Pipe and Drum Instructors

The instructors for the Senior and Junior Pipe Bands and the Pipes and Drums Training Platoon are primarily civilians from outside of the school who are recruited for their musical skills and instructing techniques. They are coordinated by the Director of Piping and Drumming, Mr. Jim McGillivray.
Mr. Jim McGillivray
Jim McGillivray
Director of Piping and Drumming
More than 20 years of international prizes in all branches of pipe music lend credence to the prestigious Piper & Drummer magazine's description of Jim McGillivray as "one of the world's best all-round pipers – ever."

His premier solo awards include the coveted Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness, Scotland, the Clasp at Inverness, the March, Strathspey & Reel at the Glenfiddich Championship at Blair Castle, Scotland, and the North American Championship. Jim's experience also encompasses the highest level of pipe bands. He was a member of the groundbreaking 78th Fraser Highlanders from 1988-93. For 10 years in the 1970s, he was a key component in the Guelph Pipe Band's rise to prominence. He subsequently led the band to the North American Championship at Maxville, Ontario, in 1981.

Jim is one of the most active and successful teachers of piping on the continent. His summer school experience is extensive. His private pupils have won North American Championships at both the professional and amateur levels. His 1998 piping tutor and CD, Rhythmic Fingerwork, sold out its first printing in seven months and has quickly set a new standard for piping tutors world wide.

In the fall of 1998, Jim joined the teaching faculty at the century old St. Andrew's College boys school in Aurora, Ontario as Director of its long-standing Piping & Drumming program. The 85-year-old program has since come alive with enthusiasm as boys 11-18 from Canada, the U.S. and around the world fall under the spell of the pipes in the motivating and magical environment of St. Andrew's College.

An engaging performer, Jim is much in demand for recitals, piping workshops and band clinics across North America.

Major Brian McCue

Commanding Officer and Snare Instructor
Brian McCue’s 20 years of percussion includes experience in pipe bands, orchestras and timpani. A holder of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music, Brian is a former member of the Toronto Police Grade 1 Band, the former lead drummer of the Toronto Police Grade 2 Band, whom he led to a Grade 2 North American Drumming Championship win in 1997, and the former lead drummer of the 48th Highlanders of Canada. He is also a past performer the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Toronto Symphony and the National Ballet of Canada. 

Brian is the percussion instructor in the Music Department at St. Andrew’s College, where he also teaches the pipe band snare drumming program.

WO Chris Reesor
Drum Major, 
48th Highlanders
of Canada 
Drum Major and Bass Drum Instructor
Warrant Officer Chris Reesor started studying the Drums at age four and started marching in bands at age seven with the 9th Toronto Boys’ Brigade Band.  Chris went on to join the Fort Henry Guard serving in various capacities including Lead Drummer in 1988 and as Queen's Colour Ensign in 1989.  Chris joined the 48th Military Band as a volunteer in 1988 and after completing six years with the Fort Henry Guard in Kingston, Chris decided to join the 48th Regiment and was sworn in November 13th, 1990. 

Since the beginning, Chris has been intrigued with the pipe band style of drumming, and has played regularly with both bands since 1995. He was promoted to Master Corporal in April 1997, was officially appointed the Regimental Drum Major in September, 1997, and was promoted to Sergeant April 1st, 1998. Chris is a professional percussionist trained at Humber College in Toronto and is currently working for Yamaha Canada.

Mr. Rob Crabtree
Toronto Police 
Pipe and Drums
Rob Crabtree
Piping Instructor
Rob got his start in piping in Ottawa at age 10. He quickly emerged as a strong player in amateur competition and won the title of North American Amateur Champion in 1986.

His professional piping career began soon after, and has been guided by instruction from some of Canada's foremost players. In recent years, Rob has become a leading prize-winner at Ontario solo piping competitions, and in 1997 he won the North American Champion title in March/Strathspey/Reel playing at the Glengarry Highland Games. Rob is also a regular competitor at major contests in Scotland where his successes include the 1998 Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at the Braemar Highland Gathering.

Rob's piping activities are not restricted to solo competition: he is a member of the Grade 1 Pipe Band of the Toronto Police, a past member of two other Grade 1 pipe bands, a founding partner of the Ontario School of Piping, a member of the Music Board of the Piper's and Pipe Band Society of Ontario, and a member of a Celtic performing group based in Toronto. He has just released a CD called "The Piper's Legacy" for the international label "Solitudes".

