Teen follows in father’s footsteps to be crowned top piper

Lewis Maxwell has been playing the bagpipes since he was six, taking lessons from his dad Douglas.

Teen follows in father’s footsteps to be crowned top piper Matthew Newby via SWNS

A teenager is following in his father’s footsteps to become one of the world’s best young bagpipers.

Lewis Maxwell, 14, has been playing the bagpipes since he was six, taking lessons from his dad Douglas, 55, who also plays the traditional Scottish instrument. 

Lewis was taught by world famous piper Callum Beaumont and was recently crowned Young Global Piper of the Year after taking part in an Australian competition.

He wowed the judges during the online 2020 Shepherd Challenge for Young Global Piper of the Year, and was crowned the winner ahead of competitors from Australia, Hong Kong, and the USA.

The schoolboy practises every day for at least an hour and hopes to become a professional player one day.

Lewis, from Alva, Clackmannanshire, said: “I was delighted to win the competition because it’s proven that my hard work is paying off.

“I’m very fortunate to have one of the best pipers in the world, Callum Beaumont teaching me and helping me achieve my goals in piping.

“Piping has been something I’ve always been around as my dad is also a piper.

“He has been my biggest inspiration and I wouldn’t have discovered piping if it hadn’t been for him.”

Proud mum Caryl, 53, is delighted Lewis has kept up the bagpipes as she said teens can often give up instruments at high school as they become ‘uncool’.

Caryl added: “A lot of pipers have been lost to the PlayStations and phones and kids get to an age where playing an instrument isn’t cool anymore, so they give it up.

“Lewis only plays the PlayStation at the weekend, he knows if he had it in front of him all the time he would be lost to it.”

The talented schoolboy impressed the judges by playing My Dream Valley on the road to Glendaruel and Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal.

Caryl added: “Lewis is a fantastic piper, he’s extremely talented.

“He started playing when he was six and took to it right away, he’s definitely a natural.

“As parents we are proud as punch because we know how hard he works at it.

“He regularly competes and has been on the prize list for the last few years.

“Lewis plays for an hour everyday – he takes it very seriously and finds it hard to take time away from it.

“Him and his dad never miss more than a day or two of piping.

“A parent at his school mentioned this competition in Australia and Lewis decided to compete and we were delighted when he won.

“He won an RT Shepherd practice chanter and a sporran which in total costs around £900 – they have been posted to us from the organisers.

“The online competitions are much harder, you record your piece and you can get a chance to record it again.

“But Lewis has found its best to just submit the first recording because you can start overthinking it.

“He’s taking part in competitions which will help him work towards being a professional and he is practising really hard.”

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