Nicholson Pipes & Drums

Scottish Great Highland bagpipe

Nicholson Pipes and Drums, founded in 1981, is a Scottish bagpipe band. Based in Westminster, California, this all-volunteer, nonprofit musical organization has earned a reputation for excellence – in both performance and demeanor – at Scottish festivals and special events locally and abroad.

Nicholson Pipes and Drums was founded in 1981 by Pipe Major Kathleen Nicholson Graham.  The band was named in honor of her father, Pipe Major Malcolm Nicholson, by her bagpipe students who wanted to carry on his legacy.  From 1937 through the early 1970s, Pipe Major Malcolm Nicholson founded many championship pipebands in Vancouver B.C., Canada.  Then in 1978 he was awarded the highest civilian award,“CANADA MEDAL” by the Prime Minister of Canada.  The Nicholson Pipeband is kept busy carrying on the Nicholson legacy, performing at conventions, weddings, birthdays, memorial services, golf tournaments, and community events. The band also has the distinction of winning numerous awards at parades and pipeband competitions throughout California.

Nicholson Pipes and Drums is the official pipeband of the Clan Nicholson (MacNicol), and proudly wear the red MacNicol tartan.  In 1992, the band was honored by an invitation by the Clan Chieftain to perform at the clan gathering on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Then in 1998, the band was invited again to represent the Clan Nicholson at the Stone Mountain Highland Gathering near Atlanta, Georgia.  The band also went to Scotland in 2006 and competed at the World Pipe Band Championships.  Since 1985, the band has been under the direction of P.M. Robert Hackney and Drum Sergeant Malcolm B. Willis (Son of P.M. Graham).

In 2009, the Nicholson Pipes and Drums participated in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, granting them the opportunity to work with master artist Jori Chrisholm.  Jori offered indidivual and group lessons, with empasis and specialized instruction placed on playing as an ensemble.  New repertoire was also introduced to the band.