After two of Rob's aunts, and his father all playing in pipe bands, Rob
had a good basis for starting Highland Dance when he was four years old.
Growing up in Victoria BC, he took dance from Adeline Duncan, world
famous for producing champion dancers. Rob started pipes from PM Ian
Duncan at the age of nine, then after Ian's death, from Jamie Troy. Soon
after that, the City of Victoria Pipe Band was started., a grade one
competition band which soon attracted some of the top players on the
west coast, such as Hal Senyk, Terry Lee and John Fisher. That bands
accomplishments were many, including many top Canadian prizes, two
recordings, and twice a sixth place at the World Pipe Band Championships
in Scotland in Grade One.
After moving to Portland OR in 1983, Rob then played bass in several
rock bands before collaborating with singer Peter Yeates to form Full
Shilling, a Celtic fusion group with drummer Rob McKendrick,
violinist Skip Parente, and guitarist/singer Steve Mulligan. That group
attracted a lot of attention as they played some of the bigger Celtic
festivals in the US, such as the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Guest artists
with the band included Kevin Burke, Johnny Cunningham and others. A new
version of that group,New Shilling, has produced three CD's, and still
plays everywhere from Portland to the Mid West.
Rob also was a founding member of Raven, a Celtic folk group. With
three albums to their credit, plus a unique collaboration CD with Ann
Gray's group, Seanachie, "Five Days in April", the band developed a
major following in the Northwest. Rob also traveled to Uruguay in 2003
to play with Seanachie at an Irish Festival.
More recently, two more groups have emerged, Stringed Migration - a
Celtic influenced World music quintet, which has had world wide airplay,
and the Rose and Thistle band, essentially a trio out of Stringed
Migration, that has currently three CD's available. Rob's collaboration
with harpist Elizabeth Nicholson has also produced several recordings of
Celtic Wedding Music, Celtic Meditation, and more.
As a studio owner, Rob has been fortunate enough to record many local
artists, including Tatiana Kolchanova, violinist with the Oregon
Symphony and assistant Concert Master of the Vancouver Symphony, and
Oregon's Poet Laureate, Lawson Fusao Inada, in a unique jazz/poetry
concert. Bagpipes being a specialty of course, Rob has recorded several
years of competitions at the Portland Highland Games, both bands
including Simon Fraser University and Triumph Street, and Professional
Currently an approved judge with the BC Pipers Association, and in
demand for playing dance competitions all over the Pacific Northwest
including over twenty years of Regional Competitions and the USIR
National Championships twice. Rob also taught at the Coeur D Alene
Piping School for over twenty years. His CDs "Highland Dance Standards"
and the new “Updated Tempos” have been well received worldwide with
continuing sales to teachers and dancers alike. In Oct of 2015, Rob
taught with Fred Morrison in Mt Vernon at a Smallpipe workshop through
the Celtic Arts Foundation.
Since moving to Stevenson, Wa, Rob has connected with many local
players of different styles, including a Dixieland Jazz ensemble, F
Scott Fedora, where he plays bass.