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ABOUT

"The first time I met Robyn, I knew she was a serious talent, boundless in her approach to music. I'm so happy to have witnessed her journey over the last 10 or so years. I've rarely met anyone with such natural musicality, whatever the situation. Robyn shines, long may it continue!"

- Finlay MacDonald

"It is a joy to work with Robyn. She has an infectious enthusiasm which rubs off on everyone in the room and is always meticulously prepared and rehearsed as a multi-instrumentalist as well as being a solo piper to rival the best."

- Lorne MacDougall

Robyn Ada McKay is a piper/whistle player from the outskirts of Glasgow. Graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the BMus(Hons) Scottish Music - Piping Degree course as well as being a member of St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band from Dublin, Eire and studying on Cape Breton Island, NS she has been heavily influenced by a wide variety of styles within the traditional music genre.                            

 

Born in Renfrewshire, Robyn began her piping career as a member of Johnstone Pipe Band, before joining the Grade 3 (then Grade 1) St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band, from Dublin. Over the past 16 years, she has been privileged in experiencing both extremes of the piping spectrum by receiving tuition from Iain MacFadyen, a legend of the solo competition circuit, and Finlay MacDonald, a highly respected piper that needs no description in the modern folk piping scene, developing a love and passion for both the roots and transformation of piping. 

 

Travelling to Ireland every month since the age of 14 to play with St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band of Dublin, she found a love for Irish music, and after receiving tuition from Scott Wood at her high school on the penny whistle she successfully auditioned and moved to the Highlands to finish off high school at Sgoil Chiuil na Gaidhealtachd, also known as Plockton Music School.

 

She is also a keen Scottish step dancer, performing and practicing weekly with the Kelvingrove Dancers - a small yet enthusiastic group of Scottish Step Dancers. 

 

After moving back to Glasgow, Robyn was involved in many projects such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medal track, performing at the Piping Live! festival with Robyn McKay & Friends, became Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland Development Band, and performed at festivals across the globe including; Celtic Colour's International Festival on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Ortigueira's Festival of the Celtic World (Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta) in County Ferrolterra, Galicia, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo showcase in Sydney, Australia. 

 

She also made the move in September 2017 to Cape Breton Island, NS - attending Cape Breton University to study folklore and ethnomusicology - immersing her in the island's famous and equally rich Scottish/Celtic culture. 

Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with an honours degree in Scottish Music - Bagpipes, Robyn has been involved in a variety of projects including; recording works of Hans Zimmer's for the 2021 box office film 'DUNE', recording with Patrick Doyle for Disney's 2020 'Artemis Fowl' film, performing in Celtic Connection's "A Celebration of Women in Piping" (the first concert of its kind with an all-female, international piping cast), competing with Bagad Boulvriag at the Brest Championships in Brittany, and relocated to Western Australia to work and play with the Western Australia Police Pipe Band. 

 

Robyn has also been fortunate to work alongside industry veterans such as; Hans Zimmer, Maggie Rodford, Patrick Doyle, Kenneth Branagh, Phil Cunningham MBE, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Jenn Butterworth, Jarlath Henderson,  Chris Stout, and The Script.