Robert Burns performs traditional Scottish and Irish tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipe for hire, busking, and for pleasure individually, in sessions, and as a member of the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band. His primary piping interests are auld-style Scotch and Irish stepdance tunes (the ceol beag), haunting Celtic song airs (the ceol meadhonach), the auld-style great music (the ceol mor, below) of the pipes, composing, performing with non-piper musicians and singers, and busking which he does frequently with a djembe & conga player.  Robert Burns proudly competes with a set of Strathmore pipes and silver-soled chanter made by Murray Henderson and has a set of Naill pipes adapted to play with a replica of a 1785 black Kintail chanter made by Hamish Moore keyed to A@440MHz for playing with other musicians and with greater tonal quality.  Robert Burns also proudly plays a G.H. Boyd MIDI Bagpipe Controller with Studio Piper software.

Robert Burns won the Professional Grade Piobaireachd Competition at the Scottish Fest U.S.A. in Orange County on May 27, 2016.

Robert Burns won the Professional Grade Piobaireachd Competition at the San Diego Scottish Highland Games on June 29, 2014.

Robert Burns won the Grade 1 Piobaireachd Competition at the United Scottish Society Highland Gathering on 5/23/2009 at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, the 2nd largest highland games in CaliforniaPiobaireachd, which really means "piping" relates to the great music of the pipes.  This body of music is not for marching, dancing, or singing but, instead, is "mind music" of length with a theme, variations, and some complicated finger movements usually to commemorate, lament, or gather persons/events.  He also won the Grade 1 Piobaireachd Competition at the San Diego Highland Gathering on 6/28/2009 at the Brengle Terrace Park in Vista, California.

Robert Burns in 2008 and 2009 won the annual W.U.S.P.B.A. championship in Grade 1 piping and in 2009 the Capt. Olaf Paulsen OBE Memorial Grade 1 Piping Piobaireachd and the (not pictured) C. Naismith Pibroch Award.  In 2010 and 2011, he won the annual P/M Angus MacDonald Western Regional Championship in Grade 1 Piobaireachd and Grade 1 Piping Champion:


Robert Burns’ notable formative influences include extensive tutoring by Celtic scholar and performer Seamus Taylor now of Ireland, Irish warpiper, uilleann piper, flutist, whistler, and fiddler Tommy Standeven (no longer with us) who performed with Sligo fiddler John Vesey, Cape Breton piper, recording artist, and scholar Barry Shears, various instructors such as Angus MacLellan, Dugald MacNeill, and Gavin Stoddart at the College of Piping, world-class piper Ian Whitelaw, and the world’s leading authority on ceol mor Andrew Wright.



For Robert Burns’s newly released book:  Robert Burns   Affairs of the Heart & Soul  a Poetic Autobiography, click here.

For Robert Burns’s online CD, Christmas Carols on Scottish Bagpipes, and individual selections from it, click here.

For a published article Robert Burns on bagpiping in Vol. 61 No. 11 of the Piping Times, click here.

For a published by Robert Burns on an intuitive, Gàidhlig-friendly canntaireachd (vocal language to record, learn, and transmit pipe tunes)      in Vol. 68 No. 7 of the Piping Times, click here.

Robert Burns continues to work towards a second CD and  one exciting avant-garde electronic music composition.

For a video of Robert Burns piping on Sam's Diego Show on Streaming Worldwide on the Interweb!  click here.

For an old video of Robert Burns piping piping at Balboa Park’s Museum of Man, click here.

For a picture of Robert Burns piping, click here.



·      Weddings

·      Funerals

·      Parties

·      Church services

·      Parades

·      Recordings

Robert Burns' membership is current in the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, Local 325, 1717 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110-3698.

Robert Burns was the sole piper for the 3/24/2000 funeral service for the late billionaire and cable-TV pioneer Bill Daniels, with an audience of approximately 400 persons including former president Gerald Ford.

