The Northumbrian Pipers' Society

April 1st 2012 marked a landmark in the history of the Society when it became a fully registered charity.

Our Chairman Andrew Davison said "My personal thanks to everyone who has put so much effort and thought into this over a very long period of time – long before I became Chairman.

I am sure that we will find things we did not expect – both good and challenging – but the benefits that have been set out in various documents in the past have now been secured.

From today, the NPS enters a new chapter and I very much look forward to exploring with you what can be achieved in the further promotion of our objectives."

Regular Publications

The Society produces a quarterly Newsletter and an annual Journal (which is despatched around the beginning of December).

Newsletter Editor  email - 

Journal Editor  -



The Society has a significant range of music books which are available to members at discount. See the Music section of this site



The Society produced an LP in 1987 and this is still available. It has also recently been released on CD.



The Society has some bursaries available. The policy is currently under review but please contact us to find out more.


To contact any committee member please use or

Committee members


Andrew Davison, Chairman

I have lived all my life in Northumberland. I started to play the pipes at the age of 15 in the 1970s, taught by Roland Lofthouse on a set made by David Burleigh. I made my first set of small pipes when still at school. Since then, I have made, played and judged both small pipes and Half Longs, been a tutor on a number of courses, established the Hexham Pipers' Gathering and made a CD. I have had the great privilege of knowing and sharing tunes with many who, like me, simply enjoy our wonderful instrument and its music. I am married to Nicola (an excellent piper in her own right) and we have two teenage children, Lucy and Thomas (who play electric guitar and drums!). I am a solicitor by profession and am Chairman of three regional charities."

Contact: email -


Andy May, Vice Chairman:

I started to learn the pipes in the late eighties, having been introduced to the instrument by my father Stan. I have learned to play from Roland Lofthouse and Adrian Schofield, and from studying the recordings of Billy Pigg and Tom Clough. Through the 90s I entered many piping competitions and studied music at the University of York with the pipes as my chosen instrument. In 2002 I decided to become a full-time musician. Nowadays I tour with North-East band Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies, UK/Finnish/Danish ensemble Baltic Crossing, my own Andy May Quartet, and various other projects. When not gigging I have become a pipemaker, again learning much from my father, and also Colin Ross. I’ve made around 30 chanters/sets of pipes so far. I have a particular interest in the study of old instruments as I believe there is still much we can learn from them. My current ongoing research project is into the pipemkaing of Tom Clough and Fred Picknell.

I joined the NPS committee in 2011 and in January 2012 was made Vice-Chairman.

Contact: email -

Ann Sessoms, Secretary: 


or for membership and subscription queries: 

Susan Craven, Administrator:


Mike Evans, Treasurer:

Contact: email -

Nick Leeming:

Started playing in 1982, living near Cambridge. After 1 year, met Mike Nelson, who taught me a lot: tunes, playing, fettling, and introduced me to other pipers, particularly Joe Hutton and the Robbs. In 1993, Joe asked me to help teach on the Rothbury course, and I have taught there and on other courses, when invited, since. Moved back to Northumberland in 2003, joined Robson's Choice, went to Strakonice with Neil Smith and Robson's Choice in 2004, 6, 8 and 10

Tom Fairfax:

Tom started playing the Highland Pipes at school in 1980 and continued to play for the next two decades before switching to the Northumbrian Pipes in 1999 when his bride (a tactful lady) commissioned a set for him as a wedding present (possibly a subtle hint!).  Tom is very much an amateur piper, playing for fun and for the joy of the music and the stories that go with it.

Recently their son, has started to learn the Northumbrian pipes. This has provided a wonderful focus, a driver and  a certain amount of pressure to improve his playing!  In order to pull himself into line, Tom has recently joined both NPS and attends when he can.  His son is a Junior member of the NPS.  His daughter is beginning to show interest in piping.

Professionally Tom runs a mixed farm at Mindrum on the northern edge of the Cheviots.  Mindrum balances commercial Sheep, Cattle, Arable and Forestry enterprises with a range of tourism, environmental and educational projects. In a nod to diversification, he is also MD of an IT Security Company, Tom has been working in information security since the early 1990s and has served as a member of the British forces. He is a periodic speaker at a range of local and industry events, and is the author of a number of articles in industry and wider press on security issues.

Tom currently chairs the Crookham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion where one of his main tasks is to involve younger generations in the organisation.  He is also involved with a range of other initiatives across public, private and charity sectors.    In his spare time, Tom paints watercolours and is a keen gardener.  Coached by David Burleigh, Tom is currently building a set of NSP for his son, an interesting project which is capturing the imagination of both the son and his father almost as much as the music itself! 

Andy Lawrenson:

Alice Robinson: 

Paul Knox: 

Iain Gelston: 

David Creese: 

Vincent Syson: 

Louisa Squires: 





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