Emily MacArthur


Emily and her dad started piping lessons in 1989. Their first parade was Memorial Day 1990 with the Royal Chicago Scots. A few years later she joined Ft. Dearborn Highlanders where she learned words like strathspey and jig. She started competing with them in 1993 in Grade 5 despite a cast on her right arm for a broken thumb! Emily was awarded a full-tuition piping scholarship to attend Monmouth College, 1995-1999. During that time she began competing with Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums under Craig Aune including a trip to the 1999 World Championships in Grade 4. After college Emily joined Chicago Metropolitan Pipe Band under Bob Boyle which merged as the Midlothian-Metro Pipe Band for a trip to the 2001 World Championships in Grade 3. She competed briefly with the Windsor Police in Grade 3 under Drew Duncan before joining the City of Chicago Pipe Band in 2006 under Jason Freeman. She was with the band in Grade 3 and Grade 2. In 2008 Emily began a new career path as an art therapist while continuing to play with the City of Chicago’s Grade 4 band under Steve Moore, then took a piping break while attending post-graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She returned with the Chicago Scots in 2013 under Mike Forkan in Grade 3. Emily’s next break was the 2016 season during which she became a mom. She rejoined the City of Chicago Pipe Band under Patrick Lynch for the 2017 season and feels she is playing and sounding better than ever. She has taught piping privately for much of her piping career since college. Away from piping Emily paints and sculpts, drinks coffee and bourbon, spends a lot of time gardening and dreaming about riding motorcycles off into the sunset.