"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. Recently 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 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.
Plockton Music School is the only specialist traditional music school of its kind, bringing together the best of Scotland’s young traditional talent and educating them to an all-rounded successful musician for later life. From a strict practice regime and intense groupwork sessions with several of the country’s best musicians at your beck-and-call, it was the perfect set-up to exploit her musical and vocal freedom within a contained and family-like environment.
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.
Since moving back to Glasgow, Robyn has been involved in many projects such as Oxtered to the Bothy's debut/self-titled album with her tune "Boll*cks & Belly Dancers", RCS' Braw Brass project/album, Phil & Aly's St. Andrew's Party, performing at the Piping Live! festival with Robyn McKay & Friends performing self-penned tunes and songs exclusively, become Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland Development Band after spending 7 years in the ranks of the Senior Band and one as Pipe Sergeant of the Development Band, performed at Celtic Colour's International Festival on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia with Ùr: The Future of Our Past, and various performances throughout the Celtic Connections festival such as Phil Cunningham's Highland's and Island's Suite. She also made the move in September 2017 to Cape Breton Island, NS - attending Cape Breton University for one semester to study folklore and ethnomusicology - immersing her in the island's famous and equally rich Scottish culture.
In collaboration, Robyn and Angus Lyon have been recently working together on their debut record - fusing their love and appreciation for their respected traditions as well as the modern, feel-good sensations of popular music to form a cinematic, electro-folk experience like no other.
She has been fortunate to work alongside industry veterans such as Patrick Doyle, Maggie Rodford, Phil Cunningham MBE, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Jenn Butterworth, Lori Watson, Jarlath Henderson, Lorne MacDougall, Chris Stout, and The Script.