A Celtic Traveler Bagpipes - Ian Whitelaw (header)

Ian Whitelaw


Extensive Training and Experience

Ian is an assistant professor at UCR (California, Riverside), the Music Director of the UCR Pipe Band and director of the music degree program for bagpipes in the Department of Music. He is as comfortable and enthusiastic playing in a competition for world renowned judges as he is on stage at the Hollywood Bowl – having played with the Chieftains, the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, has opened for Sting at the Gibson Amphitheater and has played for Queen Elizabeth in Scotland. He plays bagpipes on the Simpson's TV show (Willie the Groundskeeper's bagpipes) as well as performances on Family Guy, Arliss, The West Wing, American Dad and the soundtrack on The General's Daughter and the Rundown. He brings over forty years of education, experience and training to his musical performances, competitions and special projects, distinguished by his passion for both the sound and the musical expression of the bagpipe.

World Class Prize Winner

An accomplished competitor, Ian Whitelaw has received many prizes and medals throughout the U.S. and Canada and has consistently won competitions in Piobaireachd (the classical music of the bagpipe), during the course of his career. He traveled to Scotland to compete in the Gold Medal Competitions and was the winner of the U.S. Gold Medal in 2006. He is also a senior adjudicator for the Western United States Pipe Band Association and is known around the highland games for his playing, judging, work with pipe bands as well as having many successful solo competitors as students. He is available as a soloist or can organize a group of pipers, drummers as well as dancers, singers and other musicians.

"If you are looking for the best tone and expression in the world you need not look any further than Ian Whitelaw. During the period he worked with my band we set at the top of our grade for two years and traveling to Scotland for the first time we took 2nd in the Worlds in 3A. We owe this all to him!"
Kevin Blandford, Pipe-Major, R.P.Blandford & Son Pipe Band

Musical Specialties

Pipe Band Consultant
Ian has enjoyed a long career of work with pipe bands – he was a driving force in the sound and success of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band helping them win the World Championship in 1999, one of five victories. In addition, he directed the University of California at Riverside Pipe Band to the Champion Supreme Trophy of 2008 as the best band of the Western United States in their grade.

Solo Instruction
Ian’s passion as a teacher of the bagpipe is illustrated by the improvement of his student’s level of skill and fulfillment in their personal playing as well as the success they experience in their competitions. Ian plays particular interest in sound and raising the quality of the instrument for all of his pupils.

Musical Philosophy 

Ian Whitelaw is a devoted and extremely talented bagpiper who brings 40 years of education, experience and exceptional training to his musical performances, competitions and special projects. What distinguishes Ian’s playing is his extraordinary passion, not only to create a remarkable sound of the instrument itself but for the unique way in which the music is expressed. Ian speaks often of his special attention to connecting with the ‘story’ of the musical piece; Ian fulfills this goal daily through his instruction of the bagpipes where he also helps to stimulate the students’ bond with the ‘heart and soul’ of the music.

Ian's goal is to bring the Great Highland Bagpipe to the public ear with all the grandness and spirit this very special instrument has and to have it be presented as a majestic instrument of the woodwind family.

Recorded Music

Ian is frequently in the studio. Ian's Compact Discs are available for purchase. Samples of Ian's music are available for download on this web site.

Telephone: (310) 528-1514
e-mail address: ian@aceltictraveler.com
Ian's studio is located in Redondo Beach, California

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Ian Whitelaw
Master Bagpiper for Weddings, Funerals, Performances, Teaching, Instruction, and all occasions.