John Mulhearn, who is visiting our shores to compete in the 100 Guineas solo piping contest on the 31st March, will be performing a recital for a South African audience for the first time on Friday night, 30th March.
John picked up the practice chanter at the age of nine, receiving initial instruction from his father Brian, a stalwart of the South African piping scene. After a year he started lessons with Angus J. MacLellan at the College of Piping in Glasgow. From this point on, summers were spent touring Scotland playing around the games where he won most of the major junior events – including the MacGregor Memorial at the Argyllshire Gathering, the SPA Amateur and, the Scottish Junior Championship at Carnoustie. At the age of eighteen, John entered the senior ranks being placed third in the Silver Medal at Oban and Inverness, and runner-up in the Dunvegan Medal on Skye.
While studying at Glasgow University, John worked at the College of Piping. Around this time he stopped playing for a few years as other musical interests took over. However, the pipes resurfaced when, in Australia for a year, the chance came up to play and work with the Queensland Police Pipes & Drums under R.S. MacDonald. Since being back in Scotland, John has worked at the National Piping Centre and been competing regularly, winning the MSR event at the Duncan Johnstone Memorial earlier this year.