Bio

Andrew Lawson

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I'm an accomplished pipe band snare drummer with over 30 years’ playing experience and serve as the current lead drummer of the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, where I've been a member for over 16 years. 

 

Originally from Ontario, Canada, I started out with the local Newmarket Junior Pipe Band when I was 8 years old. I had already been immersed in the Pipe Band scene from a very early age thanks to my dad – who was a piper in the Grade 2 band – and attending practices and competitions was a regular event in my life from the very beginning. A few years after formally learning the snare drum, I started lessons with Doug Stronach, who was instrumental in my development and helped me progress through the grades both in bands and solos. Doug also taught 2 of my close friends, and together we were all part of the drumcorps for the Invergarry Pipe Band for several years, rising up the grades. 

 

In 1996 I moved up to the Grade 1 Metro Toronto Police Pipe Band playing under Jake Watson and Drew Duthart. This was a big jump but was something I'd been working towards for a long time. The band had a very successful year, finishing off the Ontario season by winning the North American Championships in Maxville. After that we set off to Scotland to play in what was my very first World Pipe Band Championships. In all the years that have followed, I’ve only missed the World's twice. 

 

Later, I joined the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band in Ontario where I had the opportunity to play under Pipe Majors Michael Grey and John Elliot and lead drummers Craig Stewart, Jeremy Keddy and Doug Stronach. 

After the 2003 season I made the big decision to move to Scotland and join the renowned Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band under Pipe Major Robert Mathieson and Lead Drummer Jim Kilpatrick. 

The band had just won the World Pipe Band Championships, so the intensity level was high. It was tough to adapt and step up to play with a band of such quality, but thanks to a lot of hard work and help from other members I was able to get through the off-season and out onto the park. 

 

During my time with the band I've won 2 World Pipe Band Championships, 3 World Drumming Titles and numerous other band and drumming prizes at various major championships. 2005 was a very special year as it was when I first met my wife, Kirsty, who had joined Shotts as a piper that winter. We went on to win the World Championships together that year, got married 5 years later and now have two amazing kids. 

 

In 2016 I had the tremendous honour of becoming lead drummer of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. It's been a great deal of work but also remains one of the most rewarding endeavours I've ever taken on. 

 

On the solo scene, I've been a regular finalist at the World Solo Drumming Championships, with a best finish of 4th in the 2012 event.

 

Drumming has been my main passion for the majority of my life and I've had the great pleasure to share this passion and teach in many great places around the world including in New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK and returning back to Canada as well. 

 

I'm always interested in working with enthusiastic players who are hungry to learn more, keen to make progress at all levels, and most importantly who are looking to maximize their enjoyment of our great and rewarding hobby. If this is you then please check out my Services page.