Ian Lyons

Photo taken at Hastings, New Zealand after being presented with the 2009 Comumn na Piobaireachd New Zealand Gold Medal

Ian Lyons is a reputable name in piping and pipe band circles, not only in Australia, but all over the World.

Ian has been involved in pipe bands and solo piping for 39 years. He has played with some of the World's top pipe bands such as The Pipes & Drums of the Royal Ulster Constabulary from Northern Ireland, The Victoria Police Pipe Band from Melbourne, Australia, The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band from Toronto, Canada and he currently plays with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland. Ian has played in 27 Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships with 23 top six finishes including 6 wins. He is also Pipe Major of the Moorabbin City Pipe Band who have also been very successful, winning 5 Australian Championships & 2 New Zealand Championships in Grade 2.

Ian was taught to play the bagpipes from the age of 7 by his father P/M William Lyons B.E.M., formerly Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and grew up in Northern Ireland playing with his local pipe band in Banbridge. After spending several years with the Banbridge Pipe Band, Ian, at 17 years of age, moved on to play with The Pipes & Drums of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and played in his first Grade 1 season and World Championship in 1989.

In late 1989, Ian imigrated to Australia. He travelled to Scotland each year from 1991 with the Victoria Police Pipe Band playing in its first Grade 1 World Championship right up to the bands famous World Championship win in 1998. Ian was a full-time musician with Victoria Police for 25 years until January 2014.

In 2000, Ian decided to continue on in the competition arena when he was asked to guest play with The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band from Toronto, Canada. Before long, Ian became involved with the tuning team of the band. Ian played with the 78th's for 9 years, until 2008, at contests in Canada, the North American Championships at Maxville and the World Championships in Scotland.

From 2009 Ian has been a guest player with the 11 time World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, from his native Northern Ireland. With FMM, Ian has won the County Down Championships, 5 x Ulster Championships, the Scottish Championships, the British Championships and the European Championships twice.

Ian played with FMM in their 4-in-a-row World Pipe Band Championship wins of 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 and also their 2016 win.

On the local scene in Victoria, Australia, Ian has been involved quite extensively in workshops, recitals and teaching. In 1994 he took on a tutors position with a Grade 3 & Juvenile Pipe Band called Moorabbin City Pipe Band. At the time the band was a very enthusiastic group of young kids from in and around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Ian quickly established a solid basis for teaching and bringing on this group of young players and within a few years they won the Grade 3 Australian Championship. Ian took on the Pipe Majors role at the Moorabbin City Pipe Band in 1997 and since then, Moorabbin City (also Clayton RSL Pipe Band), has won 5 Grade 2 Australian Championships and 2 Grade 2 New Zealand Championship.

Apart from a distinguished career in pipe banding, Ian has also won and placed in many solo piping contests in Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. He has won the Comumn na Piobaireachd Gold Medal of New Zealand and the Silver Chanter Contest in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has also placed in the Gold Medal in Canada and competed in the Silver Medal at Oban, Scotland. During his time in Australia he has won many solo competitions including the VPA Gold Medaland Victorian Championship on several occasions and also the Light Music at the RU Brown Competition in Adelaide.

Ian has performed in numerous solo recitals and played in many high profile pipe band concerts all over the World including the Pre-Worlds Concerts with Victoria Police, 78th's & FMM. Ian is one of very few, if any, pipers to have played the Pre-Worlds Concert with 3 bands.

Ian's teaching extends throughout Victoria and in New Zealand including the tuition and guidance of individual players, bands, workshops and schools.

Adjudicating has also been one of Ian's pastimes. He has been an acredited pipe band adjudicator with the Victorian & Australian Pipe Band Associations since his early 20's. Ian features regularly as a Piping, Solo Piping and Ensemble Adjudicator all around Australia and Overseas.

Ian plays a set of 1996 Full Silver Acanthus Engraved Naill Bagpipes with a ‘Lyons’ McCallum Blackwood Pipe Chanter and Wilson Reed. He uses a Moose Valve, a Moose Bag with Moose Moisture Control System and Hylands In-Line Drone Valves. Ian plays Crozier Drone Reeds. Crozier Glass Fibre Tenors and a Crozier Cane Bass.

Ian now works for Lyons Bagpipes, setting up sets of pipes, picking out reeds and also administrative work! Ian is hoping to bring some new and exciting products to the market in the coming years!

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