• Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall
  • Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall
  • Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall
  • Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall
  • Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall
  • Kernow Pipes & Drums, Premier Pipe & Drum marching band in Cornwall

Nigel Warmington

nigel warmington, musical director and piper of kernow pipes and drums, cornwall

Nigel started learning the pipes in 2003 with The City of York Pipe Band, but in 2005 moved to Lincolnshire and became a member of the RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums where he was able to continue his development. He has travelled widely across Europe with both the RAF Waddington and Kernow Pipe Bands to play at international music events.

On his retirement he returned to Cornwall and played with both the Cornwall Caledonian Pipe Band and the Kernow Pipe Band before being elected as Musical Director of the Kernow Pipes and Drums in 2009 and then 'pipe major' in 2011. Since 2007, he has been tutored at the College of Piping in Glasgow by the late PM Joe Wilson and subsequently by Willie Morrison attaining a Grade 5 Piping Examination in 2015, while nearer to home he is tutored by James Robertson.

Alex McColl

Alex McColl, Chairman and Piper of Kernow Pipes and Drums, CornwallOne of my earliest memories is following behind the Oban Pipe Band during summer holidays. At a young age I was enrolled in a pipe chanter class which lasted for five weeks and which I disliked intensely. Some five decades later I  took it up again and now enjoy the learning  experience, the playing, the camaraderie within the band and attending at all the  events in which the band participates within the county, in the country and overseas.

I have also played with, and  been involved in, the formation of The Merlion Pipe Band, Singapore, which was set up to encourage youth in Piping. Also have been involved with the Gurkha Contingent Pipes and Drums in Singapore for some 25 years, carrying out ceremonials with them. Am still very involved with Gurkhas and privileged to be so.


Stuart Nicholls

stuart nicholls, piper with kernow pipes and drums, cornwallCornishman Stuart Nicholls is an experienced piper, having played with several bagpipe bands over the years. He served with the Parachute Regiment during his military service and is now piper for the Cornwall Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association as well as playing for Kernow Pipes and Drums.

As well as traditional Scottish music, Stuart also plays Cornish tunes such as Trelawny.

Rob Jenkins

rob jenkins, piper with kernow pipes and drums, cornwallI started playing the Bagpipes in 2007 and joined the band in the same year. I have always had an interest in Military bands after seeing many perform during my childhood, which was spent living on various Military bases around the world. 

I am a serving Police Officer with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and also play for the Devon and Cornwall Police Pipes and Drums.

The highlight of my time with the band was taking part in the 65th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden in Arnhem, Holland in 2009.

Tom Gower

tom gower, piper with kernow pipes and drums, cornwallWhen I retired from Tom Gower Studios I started learning the pipes in  May 2009 with the Kernow pipes and drums at the age of 70, and I enjoy every minute. I've  been in a few non pro bands, concert, jazz, folk. I reckon my favourite tune on the pipes would be Mairi's Wedding .

At present I'm having a go at teaching myself the ukulele for a bit of fun - George Formby stuff. 

Miranda Parry

Miranda Parry, piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, CornwallI have loved the sound of the great highland bagpipes since I was a child and when, following an accidental meeting with a friendly crowd from Kernow Pipes and Drums, I was offered the chance to learn to play, I jumped at it.

Having for some years worked in the family music shop in Truro (anyone remember West Country Music?) I had a rudimentary grasp of quite a few different instruments, but the bagpipes have proved to be a whole new world. I can honestly say that they have been the most rewarding to date and would encourage anyone interested in learning to play to come along and have a go.

And when I find a half-decent photograph of me playing the bagpipes I will swap it for this rather more flattering one....

Keith Garner

Keith Garner, piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, CornwallI came into the band after a Burns Night dinner in 2009, after meeting several of the band members at the event and expressing an interest in learning to play the pipes. This interest had stemmed from a conversation with my partner Miranda (also in the band) as to what other instruments we would like to learn, I play a smattering of guitar as does she, so bingo we started.

This is also the first time that I have learned to read music at any level and find the tuition at band night practice and workshops excellent and extremely encouraging. There is a great camaraderie in the band and we all learn from each other regardless of ability and all views are listened to in order to further the band musically and visually.

Dave Cox

Dave Cox, quartermaster and piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, CornwallBorn in London but raised in Devon, I disappointed my mother by not wanting to play the violin as a child!  Whilst still at school, I joined the Air Training Corps, subsequently joining the  R.A.F. as an apprentice. It was at R.A.F. Halton that I was introduced to the pipe bands for which Halton was famous, however, with the pressure of learning to be an aircraft electrician I did not have the time to learn to play the pipes. My only regret in life, even more so since my grandfather had played the clarinet in the band of the Grenadier Guards.

When I completed my training I went first to R.A.F. Honington, then to Cyprus where I took up SCUBA diving, becoming suitably qualified to become part of the Near East Air Force salvage team. While acting as a diving instructor I met up with a certain member  of the W.R.A.F. who later became my wife.  Returning  home I was back at R.A.F. Honington for a while but with the demise of the V- Bombers I was posted  to R.A.F. St. Mawgan spending 3 years there before leaving the R.A.F. to join up with Teddingon Controls.  I worked for them for 35 years before retiring in 2003. 

At this point, I went back to school, at Newquay College, and studied for a Foundation Degree in Marine Aquaculture. When I got that in 2005 I was at a loose end again and my friends at Teddingtons considered that I had become too much of an academic and invited me back to work again for another 3 years before I got to retire to  a nice peaceful life, gardening, Seasearch reporting for Cornwall Wild Life Trust (counting fish and blades of eel grass) and walking the dogs.

