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.
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.
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.