Piping and Drumming Workshop

November 1-3 2019

Bring your piping and drumming to the next level with some of the best instructors in the world!

Program Overview

  • Nov. 1: private lessons with instructors (limited availability)

  • Nov. 2: all-day piping & drumming workshops

  • Nov. 2: festive evening ceilidh at the Los Gatos Lodge

  • Nov. 3: all-day piping & drumming workshops

In addition to quality instruction, the event will also feature a raffle, silent auction, “garage sale”/swap table, and Saturday night ceilidh 


  • Cost: $150 per person

  • Discounts for families (2 or more) and bands (5 or more)

  • Early bird discount

  • Workshop t-shirts available for $15

  • Limited scholarships available for students under 18 years of age. Apply Here.

Workshop topics

  • Bagpipe Maintenance

  • Solo Performance Technique

  • Solo Instrument Setup

  • Band Tuning

  • Tune Composition

  • March Strathspey & Reel Playing

  • Solo Jig Playing

  • Music Theory/Harmony Composition

  • Piobaireachd

  • Stick Control

  • Snare Drum Setup

  • Competition Master Classes

  • How to select a solo competition tune

  • Something for every level of player: Beginner, intermediate, and advanced

  • and much more!

Workshop and Lodging Locations

Workshop Information

Sacred Heart School



Hotel Information

Los Gatos Lodge

50 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032

$139/night - double (includes full breakfast for two)

Reserve a room here and mention you’re attending the Silicon Valley Piping & Drumming Workshop

Thank you to our Sponsors

McCallum Bagpipes | RG Hardie Bagpipes | Modern Piping

Keith Jeffers Bagpipes | Ross Bagpipe Bags | Dojo University


Meet the Instructors

Bruce Gandy (Pipes) | Andrew Carlisle (Pipes) | Rob Boyd (Pipes) | Adam Blaine (Pipes)

David Bowman (Snare) | Alex Bieschke (Snare) | Kristin Tillery (Tenor)

piping centre recital 2018.jpg

Bruce Gandy

Bruce makes his living teaching piping full time at home Halifax Nova
Scotia with an ever growing stable of students coming to his work office at
the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site or his computer as he is one of the
most in demand teachers on the growing “skype“ network with over 40
students coming online to see him. Bruce is one of the top solo competitors in the world, and is currently Pipe Sergeant of 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel grade 1.  Learn more at


Andrew Carlisle

Andrew is originally from Ballygowan, County Down and joined FMM in 2003. He is one of the world’s leading soloists and has won numerous prizes including the Gillies Cup for Piobaireachd at London, the A Grade Strathspey and Reel at Oban, the Senior Piobaireachd and overall at Cowal, the US Gold Medal for Piobaireachd and Light music, the MacCrimmon Trophy, and three All-Ireland titles. Andrew is Professor of Music and Director of Piping at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. During his time there, he has transformed the University Pipes and Drums into a successful Grade 3 band.


Rob Boyd

Rob plays in the Silicon Valley Pipe Band and other bands have included the Irish Pipers of San Francisco, Prince Charles Pipe Band, Dunvegan Pipe Band, Monterey Scottish Pipe Band and the Lockheed Pipe Band beginning in 1975. He was taught originally by his uncle, Dick Boyd, and also benefitted from excellent instruction from Ozzie Reid, Stuart McAlpine and Jimmy McColl.  Rob served for years as a WUSPBA judge and also taught at the Balmoral School of Piping at Sonoma State University. His awards include a prize in the US Silver Medal contest in Kansas City, the MSR at the Nicol-Brown contest in New York, Jigs at the Vancouver Indoor and overall aggregates at Pleasanton and throughout the Western US. 


Adam Blaine

Adam started learning bagpipes at the age of 11 under the instruction of Gerald Tetrualt and Dr. Al Walker of the Plattsburgh Police Pipes and Drums. Since then he has taken lessons from Bruce Gandy. Currently, Adam is a member of the Grade 2 LA Scots Pipe Band and is Pipe Major and instructor of the Grade 3 Silicon Valley Pipe Band. He is also a frequent prize winner in grade 1 solo competition.


David Bowman

David is the leading drummer of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band (2013 - Present). He is a former member of the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band (2008 - 2012). During his five seasons with SFU, he was a winner of two World Pipe Band Championships (2008, 2009) and two World Drum Corps Championships (2008, 2009). Before joining SFU, he spent five seasons with the Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band (2003 - 2007). An established soloist in North America, David reached the MHAF 'Winter Storm' Gold Medal Final on multiple occasions, placing as high as 4th (2010). He was the BC Piper's Association Professional Snare Grand Aggregate three years in a row (2009 - 2011), and twice traveled to compete at the World Solo Drumming Championships in Scotland (2007, 2009). David holds a Master of Arts degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and works as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the Winnipeg Police Service.

Alex Bieschke

Alex starting drumming at the age of 7 after a brief attempt at learning bagpipes. Alex has played in bands all over North America including LA Scots, North Stratton (Edmonton, Alberta), Oran Mor (Albany, New York), Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and currently competes with the grade 2 Winnipeg Police Pipe Band from Manitoba, Canada. When home, Alex is the drumming instructor for the Glendora High School pipe band. In her 14 years at the school, the program has grown from 7 students, and too small to compete, to being the reigning WUSPBA champions and just finishing up an undefeated 2018 campaign. Alex's career highlights include winning the North American Championships drumming with Winnipeg Police, Winning the grade 1 qualifier drumming at the World Championships with LA Scots, winning the grade 3b World Championship with Pasadena Scots, and watching her Glendora students take straight firsts in drumming in 2018 including winning both of her grandfather's memorial trophies.


Kristin Tillery

Kristin started playing Scottish Tenor approximately in 1999. She was part of the, now, Kevin R Blandford Memorial Pipe Band (grade 3) through the 2010 season. In 2011 she joined the Grade 1 LA Scots Pipe Band and continues to lead their tenor corps to success.