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Aaron Todd June 2005
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I began lessons on the practice chanter in October 2002 with Mr

 

I began lessons on the practice chanter in October 2002 with Mr. George Albertine of the Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums. In late March 2003, I went up on bagpipes and in late April was fully incorporated into the band, where I have benefited from group lessons with our pipe major, Alasdair Trotter. I had my first performances with the band on June 8, 2003 at the University of Virginia Alumni Reception, and the Firefighters’ Memorial at the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. Since that time I have performed with the band at several events, parades, schools, and with the Memorial Group, at various Memorial Services, funerals and Police and Fire Academy Graduations.

 

I have attended the National Piping Centre (Glasgow Scotland) Summer School in Winchester, Virginia in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. There, I studied under Roddy MacLeod, Principal of the Piping Centre and former Pipe Major of Scottish Power; Major Gavin Stoddart, Former Director of Army Bagpipe Music and Former Pipe Major of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Chris Armstrong, lifetime Piper to the Clan Armstrong Trust, Pipe Major of Scottish Power, and full time instructor at the National Piping Centre; Bruce Gandy, 13 time North American Champion; Finlay MacDonald of the Finlay MacDonald Band; and Chris Hamilton, a.k.a., The Tone Czar. Chris is an open piper, a former member of the Grade 1 City of Washington Pipe Band. While at the Piping Summer School I sat for and earned my Level One & Level Two Certificates and was also awarded a Certificate of Distinction for my efforts while there in 2003 & 2004, and 2005. I was also featured in the Shenandoah University Newspaper the first year and was placed in the advanced level of instruction the second year (highest but one group.)

In late August 2003, I began lessons with Mary Wallace (then grade 2 piper and member of the City of Washington Pipe Band, now a grade 1 piper) and Chris Hamilton as my primary instructor.

 

In September 2006, I began lessons with Bruce Gandy, Gold Medalist at Oban and Inverness, Winner MSR at Inverness as well as Former Winners MSR Winner, and 13 time North American Champion Solo Professional Piper.

 

I have proudly served as the Official Piper to the House of Gordon, Virginia Division since the annual gathering at the Richmond Highland Games in October 2003.

 

I served and as Pipe Sergeant of the Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums in 2005, leading them to the Eastern United States Grade V Championship as their Pipe Major on the Field. And, I took over the responsibility of teaching the Grade 5 students for the Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums in August 2005. In November 2005 I joined the MacMillan Grade 3 pipe band in Frederick, MD.

 

Competition Results:

  • In first year of competition received 14 First Place, 2 Second Place, 2 Third Place, 2 Fourth Place, and 2 Fifth Place Medals
  • Named Piper Of The Day Eight Times (Best Overall Piper in Grade Level)
  • Received 5 Above Grade Level Designations
  • EUSPBA 2004 Amateur Grade IV Junior Piobaireachd Gold Medalist
  • EUSPBA 2004 Amateur Grade IV Junior Overall Champion

 

·      Grade III Solo Competition in 2005 numerous first, second and third placings as a soloist as well as several Above Grade Level Designations and Piper of the Day honors.

·      As Pipe Major on the Field for the Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums in 2005 I led the band to 2nd place in the Southern US Championships, 1st in the Eastern US Championships, and 1st at the Virginia Scottish Games with 3 AGL Designations, and 1st at the Williamsburg Highland Games, assisting the band to an upgrade to Grade IV competition.

·      Grade II Solo Competition in 2006 to date have several 1st place results including 1st in 2/4 March and 1st in Strathspey/Reel at the North American Championships in Maxville, Canada on 4 August 2006.

 

Performance Experience:

 

  • Piped for Lacy’s Border Collies at the Virginia Scottish Games in 2003 & 2004 and at the Williamsburg Scottish Festival 2003.
  • Provided the entertainment for the Virginia State Fair Sheep Dog Trials in 2003 & 2004.
  • Piped for the Mitchell Wedding December 2003.
  • Piped for the Thistle & Shamrock Highland Dancers as the opening act for Seven Nations March 2004 and again in November 2004.
  • Piped for the Henrico County School Board in April 2004.
  • Performed for Governor Warner with the GRPD at the State Police Memorial May 2004.
  • Piped with Pindy Diaz of Brenga Astur June 2004 at the Potomac Celtic Festival. (informal)
  • Piped for the Governor's Conference on Mental Health.
  • Piped at several funerals both solo and with the GRPD Memorial Group including Officer Wendel of the Richmond City Police.
  • Piped for The Valentine Hills/Rocky Branch Farms/Lydell Heights Night Out Event 2003 & 2004
  • Piped for Dr. & Mrs. Geary’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in June 2004.
  • Piped for the Sandkan/Kirkpatrick Wedding July 2004.
  • Piped for numerous weddings in 2005 in Richmond, Williamsburg, and Bethesda, MD
  • Piped at the funeral of Sgt. Sean Miles, USMC in February 2006 – I was honored to offer my services to pipe him along the low road home
  • Piped at the dedication of the Angel of Hope Statue in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA in May 2006
  • Piped for the Army Transportation Ball (Ft. Eustis) in Williamsburg in July 2006
  • Piped for the Garnett/Gordon Family Reunion in August 2006
  • Piped for several Weddings in 2006 in Richmond, Virginia
  • As Official Piper to the House of Gordon, Virginia Division I have piped at several events including providing the entertainment for the National Gathering at Grandfather Mountain in July 2004, 2005 and 2006.
  • Have marched by invitation with several pipe bands including the Winchester Pipes & Drums in the Apple Blossom Festival Parade, Clan MacMillan Pipe Band, and Carnegie Mellon Pipe Band (with Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies 2004 Gold Medal Inverness Champion.)

 

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