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Fran Emerson
was born in New Zealand, raised in Oregon USA, migrated to New Zealand when 20 and then to Australia. She has been involved in Scottish highland dancing for 53 years, was the Oregon State Highland Dance Champion and started teaching highland dancing in her early teens.

Fran ran a large Highland Dance school (125 students) in the Southern Highlands for many years and held regular dance competitions during that time. Many of the dancers from that school won places at competition, some won championships, many just learned for fun and many went on to play in the Southern Highlands Pipe Band including three of her four children.

Its been 43 years since Fran started learning the bagpipes in her teens. She went on to play with the Clan McClay Pipe Band (Oregon), Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band (NZ), Southern Highlands Pipe Band (NSW), Canberra City Pipes and Drums (Canberra).

In 2002 Fran led the founding members of the Canberra Celtic Pipe Band to form a new band as she and others felt there was a need for a band in Canberra that focused on competition, dancing and social/community events. At the time there were two social/community bands and one competitive band and our aim was for a balance of the two types of band. The reasoning was that some pipers and drummers cannot give 100% to a truly competitive band, want a relaxed social community based approach but want to be challenged to be as good as they can be. The solution was to create a band which competed two or three times a year maximum. The dance school was always part of the plan in forming the band as it acts as entertainment support for the band and contributes learners from interested dancers. The Canberra Celtic Pipe Band is consequently an extremely young pipe band in comparison to others and also has more female pipers than most.

At the time of forming the band many people in Canberra told us it couldnt be done as no one had started a band without sponsorship in NSW or for that matter Australia for so many years. Despite that Fran, with a couple of others, contributed to starting the band with drums and chanters with most players purchasing their own kilt (one of the biggest expenses). This gave the band the start it needed.

n teaching piping and dance Fran has this philosophy "no one I teach is allowed to say I can't. I have told many dancers and learner pipers that you can do anything if you really want to and with practice and that can't really means "I have decided that I wont try hard at this."

The band gives Fran a balance between her 4 children, 9 grandchildren and work. She loves music and has numerous instruments at home which "I fully intend to learn to become proficient at when I grow up i.e., melodeon, concertina, harmonica, tin whistle, organ, Northumbrian pipes etc."

Somehow Fran has found time in her life to also be a court, marriage, youth and family counsellor and a service and public service manager (good training for becoming a pipe major when she grew up!).

Fran has a West Highland White Terrier called Piobaireachd who she is sure will someday attempt chew up her valuable l909 Henderson bagpipes as he has chewed up everything else in the place

John Uren - Pipe Sergeant
Whilst looking for a hobby that was both exciting and different to balance the tedium of 9 to 5 dentistry, John tried learning Gaelic, saxophone, violin, clarinet, unicycling, tap dancing and finally commenced learning the pipes in 1990 with the Burns Club Pipe Band.
He has not tried another hobby since that time though he has acquired a range of instruments including a ukulele banjo, bugle, didgeridoo, hunting horn, tin whistles (small and large), Theremin (makes the weird music for Dr. Who), Thai banjo, harmonica, trumpet, small pipes and northumbrian pipes all of which he plans to master when he grows up.



Under the excellent tutelage of Bobbie Tate he became a dedicated piobaireached fan and also has plans to become world champion piobaireached player when he grows up. He joined the Canberra City Pipes and Drums in 1995 and was one of the 4 founding members of the Canberra Celtic Pipe Band acting as treasurer and pipe sergeant for the first two years.

John spends his spare time riding his Red Triumph Daytona 1200 motorbike and driving his 1967 XR Ford Ute. John plans to fix up his car and ute, someday, probably when he grows up. His favourite colour is red except for dogs which he thinks should be black and white.

Stephen Ross
Stephen commenced the pipes with The Scots College Sydney becoming Pipe Sergeant - main tutor was Bill Hart. Bill made him bellows small pipes http://www.iona-bagpipes.com/.
Highlights at school included performing at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 1973 and drilling by legendary Sergeant Murray.
He lived in Scotland for work but had a brief attachment with Arbroath Pipe Band. He joined CCPB in 2006.
Stephen currently resides in Young and performs regularly for the Australian War Memorial closing ceremony.
In July 2009 he attended the National Piping Centre in Glasgow and passed Level 4 Certificate in Piping for Piping and Drumming Qualification Board ( incorporates Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association). He plays Strathmore Bagpipes. Enjoys Skype with Jori Chisholm www.bagpipelessons.com - & Murray Henderson - see www.hendersonreedmakers.com/
Winner Silver Medal RU Brown Piobaireachd Society SA May 2012


Contact Us: +61 (0)2 6285 1767 | email-/- pipemajor@canberraceltic.org

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