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. Since then, Fred continues to compete at the highest levels of solo piping when his schedule allows, and this included the 2017 Macallan Trophy at Lorient. As well, Fred as launched his own signature uilleann bagpipes in partnership with McCallum Bagpipes, and he continues to tour and perform throughout the World.
Troy MacGillivray ... Raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia, his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne's, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
Troy's first 2 recordings, Boomerang (2003) and Musical Ties (2001), received East Coast Music Award nominations as well as Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia nominations. Musical Ties is a blend of contemporary and original compositions with two hundred year old melodies played on the piano and fiddle while Boomerang is a demonstration of the piano and fiddle played in the purist traditional styling's. It is a roots-centered approach with the power to capture any audience.
MacGillivray's third solo album, ELEVEN, is a tribute to his Highland heritage, and is named in recognition of the nickname given to his grandfather, fiddling pioneer Hugh A. MacDonald - Hughie No. 11. Additionally, this album marks the 11th recording on which MacGillivray has appeared.
On the CD, which also received ECMA and Music Nova Scotia nominations for Best Instrumental Album, MacGillivray plays fiddle, piano, viola and bass with an international cast of musicians playing flute, cello, guitar and bodhran. Joining him are his two older sisters, two-time ECMA award-winning fiddler Kendra MacGillivray and acclaimed percussionist and dancer, Sabra MacGillivray, along with their guitar-wielding father Tony MacGillivray. Guitarists Brent Chaisson from Prince Edward Island, Anna Massie from Scotland, Jason Murdock from Pictou County an local favourite Dave MacIsaac, also join in as does Tim Edey, an English guitarist who performs with the band Session A9. Juilliard School of Music graduate Natalie Haas, from New York, plays cello and Scotland's Nuala Kennedy, who plays flute with bands Fine Friday and Harem Scarem.
Troy's 4th CD, Live At The Music Room, is the 2008 ECMA Instrumental Recording of the Year. This live recording took place January 2007 at The Music Room in Halifax, NS - one of the finest acoustic spaces in Canada. This unique facility, which houses a New York-built Steinway grand piano, superbly showcases Troy’s musical talents in a live setting featuring the accompaniments of Dave MacIsaac, Allan Dewar, Brad Davidge and Sabra MacGillivray. The award-winning CD contains a wide variety of strathespeys and reels, jigs and polkas, a hornpipe and a piano air ... and even some fantastic step-dancing!
Troy’s latest project, When Here Meets There, is a unique collaboration with Canadian & US National Fiddle Champion Shane Cook that showcases why both fiddlers are at the top of their game. “Individually, these two fiddlers are virtuosic musicians and dynamic performers; together, stimulating and feeding off of each other and their top-tier back-up musicians, they are inspirational.” (Dr. Sherry Johnson - York University, Toronto)
The last few years have been incredibly busy ones for Troy MacGillivray. In 2004, he was the recipient of the "Auleen Theriault Young Tradition Award" from the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich, Ontario — an award given to an artist that shows outstanding talent and love for traditional and roots based music. He embarked on an impressive Canadian tour in support of his independently-produced CD, Boomerang; recorded a television program for the Bravo Television Network and provided music for a CBS made-for-TV movie starring Jane Seymour. In 2005/2006, Troy made his first of many appearances at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland where he was chosen as the winner of the honourable “Danny Kyle Stage”. He also showcased at a number of prestigious events, including the East Coast Music Awards, Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Barbados Celtic Festival and the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival - not to mention a Dave Gunning tour of Western Canada, and numerous dances, concerts and ceilidhs throughout Canada and the United Kingdom The fast pace that is Troy MacGillivray continues!
From repeat appearances at Scotland's Celtic Connections Festival to a tour in British Columbia to appearing at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championships to promotional tours in Toronto, Ottawa, Boston and Chicago, Troy continues to impress and amaze audiences around with world with his incredible array of talent. In between his busy touring scheduled, he also managed to complete the Applied Music Technology program at McKenzie College, studying recording engineering in 2006.
Troy's bloodline is equally as impressive. The Lanark MacGillivrays and MacDonalds have been proprietors of the Gaelic tradition in North Eastern Nova Scotia for generations. Troy's grandfather, Hugh A. MacDonald, is a member of the Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame - an honour bestowed for his contribution to the Gaelic culture of Nova Scotia. Troy's parents, Tony and Janice, are talented musicians in their own rights while his sister, Kendra, is a two time East Coast Music Award winning Celtic fiddler and his sister Sabra, is an accomplished dancer and percussionist. Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays a unique sense of pride and commitment to his Celtic heritage and his music continues to add to the history and development of the traditional music that is the epitome of the Maritimes, the place he calls home!
The City of Regina Pipe Band
The City of Regina Pipe Band has been Saskatchewan's champion pipe band since 1992, and has represented Regina and Saskatchewan at Highland Games and Festivals in Canada, the USA and Scotland. The band has won prizes in Grade 2 at Maxville, in BC and the Pacific Northwest, Montreal, and at events in Scotland.
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 Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic Festival, 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 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012, and has performed at Celtic Festivals in Scotland, Washington State and North Dakota. In August 2013, 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 2017, the band performed and competed throughout the prairies while celebrating its 25th anniversary, and finished the season with straight firsts at the Canmore Highland Games.