Trad session tuition in the Pipers’ Tryst during Celtic Connections


Traditional music sessions are enticing, and the interplay of the musicians and instruments may seem random to an onlooker. However, there is often an unseen session etiquette that needs to observed sensitively by a beginner. And many sessions will have a repertoire of tunes that are particular to a venue or locality, so another learning curve is to pick up these sets of tunes that will be played on a regular basis.

The National Piping Centre is offering the perfect opportunity to learn the pipe tunes, the sets of tunes and the etiquette needed to join a session and be made welcome into any session pub. For four days in January, from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29, pipers have the opportunity to bring their bellows pipes, mouth-blown smallpipes and whistles and learn in The Pipers’ Tryst sessions during the Celtic Connections festival.

The session will be led by Ailis Sutherland, Finlay MacDonald, Ross Ainslie and Ciar Milne, who are all Highland pipers, but who have a wealth of experience as professional traditional musicians on Border pipes, smallpipes, reel pipes and whistles. These tutors have played on the biggest stages in the traditional music circuit, but also played in the cosiest, high-quality traditional music session pubs in Scotland, Ireland and across the world.


•Ailis Sutherland at Celtic Connections in 2018
•Ross Ainslie at Piping Live! 2022

This is the perfect opportunity for any piper, or whistle player, to learn what is needed to play in a session with other musicians. The days can be booked individually, or as a four day block. For more information and to register visit The National Piping Centre here.

•Finlay MacDonald at Celtic Connections in 2018
•Ciar Milne at Trad in the Tryst 2022