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, informally known as “piobaireachd” 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 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 California.  Piobaireachd, 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 CD, Pipe Tunes From the Cryptclick here.
          • For Robert Burns’s poetry 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 article 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, please 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 along with Power Celt Rockers The Fooks on Sam’s Diego Show on Streaming Worldwide on the Interweb:  click here.
          • For an old video of Robert Burns piping at Balboa Park’s Museum of Man, please click here.


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

Robert Burns, Attorney & Counselor at Law


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 or by clicking here.

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