New professional piping school for Falkirk

Piping tutor Gary Nimmo at ABS Piping School (Falkirk).
Piping tutor Gary Nimmo at ABS Piping School (Falkirk).

A new professional piping school for the Falkirk district has opened its doors.

ABS Piping School is run by champion bagpipe player, Gary Nimmo who also runs Grangemouth-based Achiltibuie Bagpipe Specialists (ABS Ltd), which exports piping, drumming and highland dress products all around the world.

Gary (32) has recently moved back to his home town of Falkirk after a six-year stint teaching music in Wester Ross.

“Previous to this I was a music teacher with Falkirk Council for ten years,” Gary explained.

Over the last two decades, Gary has played and performed all over the world in countries including America, Canada and China.

He has also won two Scottish schools titles, four World Pipe Band Championships, a BBC Alba Trad Award for Pipe Band of the Year and the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award for community contribution and inclusion.

In addition he has taken part in the Scottish Championships, European Championships and over 20 other major titles.

Gary’s love for bagpipes began when he was just eight years old.

“I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to be taught in Falkirk and wish others still did,” he said.

“I believe that learning a musical instrument should be a right for all kids but unfortunately these days piping is not currently offered in most schools in the district.

“Professionally, piping opened so many doors for me and gave me lots of amazing opportunities and I want to give others the same experience,” he said.

“I am fortunate to be able to travel and play to people all over the world. In fact I’m just back from playing at a Burns Supper in Vancouver in Canada which was fantastic.

“There’s something about the sound of the bagpipes that evokes a sense of pride in us Scots and it’s a sound that seems to be welcomed, appreciated and respected by people in different countries too – it’s a real symbol of Scotland.”

By opening up his own piping school, Gary wants to create opportunities for others to follow in his success.

“In the current climate where most educational stories seem to be about making cuts or removing services, I’m firmly confident that my school will provide a vast array of musical opportunities and provide experiences that may not be possible otherwise.

“I aim to help to create a culture for piping in Falkirk and the school will provide a structured learning platform that is also fun, educational, safe and professional.

“I believe it’s the first professional piping school to open in the central area, the next nearest one being in Glasgow.”

Gary recommends being seven or eight years old to start, due to finger development for the chanter holes.

“I’ve already had more than 70 notes of interest so that’s a good sign that it’s something needed and wanted in the area,” he said.

“Anyone interested is more than welcome to contact me for more information.”

ABS Piping School is based in Unit 14 at Grangemouth Enterprise Centre.

For more details contact Gary at gary@bagpipespecialists.com or call the school on 01324 483392.