Alan started playing at the age of 13 under the tutelage of Mr. Les Waskis, the band instructor at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg, South Africa. The school pipe band taught the fundamentals of piping and drumming thoroughly and required a rigorous schedule: Monday night for beginners with all playing/senior members instructing on the chanter, Tuesday night for chanters and pads, one hour everyday from Monday to Friday at noon on the pipes and drums, Friday afternoon from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the pipes and drums.
All members were required to compete in solos as well and with this rigorous schedule maintained for four years, Alan learned his basics well and collected a number of medals. In addition, he was privileged to have competed in the Jeppe High School Band - South African Champions.
Since immigrating to the United States, Alan continued his piping career and studied Piobaireachd with Pipe Major James McColl, a fine gentleman and one of the finest and knowledgeable Gold Medalists to come out of Scotland. Alan is much indebted to Jimmy for taking the time out of his schedule to teach this fine art.
In 1989 Alan took the band over to Scotland and competed in Grade IV at Inverkeithing, Bridge of Allen, Sterling and, of course, the World's. A great trip and experience was had by all and many new friends made, but no hardware was brought home except for the "Best Overseas Pipe Band."
Alan has also appeared on sound tracks for "L.A. Story," "Strange Days" and "An Irish Lullaby" with Jeanne Cotter. In addition, he has led the band in performances at the British Consulate's Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Celebration and at the Los Angeles Music Center with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra and Lalo Schifrin.
Alan looks forward to many more years playing the pipes.