It was while walking the dogs in 2009 that I found somebody’s camera chip on the pavement. I dropped it into the police station in St. Austell and the young lady behind the desk commented on my writing being “just like my pipe tutor’s”. I replied that my only regret in life was not taking up the pipes when I had the chance and received a fairly lengthy briefing on Kernow Pipes and Drums.

I duly enlisted the next week....

Ian Fraser

Ian Fraser, piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, CornwallBorn, educated and brought up in Edinburgh shortly after the retreat of the last Ice Age.

Served two years at Her Majesty's request in the RAF. Scottish CA who spent all his International career in industry, from whisky distilling (third generation), aerospace and microbiology. Sails his Legend out of St Mawes which he finds much less energetic than the mountaineering of his early days.

Chris Dowrick

Chris Dowrick, piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, CornwallSadly, we lost Chris to cancer in 2016.  He is very much missed.

Keith Nicholls

Keith Nicholls, piper with Kernow Pipes & Drums, Cornwall

Keith was educated at Gordon's School (National Memorial to Gordon of Khartoum) and Exeter University, gaining an honours degree prior to beginning a teaching career in the Channel Islands and in Cornwall. This was followed by running a small business in the West Country, and finally pursuing music as a full time profession.

He is married and a member of the Musicians Union and Piobairechd Society.

Keith's first introduction to Scottish pipe music was as a boy drummer aged 13, in a military cadet pipe band, receiving musical and drill instruction from an inspirational and kindly Pipe Major from the Highland Division along with the more formidable Brigade of Guards from the nearby Pirbright Depot!

Today, as well as playing and teaching guitar, Keith's principal instruments are the Great Highland Bagpipe and Scottish Smallpipe, both of which he unreservedly regards as surpassing all other instruments! 

Since leaving Cornwall Keith is now a part time member of Kernow Pipes and Drums but remains highly appreciative of the hospitality and encouragement shown by all members of the Band. He strongly recommends those of all ages and experience with an interest in music to become part of this exceptionally friendly and energetic county pipe band.

Alex Dryden

alex dryden, piper, kernow pipes & drumsHaving grown up from a young age listening to my uncle and cousin playing the pipes I decided to take them up myself at the age of 14 in 2002 and have never looked back! Up until the age of 18 I had regular tuition and dabbled in playing with a small Pipe Band during my school years. After finishing school I took part in the 2006 Pipefest held in Edinburgh where thousands of massed pipes and drums gathered to raise money for Marie Curie. Sadly over the last 6 years the bagpipes got sidelined while I took a year out to go traveling and undertake a medical degree. I recently moved to Truro for my final year and after seeing the Kernow Pipes and Drums play in the Truro Festival of Lights I decided to join immediately! Having had 6 years of only playing the pipes occasionally I felt a bit rusty but I am now relishing the challenge of playing as part of a band and trying to improve my technique. I have found the weekly tuition excellent and am really enjoying learning new tunes and the friendly atmosphere of the band. 

Allan Downie

Allan Downie, piperAs a boy in Glasgow, I loved pipe bands and at the earliest opportunity learned to play the pipes with the local Boys Brigade band. I continued playing at university and then went to work in Rochester in New York state, where I joined the City of Rochester Pipe Band. This opened doors to aspects of life in America that I would otherwise not have seen. 

I then moved to Canberra Australia for several years, playing the pipes sporadically. A special memory I have in Australia was playing the pipes high up on the roof of a friend’s house overlooking Sydney harbour on the night of the Australian bicentenary in 1988. A few months later I left Australia to live in England and rather let my piping lapse, playing solo at new year’s and Burns’ night celebrations. 

A problem with playing alone is that I have acquired a personal style rather than the rigour required for a pipe band. I recently (2014) met up with Alex McColl, who encouraged me to join the Kernow Pipes and Drums and this friendly group is helping me get my idiosyncratic and rather rusty piping technique up to standard.

John Christophers

john christophers of kernow pipes and drums

 I was born in Falmouth in 1945, later joining the CCF at school in London, and proudly played the bugle in blancoed white gaiters, belt and lanyard, but it was to be over 50 years before I marched with another band.

On leaving school, I was apprenticed as a photo-engraver in the printing industry.  My wife, Gill, and I ran an etching and engraving business for 25 years and at the same time I was an enthusiastic retained fireman with the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the extra hours needed to take part in the brigade pipe band.

Coming back to my Cornish roots has enabled me to join The Nankersey Male Choir and the Kernow Pipes and Drums, with whom I began playing in 2013.  In 2014 I was privileged to play with the band at the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden which took place in Arnhem, where this photograph was taken.

Donny Earl

donny earl, piper with kernow pipes and drumsBorn and bred in Dumfriesshire, I have been in love with the great highland bagpipes from a very young age. I was never really musically talented and more interested in sport. In 2009 I served afloat with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and met several pipers. I then decided I wanted to learn the bagpipes, with the intention of playing for my mother's 70th birthday. Unfortunately,  this didn't happen, but after laying them down for several years,  I joined the band and fell in love with the music of my nation once again. Kernow Pipes and Drums means a lot to me and I feel very proud to be involved with them!

Jon Earl

Jon has played the Bagpipes on and off since 2000 and took it up as a hobby having heard the Scots Guards play Highland Cathedral. Jon is married to Nicola and has 3 lovely children and his Mother and Father in law, Sue and James, also play with the band.