Principal of Scottish Arts Academy
Snare Drum, Tenor Drum, Bass Drum
Band Drumming, Ensemble
Lessons, Workshops, Judging
Andrew's drumming career was ignited at age 6 when he began lessons for flourishing tenor drumming and bass drumming from James I. Sim. Just a few years later he initiated snare drum tuition with James S. Sim who served as Andrew's primary instructor for the majority of his development as a drummer. During those years he also received advanced snare instruction regularly from J. Reid Maxwell. Clinics and occasional lessons over the years provided Andrew the opportunity to receive tuition from many great drummers including Gordon Parkes, Jim Kilpatrick, Gordon Brown, Tom Brown and Joe Noble. His most recent tutor and his mentor as a Leading Drummer was Carl Lenny.
Andrew has been a member of five pipe bands. He spent all of his formative years with the Midlothian Pipe Band organization - including the Grade 4 Junior band as the bass drummer, and from 1992 through 2000 with the Grade 2 band. From 1996 through 1999, he also served as Leading Drummer and instructor of the Monmouth College Pipe Band during his tenure as a student there. In 2001 Andrew joined the Chicago Caledonian Pipes and Drums for two very successful seasons where he served his first post as a competitive Leading Drummer of their Grade 2 band. Within the CCal organization he also served as Principal Instructor of the Grade 4 and Junior band programs which he co-founded.
Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band under the leadership of his mentor. The timing was right when on his mentor's return to Scotland later that year, Andrew was appointed Leading Drummer for the LA Scots and served in that role for two seasons. He then joined the Grade 2 James J. Coyne Memorial Pipe Band in late 2005 as Leading Drummer and served there four seasons through the end of 2009 at which time Andrew relocated back to Chicago. Since mid 2011, Andrew has returned to the LA Scots as a distance player and enjoys playing at the highest level of competition while still being able to devote his time to teaching, composing, judging, and his other services.
As an individual competitor Andrew is a Professional Grade soloist. At this highest grade of competition he is a past United States Open Champion (2002) and has held runner-up positions at both the North American Championships Solo Competition and the Agnew-Harrison Memorial Invitational Solo Competition. Andrew has also won many titles and awards during his development through the Amateur Grades. On a regional level, he has held the titles of MWPBA Champion Supreme for several grades and in both bass and snare drumming, and also WUSPBA Champion Supreme for Professional snare drumming.
Andrew began teaching at age 14 and has enjoyed instructing many successful players and bands over the years since. His personal students - including snare, tenor and bass drummers - have gone on to win notable solo awards at every grade level and receive corps positions in top bands across the country. Bands that Andrew has instructed have all seen tangible success under his tutelage - including player advancement, corps development, and prizewinning on local, regional and international platforms. In 2012, Andrew was appointed as the drumming instructor at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy where he serves as the co-director of The Pipes and Drums and also as director of The Lancers Regimental Drums.
Midwest Pipe Band Association as a competition adjudicator in 1997. Beginning as an apprentice and moving to Associate Judge status, he was promoted to the status of Full Drumming Judge in 2001. His standard credential for Solo Snare Drumming and Band Drumming was quickly followed by the addition of qualifications for Solo Tenor Drumming and Full Ensemble Judge. In 2004 Andrew relocated to Southern California and was appointed by the Western US Pipe Band Association to their Judges "A" Panel with credentials for Solo Snare, Solo Tenor and Bass, Band Drumming and Band Ensemble. He furthered his credential by participating in WUSPBA Adjudicators Credentialing Program during which time he passed the examinations for Solo and Band Drumming and for Band Ensemble.
As a leader in the pipe band community, Andrew served on the WUSPBA Music Board from 2005 through 2009. During his tenure in that role he took on the duty of overseeing the drumming portion of WUSPBA's Adjudicators Credentialing Program. Just weeks after returning to Chicago, Andrew was elected to the MWPBA Advisory Board which is an executive position representing the interests of the membership.
Andrew founded ScottishDrumming.com in 2003 as a way to promote the art of highland drumming and to serve as an education and leadership resource. This venture has seen restructuring in 2010 and ScottishDrumming.com will continue to promote the art form - via articles, reviews, scores, blogs, etc. At the same time, the teaching wing will now fall under the name Scottish Arts Academy and will be expanding to include instruction for other highland performing disciplines.
Andrew's home is in the Chicago area. He is a professional drummer in that he derives a his livelihood from his work as a full-time highland drumming teacher, judge, competitor and performer. Outside of drumming, he is also an independent consultant for small businesses and non-profits with a service focus on workflow efficiency, personnel development and public relations. To learn more about Andrew visit his website - AR2 Global.