GLEN THOMPSON -
Glen is a well known piper and piping teacher. He started playing pipes at the age of ten. His first teacher was the late Jimmy Thomson who was the Pipe Major of the original L.A. Scots Pipe band. While studying at the Seumas MacNeill Summer School, Glen met Duncan Johnstone, and was determined to travel to Scotland to study with Duncan. Glen did this when he was only fifteen years old. To finance this journey, Glen became the featured piper of the Loch Ness Monster Pub in old town Pasadena, playing there every weekend during his sophomore year in high school. Every Friday and Saturday night he came up with innovative ways to entertain the diverse audience at the Pub.
Many people who heard Glen play at the Loch Ness hired him for their own functions, including being the leading piper for the original Doo Dah Parade. Although he received a scholarship for the tuition, Glen was able to pay for his room and board in Scotland to study full time with Duncan at the College of Piping in Glasgow. During the late afternoons, Duncan would often have visitors such as Angus MacLellan, Ronnie Lawrie, John D. Burgess, Donald MacLeod and others, whom he would invite to listen and give additional lessons. While there, he also had the opportunity to round out his experience by playing with the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band. He returned to win every amateur piping prize in California, and continued as the featured performer at the Loch Ness Pub until 1980. During that time Glen played for Movies, television shows, the international festival in Catalina and even Prince Charles.
Glen moved to Northern California for a brief stint as a full time entertainer where he earned his keep playing his pipes and saxophone with drummer Ronnie Wilson of 'Wipe Out' fame.
Glen returned to Los Angeles and college at Loyola Marymount to study Television Communications. He joined the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band and spent five years as Pipe Sergeant under Jimmy McColl. He studied classical piobaireachd with Jimmy and re-entered solo competition. Glen was lucky enough to meet Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, Scots Guards during this period, often getting week long private lessons from “Big Angus”, who was a major influence in Glen’s piping today.
In 1998 Glen took over the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band as Pipe Major. In 2000 he took the band to the grade two world championships in Scotland. The week prior the worlds, the band placed second at the Inverkeithing games, played up to Grade one, and place third in the Grade one contest.
Glen has appeared in or done sound tracks for many movies and television productions, including The Onion Field, China Beach, The Fugitive, Weeds, and even the Gong Show! He has played for Rod Stewart, the Chieftains, Carlos Nunes, Korn, and Sean Connery. He recently played at a Festival in Asturias, Spain.
Glen is heavily involved with the Clan Fraser, and has played the pipes as the guest of Lord Lovat at many occasions throughout the US and Scotland.
He has competed professionally as a soloist in Scotland as well as in many contests throughout the United States and Canada.
As a Western United States Pipe Band Association approved Senior Adjudicator, Glen can often be found judging soloists and bands at various Highland Games throughout North America.
And although his background is competition, you can see Glen at his best when entertaining a crowd.