Matthew Welch studied traditional Highland Bagpipe music with Gold Medalist masters such as James McIntosh M.B.E., Colin MacLellan, Mike Cusack, Jack Lee, Pipe Major Angus MacLellan, Andrew Wright and celebrated, repeat World-Champion Pipe Majors Terry Lee and Iain McLellan B.E.M. Mr. Welch was a member of one of the most internationally acclaimed bagpipe bands of the last two decades: the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, and played with the band for their World Pipe Band Championship wins of 1999 and 2001 in Glasgow. As Musical Director for the New York Metro Pipe Band, his unique way of teaching pipe music, musical ensemble cohesion and cultivating a bright, rich pipe corps sound helped steer NY Metro to their 2011 and 2012, 2014 wins at the World Pipe Band Championships, the North American Pipe Band Championships and the American Pipe Band Championships respectively. He is also in demand as a private bagpipe instructor.
Beyond the traditional repertoire, Welch has pioneered new techniques and materials in his own works that include the bagpipe and has premiered a number of new compositions written for bagpipes by living composers such as Julia Wolfe, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Paula Matthusen, Zeena Parkins, David Watson, Michael O’Neill and Lainie Fefferman. As a classically trained composer, he holds degrees in Music Composition from Simon Fraser University (BFA), Wesleyan University (MA), and Yale University (DMA), writing his dissertation in the form of a treatise on the structures of musical composition for the Highland Bagpipe. He has been giving world class recitals of traditional, contemporary and original works for over 20 years.