The Pittsburgh Piping Society (PPS) along with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will host the inaugural Jimmy McIntosh MBE Piobaireachd Workshop from February 24-26, 2023. The workshop will be held at Carnegie Mellon University’s Cohen University Center, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Participation is reserved for pipers in competitive grades 3 and above. Pipers in grades 4 and 5 as well as members of the public may register as ‘observers only’ as space allows.

The weekend begins on Friday at 7:30pm with a gathering of the Pittsburgh Piping Society, where pipers of all abilities will perform for their peers. The evening concludes with a featured piper playing a longer selection of tunes, including a piobaireachd. Gold medalist and instructor Mike Cusack will be the featured piper on this occasion.

The PPS Gathering will take place at a live music venue near CMU. Any minors attending must be accompanied by a parent. 

On Saturday world class instructors, Mike Cusack and Andrew Carlisle, will lead a masterclass and classroom instruction.  Saturday’s session concludes with performances from this year’s Jimmy McIntosh MBE Scholarship recipients, Abby Long and Emmitt LaBelle. The pair will share two new piobaireachd they have been studying since June 2022.

Sunday morning will conclude the workshop (09:30-12:30), again at Carnegie Mellon University. 

In addition to the workshop activities, popular Scottish traditional band, Breabach, is in concert near the CMU campus on Saturday evening, featuring two top level bagpipers. This is separate to the workshop weekend and not affiliated with the Pittsburgh Piping Society.

Logistics: Individuals must arrange their own travel and accommodation. There are many hotels and Airbnb’s close to Carnegie Mellon University. For those traveling by air, the closest airport is Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). There is a paid parking garage next door to the Cohen University Center and an outdoor parking lot across the street off Morewood Avenue (this one is free after 5pm on weekdays and at weekends).  

Cost for the weekend workshop is $100.00 for participants there are multiple pricing options for observers only. Space is limited. Needs-based discounts are available. For more information and to register, visit

The Pittsburgh Piping Society is the charitable organisation which facilitates the Jimmy McIntosh MBE Piobaireachd Scholarship. Well-known pipers Andrew Carlisle, Palmer Shonk and Nick Hudson founded the organization in 2014 as a venue for pipers of all abilities and backgrounds to perform in front of one another in an encouraging informal environment – no kilts or uniforms required.

Weekend Schedule (approximate)

Friday, February 24

  • Arrival in Pittsburgh 
  • Pittsburgh Piping Society Gathering  – 7:30 PM – Squirrel Hill Sports Bar’s (adjacent theater). [<10 minutes from campus and accommodation] 
  • Opportunity for all pipers to perform. The featured piper will be Mike Cusack. 

Saturday, February 25

  • All Day Workshop – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Carnegie Mellon University, Cohon University Center. Instructors Mike Cusack and Andrew Carlisle. The workshops will take place in two formats: 
  1. Masterclass – students will perform on the bagpipe for an instructor and receive constructive feedback, in McConomy Auditorium.
  2. Classroom – classes where students will learn new music around the table on practice chanters, in the Pipes and Drums Office.
  • Scholarship Recital – 4:00 – 5:00 PM – Carnegie Mellon University, McConomy Auditorium
  • Scholarship recipients Abby Long and Emmitt LaBelle  will perform a piobaireachd each as the capstone to their scholarship instruction.
  • Optional Activity: BREABACH Concert (tickets not included in workshop fee) – 7:30 PM – Kelly Strayhorn Theater [<10 minutes from CMU campus] 
    Tickets must be purchased in advance here: 

Sunday, February 26 

  • Morning Workshop – 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Instructors Mike Cusack and Andrew Carlisle. (Same format and locations as Saturday).

Register here: