Biography

Tyrone Heade, playing bagpipes on Palm Sunday, St. James Cathedral

Tyrone Head, Oct. 4, 1994

Tyrone, October 4, 1994, his second month of full time piping. Wife Rachael was armed with a disposable camera in their long-time Queen Anne neighborhood, where Tyrone worked with piping for the next 17 years.

 

Tyrone Heade is a full-time Highland Bagpiper in Seattle.  As Cathedral Piper in Residence for St. James Cathedral and St. Mark’s Cathedral, he composes, competes, performs regularly and teaches Highland Bagpipe and a variety of Small Pipes and Reel Pipes.

He developed both Cathedral residencies from scratch, responding to each cathedral in 1990 and 1993 respectively.  He is a founding piper of Seattle’s Elliott Bay Pipe Band, where he has been Music Director/Pipe-Major since 2003. He left his career became a full-time piper in Seattle in 1994, after having lunch with a good advisor, who said, “You should do what you love.”  Words freely given, and well received.

Tyrone won the World Solo Amateur Championship, Piobaireachd, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland.  His list of favored awards will be found in his Resume’ located on this site.  Notable performances include…

  • Oprah, The Fairwell Season, 2010 (taped introduction)
  • Archbishop Peter Sartain, 2010  (hour-long Welcoming Prelude)
  • Bryan Adams, duet, The Paramount, 2011  (“Cuts like a knife”)
  • Roof of Space Needle, 5:46 am Commemoration of 9/11 Attacks, 2011  (photo, video)
  • Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Golan conductor, Guest Soloist, 2014  (Highland bagpipe in concert pitch is the Sunrise in Peter Maxwell Davies “An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise”)
  • Bremerton Symphony Concert Chorale, Guest Artist, 2014

An avid composer of bagpipe music, Tyrone has five published tunes in Bruce Gandy’s fourth volume of Contemporary and Traditional Music for the Highland Bagpipe, 2005.

As an ensemble and musical director, Tyrone splits his time between two ensembles — one he founded, and one he helped to found.  With a mission to bring strong, beautiful piping melodies blending Small pipe, cello, fiddle, guitar and bodhran, Tyrone created the acoustic ensemble Iona Abbey in 1997.  (Iona Abbey’s first CD was released in 1998 and sold out quickly, but some are available here.  Hopefully more to come!)  For the Highland pipe, Seattle’s Elliott Bay Pipe Bandhas been a musical and instructional home to Tyrone since he was a original member in 1992.  He has been Pipe Major with Elliott Bay since 2003.  Elliott Bay placed 14th out of 25 in Grade IIIb at the World Pipe Band Championships, Glasgow, in 2005.

Tyrone, wife Rachael and feline Lewis were long time residents in Lower Queen Anne, Seattle, where Tyrone taught piping from their apartment home. When he isn’t teaching or performing, Tyrone assists in the administration of two non-profits: the Mastery of Scottish Arts, where he has lead the development of a world-class international piping faculty each February, since 1995.  Mastery of Scottish Arts merged with the Celtic Arts Foundation, where Tyrone has served on the Board of Directors since 2008.   As mentioned earlier, he is a charter member of Seattle’s Elliott Bay Pipe Band, holding executive and musical leadership positions for many years.

..and a few years later.

..and a few years later.

Most of Tyrone’s broadcast performances are several years old, but memorable none-the-less.  They include a live performance and interview on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW, with Dave Beck, and other local radio; several performances broadcast on regional television news, and three episodes of Bill Nye, The Science Guy (Disney and KCTS). He has been featured in local print media, including articles and interviews in the Post-IntelligencerSeattle TimesEverett Herald, the Magnolia News and others. He has been featured on local soundtracks, and on Stanley Greenthal’s 1997 CD Turning Towards You. In 1999 he became a Voting Member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy’s).

Performance instruments include ca. 1900 Highland Bagpipes by R.G. Lawrie, ivory/German silver with wood projecting mounts, previously owned and played by Nicholas Patrick Heade, Sr., Tyrone’s grandfather; 1890 Highland Bagpipes by David Glen, silver/silver; and Scottish Small Pipes made by David Naill, Somerset, in 1996, with Victorian silver engraving. Tyrone is an actively competing member of the Washington Pipers’ Association, is a fan of the Oregon Pipers’ Societywhen he has the chance, and the regional governing body, the British Columbia Pipers’ Association.