Born in Nova Scotia, Ann's piping career began with the Stellarton Balmoral Girls' Pipe Band, a band which in the summer of 2002 celebrated its 50th anniversary. After a successful career in the amateur grades of solo piping, Ann moved into the professional class at the age of eighteen, at which time she also moved into the grade 1 pipe band scene, as a member of the Scotia Legion Pipe Band based out of Halifax. Her teaching career began the same year, when she was employed as a summer instructor at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton.
In 1986, after completing her Master of Arts degree in Celtic Studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Ann moved to Calgary, Alberta, where she still resides. She continues to compete in solo contests around the world and teach at various schools throughout North America, including schools in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Montana, Idaho, Ohio, and Washington State. She also teaches privately in Calgary during the fall and winter months.
Ann is also a member of Western Canada's Celtic band "Seanachie," playing various instruments including highland pipes, Scottish smallpipes, whistles, bodhran, and mandolin.
Some of the more significant awards that Ann has won over the past few years include the 1995 Dunvegan Medal for Piobaireachd at the Skye Gathering in Portree, Scotland; the Mrs. MacDonald of Craigniche trophy for the Marches at the Northern Meeting in Inverness in 2000,; the aggregate awards at both the B. C. Pipers' Indoor competition and the Antigonish Highland Games in 1997 and the latter again in 1998; the Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Championship in 1997; the North American Piobaireachd Society's "Banner of the Mountain" in 1997; the MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn for Piobaireachd at the B. C. Pipers' Indoor competition in 1999; and the Royal Bank of Canada Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at the Canmore Highland Games in 1996, 1999, and 2000. Ann has also been in the prize list four times at the William Livingstone Sr. Memorial Invitational competition in Hamilton, Ontario, placed twice in the Metro Cup Invitational contest in Newark, New Jersey, and was in the prize list in the piobaireachd at the Cowal Gathering in Scotland in 1995 and again in 1999. Ann won the 2001 Invitational March, Strathspey, & Reel competition at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2003 won the Piobaireachd event at this same contest. In the summer of 2002 she was awarded a silver medal for Best Overseas Player at the Braemar Gathering in Scotland, and in the fall of 2003 was invited to participate in the GS McLennan Invitation competition in San Diego, California, where she placed third in the piobaireachd event. Most recently, Ann placed 2nd in the 2004 U. S. Gold Medal competition held in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ann's recordings include "A Twist in the Tale" (1995), "Shouting at Magpies" (1998), and "Five Days in April" (2002). The first two of these projects have been licensed by Scottish record labels, and the third was done in collaboration with Seanachie, from Calgary, and Raven, out of Portland, Oregon. The band Seanachie also has three recordings to its credit: "Telling Tales" (1996), "A Quarrel with Whisky" (1999), and "A Parting Cup" (2002).
In the spring of 2000 Ann released a book of music, called "Ann Gray's Collection of Music for the Great Highland Bagpipe". A second collection of music is under way.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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