John Cairns


John comes from a piping family that has a long and prestigious musical history, and is recognized today as one of the World’s top bagpipers and teachers.

In 1999, John achieved a feat that every piper dreams of – he became the 10th person in the history of piping and the first person from outside of Scotland to win the two Highland Society of London Gold Medals for solo piping at both Oban and Inverness, Scotland in the same year.

John has studied under the best teachers in both Canada and Scotland and as a soloist, has won numerous other major prizes, including:

  • Eight Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario Champion Supreme designations
  • Three North American Champion titles
  • The Bratach Gorm – in London, England
  • The Piobaireachd Society Canadian Gold Medal, Bar to the Gold Medal and Former Winners March, Strathspey and Reel Contest
  • Three Livingstone Invitational Contests
  • Three Fergus Gold Medals for Light Music

As a teacher, John holds the Institute of Piping’s Senior Teacher’s Certificate and has taught all over North America and in Australia. John is also an accredited evaluator for the Institute of Piping.

John is the Pipe Major (director) of the Peel Regional Police Grade 1 Pipe Band from Toronto, Ontario, winners of the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 North American Championships and the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) Grade 1 Champion Supreme Title. Before joining Peel, he spent twelve years with the 78th Fraser Highlanders Grade 1 Pipe Band. John’s experience in Grade 1 pipe bands dates back to 1982.

John adjudicates regularly throughout North America and is an accomplished composer. He has two solo recordings to his credit which are available for purchase in our download section on our website.