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Jeff McCarthy





Montreal, QC






Teaching Preferences

Student Level:

Age Group:




Beginner, Intermediate, Senior

Youth & Adult

In-Person, Online and Hybrid (in-person and online)

Individual, Small Group


PDQB Level:

Ajudication Level

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Band affiliation:

The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada

Jeff McCarthy’s piping journey started at the David M. Stewart Museum, on Saint Helen’s Island in Montreal, at the age of 17. Inspired by 4 Pipers playing continuously for 120 hours straight for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, Jeff McCarthy started going to The Black Watch Armoury for lessons in the Fall of 1989. He was taught mainly by Paul Gardner, (a former Pipe Major of CC 2497 Black Watch Cadets Pipes & Drums). After his lessons, he spent time in the Red Hackle Club, listening to practices of the original Black Watch Association Pipes & Drums, led by Pipe Major Bill Hanna. Over the years Jeff received some individual lessons from Dugald MacNeill, Greg Wilson, and Roderick MacLean (mainly for lessons in Piobaireachd), and he has attended workshops with Robert Mathieson, Ken Eller, and Donald Lindsay.

Jeff started piping with The Olde 78th Fraser Highlanders from 1990-1998 and was Pipe Major of the squad in 1996-1997. He joined the Black Watch as a Piper under Pipe Major Andy Kerr in December 1991, and is still a current serving member of The Pipes & Drums. In his 32 years of service, he has represented The Regiment internationally, for Veterans commemorative events, and military Tattoos on both sides of the pond.

Jeff played at renowned downtown department store Ogilvy’s from 1992-94 and 1996-2017, where over a span of 72 years, a Piper played through the store every day at close, and then later at noon.

Jeff played for Highland Dancing Competitions in The Montreal area, for the Montreal Highland Dancing Association, The Montreal Highland Games and for Interprov, from 1995-2015.

Jeff has been working with students of all ages since the early 90s, as he always wanted to give back, and help expand the Montreal Piping community. In June 2021 Jeff received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, for his work with The Black Watch Cadet Corps, for which he has been Coordinator since 2015. He created a students’ tutor book called The Piper’s Companion/Le Compagnon du Cornemuseur

Jeff is a prolific composer and arranger of bagpipe music, having self-published Quebec’s first collection of Bagpipe Music, “The Thistle Amongst the Lillies”. He is inspired by the compositions of Robert Mathieson, Michael Grey, John MacColl, Pipe Major Donald MacLeod, Gordon Duncan, and Al Clark, amongst others…

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