Mr. Pat O'Gorman

Piping Instructor
Patrick O'Gorman has been playing the Great Highland Bagpipe since 1967, when at the age of 11, he joined a local young people's pipe band in Toronto. For the next ten years, he was immersed in the vibrant piping community of Ontario, arguably the center of piping outside of Scotland, where he learned from a number of masters, and competed in both solo and band competitions. In 1977 he was with the North American Champion Caber Feidh/City of Toronto Pipe Band when they became the first foreign band to win a first prize in the top class of pipe band competitions in Scotland.

Pat also plays the Breton bagpipe, the tine whistle and the wooden concert flute and is very involved in the Irish traditional music community of Toronto.

Mr. Brian Richardson Piping Instructor
Brian has been involved in piping for many years and as an instructor for about 6. He set up the junior and intermediate piping classes for Barrie and District Pipes and Drums with focus on correct technique, posture and Bagpipe maintenance, including  students not only from that band but from the local police band and air cadets. Brian is now the band manager and chairman of the board of directors for the City of Barrie Pipes and Drums where he has continued with an intermediate program. He works with Intermediate beginners (just starting on the pipes) and Intermediate players (just starting on the bands music). 

Most of these players are under the age of 20. As a teaching band they work with the young and not so young. Brian parades with the street band and competes with the grade 4 competition band. He also has a group of students ranging from 6 years to 47 years of age that he teaches individually. In his youth he set up and conducted lectures on safe gun handling and maintenance program for the Ontario Hunting and Fishing Assoc. and travelled Canada lecturing on the Efficient Transmission of Mechanical Power. He has also  have written technical papers for the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association regarding that subject matter. Brian is currently part owner of Highland Harmonies publishing music book with harmony settings for mostly traditional bagpipe music. 

Mr. Doug Stronach

Doug Stronach

Drumming Instructor
Doug Stronach is originally from Perth, Scotland. While studying under Paul Turner, a former World Solo Drumming Champion, he won the 1986 World Junior Solo Snare Drum Championship. He also played with the innovative ScotRail Vail of Atholl Pipe Band from Pitlochry at a time when the band won both the Scottish and British Championships and placed third in the World Championships. In November, 1988, Doug moved to Canada and began working as a pipe band drumming instructor. His renown as a gifted teacher has spread quickly. Doug's students have won every major solo drumming prize from Grade 4 to Open. In addition, he has taught or played with drum corps that have won every grade of champion supreme honours in Ontario.

Doug also brings to his teaching a varied and extensive knowledge of many types of music. In Scotland, he played percussion and sang with the celtic folk group Ceol Beag. He studied classical percussion (snare, timpani and xylophone) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. He studied kit drumming with Rich Greenspoon in Toronto and has played with the groups Brigand, Huntingtower and Taxi Chain, among others. He currently leads a pop band called Eclipse, which recently released its first independent album, entitled Eureka. He is also the founder of Eclipse Music Productions, a company that offers services for live and recorded sound.

John Mackenzie
Toronto Police 
Pipes & Drums
Piping Instructor
John MacKenzie started piping in 1967 under the tutelage of P/M Hugh McWhinnie. After two years on the practice chanter John began to compete in Amateur Piping competitions and in 1975 won the title Champion Supreme Grade One in the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Also that same year he won the North American Championship for amateur piping at the Glengarry Highland Games.  In 1976 John was invited to lead the Town of Newmarket Pipe Band and held the position for sixteen years, guiding the band through championships from Grade Four to Grade Two.  Twice the band journeyed to Scotland to play at the World Pipe Band Championships. During the same time period, John took instruction with Bill Livingstone and played with the General Motors Pipe Band under P/M George Campbell in Grade One. This band was later to become the World Champion 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto.

John’s numerous professional piping awards include the U.S. Open Championship, the Piobaireachd Society’s Gold Medal (Canada), the Fergus Gold Medal (Piobaireachd), the St. Andrews Society of Baltimore Gold Medal and three time winner of the William Livingstone Invitational Piping Competition. John has also won many prizes in Scotland, and received instruction there from P/M Donald MacLeod and Duncan Johnstone.  Also, Willie Connell taught John for three years concentrating mainly on piobaireachd—particularly the ‘set’ tunes for competition at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting.

In 1992 and ‘93 John played with the Simon Fraser University P.B. and enjoyed 7th and 4th place finishes at the World Pipe Band Championships. Since then John has played with the Toronto Police P.B. and now spends his time teaching, judging and enjoying the company of his wife and three sons.