Robert Burns was the opening act at The Barn in Margaree, Inverness County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada on 10/13/2000 for a series of traditional Scotch fiddling, piano, and stepdancing performances and Scotch square dancing, starring internationally acclaimed fiddlers Buddy MacMaster and Howie MacDonald, videotaped for The Discovery Channel.

Robert Burns was the piper for the funeral service for Sam Knott a saintly man whose beautiful daughter was abducted and murdered by a member of the C.H.P.

Robert Burns was the piper for 91-X FM Radio's pre-St. Paddy's Day 2001 wake-up call and U-2 ticket give away bash and for the 91-X's pre-St. Paddy's Day 2002 wake-up call and barging into a local televised weather show.

Robert Burns was the piper for the large funeral service for Mike Cagalj at Trellises Garden Grille Restaurant at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, California.

Robert Burns was the piper for the large funeral service for Brent Woodall, high-profile victim of the 9/11/2001 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Towers, at All Hallows Catholic Church in La Jolla, California.

Robert Burns piped as the opening act on 2/24/2005 for Tower After Hours at the Museum of Man, Balboa Park, San Diego, as part of entertainment provided by the San Diego Irish Community.  A link to a video excerpt is below.

Robert Burns was the sole piper for the 11/10/2005 convention of the Commercial Finance Association with a large audience and keynote speaker Colin Powell.

Robert Burns piped in the huge, magical 150th Mardi Gras parade put on by Krewe Rex in the first Mardis Gras since the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, and piped throughout The French Quarter in New Orleans, on 2/7/2006.  He also piped in the huge 152nd Mardi Gras parade put on by Krewe Rex on 2/5/2008.

Robert Burns piped for the traditional and innovative highland dance troupe Highland Fusion at the 2007, 2008, and 2009,  Robert Burns Suppers in San Diego.

Robert Burns piped the large funeral service and reception on 2/16/2007 for high-profile businessman and civic leader Rug Cunningham.

Rober Burns piped for the ShamRock St. Patrick’s Day Block Party throughout the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego for five hours on March 17th, 2007 and March 17th 2008 and at the event’s entry way on March 17th 2009.

Robert Burns piped as part of the House of Scotland Pipe Band opening for rock-legend Rod Stewart on 3/24/2007 at Cox Arena in San Diego.

Robert Burns piped the opening of an elaborate private party for rock-legend Jackson Browne on 4/14/2007 in Olivenhaim, San Diego County.

Robert Burns piped at the Fiesta Patronale Irlandesa de San Patricio (St. Patrick’s Day celebration) at the upscale Pub de la Chupa Tijuana the only Irish pub in Tijuana, United States of Mexico.

Robert Burns piped for the funeral ceremony at the grandstands at the Orange County Fairgrounds for famed international professional speedway rider Kelly Moran on 4/10/2010.

Robert Burns piped for the funeral ceremony and reception for beloved San Diego icon James Mulvaney, Sr. on 10/23/2010.

Robert Burns was televised multiple times piping at Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn’s impromptu fan-held memorial at PetCo Park on 6/19/2014.



"Thanks again for the outstanding performance at our wedding!! You made quite an impression with everyone (especially with some guests that didn't think they liked [b]agpipe music)! I can't begin to describe the feeling of hearing the pipes fill the garden with sound as we walked down the aisle after the ceremony! Both my wife and I sincerely appreciate your punc[t]uality, professional[]ism, and musical proficiency that contributed to making our wedding a truly spectacular event!!" -- John and Devon Kane

"You were generous with your time and your beautiful music. Our family appreciates it more than words can say. So many people came up to su and said, 'Where did you find the great Irish music and the bagpipes? They were the perfect touch. It's exactly what Pop would have wanted.'" -- The Murphy Family

"Thank you for your sterling and stirring performance. Your playing was a significant part of a most memorable experience." -- Dean C. Kaul

