Andrew Wright 1936 – 2022

The death has been reported of Andrew Wright, Dunblane, one of the outstanding pipers and teachers of the post war period. Andrew was 86.

He began piping in the Boys Brigade and studied under Peter MacLeod Senior before moving on to P/M Donald MacLeod. It was when playing at the Braemar Gathering that he was called over by judge RB Nicol, Balmoral, who invited him for lessons.

Andrew, an engineer who worked on distilleries in the north, would tie in work visits with lessons from Nicol. Thus did he build on a body of knowledge second to none.

Andrew pictured in 1970 after winning the Gold Medal at Oban

He enjoyed considerable success on the solo platform winning both Gold Medals in 1970 (Nameless, dro o dro and Desperate Battle of the Birds) one of the few to achieve this distinction. His other awards include the Uist and Barra Piobaireachd, Scottish Pipers, Bratach Gorm, Gillies Cup and the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering (Earl of Seaforth’s Salute).

Andrew was determined to pass on his knowledge and gave freely of him time to anyone who approached him. Among those who learned from him were double Gold Medallists Robert Wallace, James MacGillivray and John Cairns.

Andrew was a dedicated and expert teacher. This is his class at the College of Piping from 2007

For more than 35 years he attended in an almost unbroken line the Couer d’Alene Summer School in Idaho with pipers from throughout the north west US and Canada benefiting greatly from his expertise. For more than ten years he travelled to Northern Ireland to conduct classes in ceòl mòr.

Andrew produced a book ‘General Principles of Piobaireachd’ which was very well received by the piping community.

He served as President of the Piobaireachd Society for ten years and was a highly respected senior adjudicator. He was presented with the Balvenie Medal for services to piping in 2007.

In the band world he he enjoyed success with the Red Hackle Pipe and Drums where he struck of lifelong friendships with Malky MacKenzie and Hector Russell.

Andrew’s funeral will be private and our condolences to Isobel and family at this time. If any reader would like to leave a message of sympathy or thanks please do so below.

15 thoughts on “Andrew Wright 1936 – 2022

  1. Andrew was always a real gentleman and over many years I was grateful to him for passing on his knowledge to me and all who were interested. Sincere condolences to Isobel and his family.

  2. Isobel:
    I am wishing you strength in the coming days. I feel so lucky to have spent time with you and Andrew in Scotland and in America. I won’t forget it. I will miss Andrew; my teacher, mentor, and friend of nearly 50 years.
    With profound sincerity, our condolences,
    Dan and Bonnie Diessner

  3. ‘Would like to associate myself with the many tributes to Andrew. He will be remembered fondly for his expertise and the generous sharing of his knowledge. My copy of Kilberry contains many pencil notes jotted down during his teaching sessions to assist in interpretation and presentation of piobaireachd. A gifted piper, teacher and encourager.
    My condolences to his family.

  4. I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Andrew Wright. In addition to being an exceptional and dedicated piper, Andrew was an outstanding teacher and a wonderful, kind and generous man.

    I feel privileged that Andrew was my piping tutor for the best part of 25 years. Every week, I would make the short journey up the road to Andrew’s home in Dunblane where I was always warmly welcomed by himself and Isobel. It was, without doubt, the highlight of my week. His teaching of piobaireachd was both magical and captivating. I owe him so much and I will cherish all the time that we spent together.

    Andrew’s passing is a great loss to the piping world but his principles and passion for piobaireachd playing will live on through his many pupils across the globe.

    Rest in peace Andrew. My sincere condolences to Isobel and the family at this sad time.

    Innes Smith

  5. The Argyllshire Gathering is sorry to learn this sad news. Andrew was a dear friend of the Gathering, Winner of the Gold Medal< Senior Piobaireachd and a Senior Judge for many years. Indeed, he was associated with the Gathering for more than 5 decades We were fortunate to benefit from his good, sound advice, particularly through the difficult years.
    Many Thanks, Andrew.

  6. I just got the news of Andrew’s passing and I I feel so sorry and sad .
    I will miss him as a great piper and teacher of course , but also as a great friend .
    Our friendship started in 1992 when we played along with another 4 pipers for a big recital of Ceol Mor which attracted at the time about 2000 people , in Brest first ( le Quartz Theatre ) , and then a few days later at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris .
    We started exchanging views about tunes as Andrew had been a pupil of the late Bob Nicol , and I had been taught by Bob Brown and Bob Nicol as well in 1971 . We were frequently in contact , by phone , letters , and later by email , always comparing our interpretations of different tunes , and I even adjudicated with Andrew in various Highland Games , and I remember that we were in agreement most of the time about the results .
    He was very kind to me , and taught me a lot of tunes which I had not got before .
    Very sad news .
    RIP Andrew .
    My condolences to Isobel .
    Patrick Molard .

  7. Very saddened to learn of Andrew’s passing.
    Andrew did a lot of teaching and judging for us in Ireland.
    All who attended his classes benefitted greatly .
    Our deepest sympathy to Isobel and family.

  8. Andy came to Antigonish on two occasions to give piobaireachd workshops and recitals. He stayed with us both time and he was always so pleasant and generous. I wish we had more time with him. Scott and Maureen

  9. Very sad to read of the passing of Andrew Wright, and quite poignant that it follows so soon, after Hector Russell. I greatly respected Andrew Wright and his teaching, and have always remembered how, on the piobaireachd course when people started blowing all manner of low As, he would ask everybody to stop and one by one go round the group, to get all the As in tune with each other, and then we’d start. I’ll also remember him listening so very acutely to the music, and asking us what we heard in it. I remember him saying of one tune ‘I hear the church in it’ and asking us what we heard. Very thoughtful, very thorough, very attuned, so very knowledgeable, so very experienced, just the best. And a true gentleman, so thoughtful and generous. I am sure he will be very much missed by all. Happy memories from the photo above. Heartfelt condolences to Andrew’s family.

  10. Hi Rab

    Andrew was my teacher in the early 90’s when I attended lessons with the Walker Brothers, and a couple of other famous pipers (Rab I think you were one of these), I was living in Bridge of Allan and would often miss the train back, and Andrew would run me down the road. Both he and Isobell were so welcoming for a boy from Australia and I will be forever grateful he made time for me to pass on the knowledge. I hope in my teaching today I pass on some small part of what he gave me. Rest In Peace, I will be forever grateful of your time and guidance.

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