
Member of Western Australia Police Pipe Band and New Zealand Police Pipe Band
Pipe Band Director at Haileybury College


We are pleased to welcome back Finlay Johnston as a tutor for this years workshop. You can check out his bio and videos below

Finlay currently works as a Piping Instructor at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow and also part time as a reed maker at his fathers business Pipe Dreams, the manufacturers of Ezeedrone reeds.

Outside of piping Finlay is a keen Downhill mountain biker!

Some of Finlay's noted results:

  • 1st Clasp Northern Meeting 2016
  • 1st Masters Piobaireachd 2016
  • 3rd Open Piobaireachd Argyllshire Gathering 2016
  • 2nd Springbank MSR 2016
  • 1st Inveraray Games Piobaireachd
  • 1st Uist & Barra MSR 2016
  • 1st Gold Medal Northern Meeting 2015
  • 5th Glenfiddich Piobaireachd 2015
  • Overall winner Uist & Barra 2015
  • 1st Gold Medal Argyllshire Gathering 2012
  • 4th Glenfiddich MSR 2012
  • 1st Silver Medal Northern Meeting 2006


We are pleased to welcome back to Canberra Greg Wilson. Greg is aoe of New Zealand's finest bagpipers and performers.  Greg is a prolific solo piper having won Gold Medals at Inverness and the Argyllshire Gathering, not to mention countless other titles including the Clasp at the Northern Meeting on three occasions.


We are pleased to welcome back to Canberra James Laughlin. James a World Champion Pipe Band snare drummer and highly sought-after instructor, has been drumming for over twenty years. He started at his local primary school in Northern Ireland and joined the Monkstown-Mossley Pipe Band. Within four years of starting his pipe band drumming career he was the World Solo Juvenile drumming champion on two occasions, 2000 and 2001.

He moved to Canada in 2004 to play with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band where he enjoyed many successes, including three World Drum Corps titles and two World Pipe Band Championship titles.

His teaching resume is diverse, international and of a very high standard. James' students range from ages 7 to 70 and from beginner to professional. He is chief drumming instructor at the prestigious St Andrews College in Christchurch, New Zealand. His students at St. Andrews College are World Pipe Band Drumming Champions in the Juvenile grade, the very first band from New Zealand to achieve this title. James was also appointed as the Director of drumming for the New Zealand National Youth Pipe Band and is the principal snare drum instructor for the University of Otago piping and drumming program.

James has been teaching individual pipe band drumming students since his early-teens, and has enjoyed the experience of teaching at the famous Piping Hot Summer Drummer School, 2009 being his sixth year on the teaching faculty. James has been fortunate to have taught at some of the most distinguished piping and drumming schools in the world. These include PHSD, the New Zealand National Summer School, the Summer Thunder Down Under Tour, the South West Coast Piper Drummer, the Canberra Workshop and the SFU summer school.

James’ recent solo successes include winning the British Columbia Pro Drumming Aggregate, and placing 7th at the semi-finals of the Adult World Solo Drumming Championships. James now resides in Christchurch, New Zealand and is the Leading Drummer with the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band, the current Grade 1 New Zealand National Champion Pipe Band and Drum Corps Champion of Champions - 2016 being the 5th consecutive title win. James also led the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band drum corps in the Final of the World Pipe Band Championships on several occasions.


We are pleased to welcome to Canberra Steven Sheddon. 

  • Member Boghall & Bathgate Champion of Champions Drum Corps 2007
  • Member Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band World Champion Drum Corps 2011
  • Juvenile World Solo titles in 2008, 20011
  • Spirit of Scotland 2016 UK Champion Drum Corps