"Robert Burns is volunteer member of the New Traditions band at University Christian Church. Between his expertise on pipes and his versatility with guitar and pennywhistle, he adds a beautiful and unique dimension to the music at our church, unheard anyplace else in southern California worship. For the past two years he has welcomed the faithful and touched passers-by as he piped carols and other Christmas favorites outside the front door of our church on Christmas eve. We all appreciate his ability to seamlessly blend the traditional sounds of his instruments with the hymns, gospel and contemporary music of our band." -- Paul Svenson - Worship Leader, University Christian Church, San Diego, CA

"Thank you so much for your help in making a special day even more memorable. Everyone enjoyed the different twist and your performance was first class. Should you ever require a reference please keep us in mind." -- Linda H.

"Your performance for my mothers' . . . memorial last May made an unhappy event a warm memory...thanks again!" -- Kathleen Edwards>

"Thank you so much for your wonderful music at our holiday party! You received many, many compliments from our guests, and we all enjoyed it! I hope we'll have another event for which we can have you back." -- Sara Turner Timken Museum of Art, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

"Thank you[and your wife on tenor drum] so much for your beautiful music. YOU made the 1st Mercy Parade. God Bless." -- Joan Martin

"I just wanted to tell you that your music at our son's wedding was magnificent. It was absolute perfection when the new husband and wife started to move towards the doors to exit and you stood there playing your beautiful music." -- Margie Clark

“I would like to thank you again for your appearance at our daughter's wedding on October 22nd at the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club. Your wonderful music added so much ambience to the ceremony as well as the beginning of the cocktail hour. It was what we had hoped for plus so much more. We received many compliments from our guests so I would like to pass them on to you. Needless to say both the Father of the groom (an O'Brien) and the Grandfather of the bride (an O'Neill) were tickled pink by your beautiful music. Thank you so much!!” -- Moira Podgurski

“Mr. Burns was delightful and very professional. His performance added a profoundly beautiful touch to the funeral and meshed wonderfully with the Marine Corps honor guard present for the ceremony. My Father-in-law was a decorated Korean war veteran, and the pipes added so much to the military flavor of the ceremony. Thanks to Mr. Burns for his very moving rendition of ‘Highland Cathedral’. There was not a dry eye left when he was through. Thanks,” -- Jeff Morgan

“Your piping was the perfect emotional grace note to our family's celebration and our son's paddle-out and we were happy to have you there.  Susan McCarthy

“Thank you for making our day special, your bagpiping was a one-of-a-kind experience, particularly for my side [Filipino-American] of the family.  It was like no wedding they had ever gone to, and I suspect that I will get compliments on your music for years to come.  My Scottish relatives-in-law were also impressed.  And thank you for accommodating all my request as well.”  --Pierre Auza-Lavery


Barry Shears

Barnaby Brown's Web Site on Piobaireachd

Ross's Music Page

The Piobaireachd Society

The College of Piping

Western United States Pipe Band Association



The Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band

The House of Scotland at Balboa Park

The House of Ireland of Balboa Park

North County Scots

Scottish Treasurers Celtic Corner of Coronado serving San Diego County

The Robert Burns World Federation

The Robert Burns Club of San Diego

Robert Burns, Attorney & Counselor at Law



Robert Burns is hired to be the exclusive bagpiper for the Randy Jones Invitational golf tournament at Suycuan Golf Resort and Torrey Pines Golf Course in January & February of 2014.  It will be the largest amateur team golf tournament every held in San Diego.   For more information about this tournament, click here.


The background picture is of Cape Breton bagpiper Stephen B. MacNeil (c -1875) and is used with the kind courtesy of its owner Taigh a' Chiuil Mr. MacNeil is seen here piping while sitting for the accompaniment of Scotch stepdancing.



Robert Burns can be found on FaceBook as OBPiper.

Contact Robert Burns at (619) 223-0441, 4877 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach (San Diego), California 92107, or at

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