Fred Morrison was born and raised near Glasgow, but it’s the celebrated Gaelic piping tradition of his father’s native South Uist, in the outer Hebrides, that forms the bedrock of his intensely expressive, uniquely adventurous style. His outstanding technical prowess saw him winning many top competition prizes while still at school, meanwhile being inspired by pioneering acts like the Bothy Band and the Tannahill Weavers. Although his first-love instrument remains the great Highland bagpipes, over the years his mastery has expanded to encompass whistles, Scottish smallpipes, or reelpipes – Morrison being a pivotal populariser of this once-rare variety – and Irish uilleann pipes. He was also one of the first Scottish artists to forge dynamic links with his Celtic cousins in Brittany and north-west Spain, adding further to his repertoire of influences and tunes, and has long been renowned as an outstanding tune composer.
During the 1990s, as well as releasing his superb debut solo album The Broken Chanter, Morrison was a member of both the landmark Scottish supergroup Clan Alba and contemporary Celtic stars Capercaillie, featuring with the latter in the Hollywood movie Rob Roy. He has since pursued a diverse array of collaborative and solo projects, meanwhile releasing two more albums: the unanimously-lauded The Sound of the Sun, in 2000, and 2003’s dazzling duo set with Irish bouzouki ace Jamie McMenemy, Up South.
Recent career highlights range from his record-breaking seventh victory in the 2004 Macallan Trophy competition at Brittany’s Lorient Festival to the world première of his first orchestral composition Paracas: Rhapsody of the Gael – a 90-minute work performed by over 100 musicians – as the opening concert of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in 2005.
2006 year saw the launch of Morrison’s very own signature instrument, the Fred Morrison Reelpipes, which have swiftly become a popular choice among today’s top players.
The City of Regina Pipe Band
The City of Regina Pipe Band has been Saskatchewan's champion pipe band since 1992, and has also won prizes in the North American Pipe Band Championship, and at Highland Games across Canada and in the Pacific Northwest USA. In 2005 and 2006, the band extended its reach with performances at the Glasgow International Piping Festival in Scotland, and at Highland games there, where it won prizes in the Grade 2 events. In summer 2009, the CRPB was named "Best Pipe Section" at the Montreal Highland Games, and also won the Canmore Highland Games, as well as prizes at a number of others. In 2010, the band once again travelled to the UK after a successful season locally, and it performed at the Glasgow International Piping Festival, the "Pipes of Peace" Festival in Glasgow, the World Pipe Band Championships, and also at the Perth Highland Games, where it won the Grade 2 band event and was chosen winner of the "Provost's Cup" for Best Band on Parade. As well as it's significant competition and performance schedule, the band plays a key roles in teaching the Conservatory of Performing Arts Pipe Band, and in organizing the Regina Highland Games, the Mid-Winter Celtic Festival, the Ceilidh in the Park event, and the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association's annual summer school "Sound Advice," held each summer at the University of Regina.
The band performed at Piping Live!, The Glasgow International Piping Festival in August 2012, as well as at Highland Games in Canada and Scotland, and in 2013 was the best grade 2 band at the Winnipeg, Brandon, Moose Jaw, Regina and Canmore Highland Games. The band was 2nd at the Calgary Highland Games, and 5th at the North American Championships in 2013. On August 14, the band played in front of over 44,000 home-town fans as a backing to Sir Paul McCartney for his "Mull of Kintyre."
In 2014, the band performed at many Highland games across the country, including 4th place in the Grade 2 North American Championships and 1st place at the Montreal Highland Games.