James started piping at 10 years of age and, like brother Dougie, was taught initially by his father until they both went to Bert Baron for tuition. When he was 15 James joined the Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band under the leadership of R. T. Shepherd where he learned about the pipe band scene.
He travelled to Australia for a year where he played with the City of Blacktown Pipe Band. On his return in 1989 he took up serious solo piping, taking instruction from Donald McPherson.
He joined the Kinglassie and District Pipe Band with Dougie and was Pipe Major from 1994 to 1997 when he took over the Pipe Majorship of the Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band for a couple of years.
James lives in the small village of Cupar Muir in Fife with his wife Jackie and children Scott, Victoria and James.
He is a partner in the family civil engineering and plant hire business and is also a partner with Andrew Mathieson, making bagpipe products such as the Vibratone drone reed and has a small workshop where he makes cane chanter reeds.
Amongst his many solo piping successes are:
Argyllshire Gathering, Marches 1994 / 2nd Silver Medal 1992 / Gold Medal 1997
Inverness Marches 1995 I Strathspey and Reel 1997. Former Winners MSR 2000
Donald McDonald Quaich 1999.
J B Robertson March 1996
London Medallion 1996
Bratach Gorm, 2nd 2003.
Like brother Dougie, James plays with the Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band.
Douglas started playing the pipes at the age of 8 years old under the tuition of his father, who was self taught, and has competed in most of the junior piping competitions in the Fife area.
His first teacher was the late Bert Baron from St. Andrews in Fife whilst playing in the Ballingry School Pipe Band which was a feeder band for the Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band.
He won the Fife Open Championships in 1990 at the age of 16 and the following year won the Young Piper of the Year.
In 1994 Douglas and his brother James took charge of the Kinglassie and District Pipe Band and under their guidance the band attained grade 2 status. He and James then went on to take over the reins of the Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band for 2 years.
Amongst the various prizes won in competition he has also won 2nd and 3rd place in the Silver Medal in the same year at Oban and Inverness. He was 1st in the A Grade marches at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban 2003, 1st in the A Grade M/S/R at Inverness 2003 Northern Meeting. He has also been 3rd, 4th and 5th in consecutive years in the Gold Medal at Oban in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
In 2003 he was 2nd at the Cowal Championship and in March 2003 played in the Dan Reid Memorial in San Francisco where he was placed 2nd overall and in September competed at Dunrobin Castle and won the Gold Medal for being placed 1st in the M/S/R, 1st in the Piobaireachd and 1st in the Hornpipe and Jig.
Douglas is currently playing with the Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band, the 2003 World Champions, and for the last 10 years has been having tuition from Donald McPherson who has been a great influence on his playing.