Faculty & Staff – The College of Piping And Celtic Performing Arts of Canada

Management

James MacHattie
James MacHattie
Interim Executive Director / Bagpipe instructor

James began piping in a youth pipe band in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and the formative experiences he enjoyed there have carried him to become one of Canada’s most respected active pipers. He played with the Edmonton Caledonia (now Alberta Caledonia) Pipe Band before moving to BC, where he played one year with the City of Victoria Pipe Band before joining the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. With SFU he won the World Pipe Band Championship in 1996 and 1999, performed at Carnegie Hall and participated in two live recordings. In 2000 he moved to Toronto, and joined the Toronto Police Pipe Band. In 2004 he became the Pipe Major and led the band to North American Championship wins in 2004 and 2006. He played with the 78th Fraser Highlanders from 2007 to 2009 before moving back to BC. He played the 2010 season with SFU before moving to Summerside.

James has enjoyed a successful career as a solo competitor, having won major prizes across Canada, the US, Scotland and France. He is a consistent prize winner in the Gold Medal contests at Oban and Inverness.

He is an active composer, judge, performer and teacher, having taught at schools across Canada. One of his proudest achievements in his piping career was working with the Robert Malcolm Memorial (Juvenile) Pipe Band from 1998 to 1999, culminating in the kids winning both the Juvenile World Pipe Band and Cowal Championships.

James holds an MA in Classical Studies from the University of British Columbia. He has worked in disparate areas, ranging from lecturing at the University of Toronto, to developing and producing business conferences, to working for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Faculty

Kylie MacHattie
Kylie MacHattie
Manager of Marketing and Events / Bagpipe Instructor

Kylie has been a full time piping instructor at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada since 2010.

Kylie has been piping since the age of 7, and has been a member of Grade One bands since her mid teens. She played with the Vancouver Ladies, Triumph Street and Abbotsford Police pipe bands in BC before moving to Ontario in 2000. There she spent 6 seasons with the Toronto Police Pipe Band and three with the 78th Fraser Highlanders. In this time she was a member of the North American Championship winning grade one pipe band on 5 occasions. Kylie was a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in 2010. She is an accomplished professional solo competitor.

She is currently the Pipe Major of the College’s Grade 3 pipe band. In 2017 she was the Pipe Major when the band won the World Championships in 4B at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Kylie holds a BA (Honours) in English from York University.

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman
Drumming Instructor

Chris Coleman has been the principal drumming instructor at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada since January 2008.

He began drumming in 1992 at the Fredericton Academy of Piping and Drumming. Under the tutelage of Brian Freeman and Chris’s father, Dave Coleman, he progressed into the Fredericton Jr. Pipe Band (Gr. 4). Through his years there, he was also influenced by the teachings of Matt Carter and Sean Morton.

In 1995, Chris was promoted to the Fredericton Society of St. Andrew Pipe Band (Gr. 2), under the leadership of Matt Carter. He later began tutoring at the Fredericton Academy of Piping and Drumming, and by 1998 he was instructing the Fredericton Jr. Pipe Band.

During his drumming career, Chris has had many achievements in solo competitions, band competitions, and teaching. He has also traveled throughout North America and Europe, performing and competing. Highlights include traveling several times to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, in Lorient, Brittany.

As well as teaching The College drumming curriculum, Chris also develops and leads drumming workshops throughout the year. Chris composes original drum scores for the Grade 3 and Grade 5 College of Piping bands, as well as the Highland Storm show. Under Chris’s direction in 2011, The College of Piping Pipe Band Grade 4 drummers won the best drum corps title as part of the North American Pipe Band Championship win in Grade 4, and in 2012 the band placed 5th at the World Pipe Band Championships in their first year in Grade 3.

Samantha MacKay
Samantha MacKay
Step Dance Instructor

Samantha grew up in Kensington, PEI with a love for dance and all things celtic. She began dancing at age 4 with the Lady Slipper Step Dancers in Kensington, and then later on with the Somerset Steppers in Emerald, PEI. She has also participated in summer camps at the Gaelic College located in St Ann’s, Cape Breton.

At the age of 9 she travelled to Ottawa to perform in the Parliament Buildings for a fundraising dinner. She also danced for Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at a young age. In her senior year of high school she was selected as one of three artists to represent PEI at the 2011 Winter Canada Games in Halifax, as well as travelled to Orlando, Florida to perform with a group in Downtown Disney. In 2012 she graduated from the Holland College School of Performing Arts in Charlottetown.

Samantha passed her BATD Associate Step Instructor exam in 2010 and was able to move on to obtaining her Membership Certificate in 2012.

Samantha is thrilled to be given the opportunity to be at the College and looks forward to what this next chapter in her life will bring.

Karine Gallant
Karine Gallant
Fiddle Instructor

Karine is a fiddler from the Evangeline region of Prince Edward Island. She spent several years under the mentorship of Canadian-Irish fiddler Kim Vincent and later studied traditional music at chez Le Cegep Régionale de Lanaudière à Joliette Le Cegep – the prestigious and celebrated training centre in Joliette, Quebec. She is a specialist in PEI, French-Canadian and Irish styles.

Asking for a violin at 3, and jumping into step dance at 5 she began fiddle performances at age 8. She toured both the Maritimes and Quebec with dance groups before the age of 10.

Karine has hosted step and fiddle camp workshops at Festivals throughout Quebec and the Island. She brings her skills, charming smile and calm sensible approach to teaching the violin and its many fiddle style adaptations to her students of all ages.

She enjoys hosting kitchen parties, is an avid gardener, weaves on her loom and lives with her partner Iain and their three children right next to her great-grandfather’s dairy farm.  She has taught fiddle classes in the Evangeline region, Summerside and Charlottetown and when she doesn’t have time for all the above she devotes day energy to being Agent (Director) de développement communautaire au Centre Belle-Alliance (centre acadien et francophone) à Summerside.

Samantha Lasher
Samantha Lasher
Dance Instructor

Grew up in Belleville Ontario. Started taking tap and jazz at the age of seven at Tawny’s school of dance. Later joining classes in hip hop and acro. Became a helper at the age of thirteen in the company.

Moved to Charlottetown to further my dance knowledge at Holland College where started taking ballet and contemporary, I graduated the dance performance program in 2017. Fell in love with the island and the following year I took Early Childhood and Education to get a better understanding of children’s development.

I am excited to be joining the College of Piping and offer a safe place for child to come and discover their love for dance. -Samantha Lasher

Max Gallant
Max Gallant
Drumming Instructor

Maxwell Gallant is a drummer and percussionist born and raised in Summerside, PE. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Acadia University, has received numerous awards for his performances at the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival, and has been a part of the house band for the last two summer shows at the College of Piping. Maxwell is able to teach all levels of drummers and work on many different styles of contemporary music. His teaching will help develop strong technique, theory, and musicality that applies to both drum set and school concert band percussion.

Laura Johnston
Laura Johnston
Highland Dance Instructor

Laura grew up in Kinkora, PEI and began dancing at the College of Piping at the age of 4 as a step dancer. A year later she found her passion as a highland dancer and was a student at the College of Piping for 16 years. In addition to performing at many community functions on PEI, Laura also has had the privilege to perform with the College in the following events: the College’s summer production Highland Storm for 9 years; the summer mini concerts at the College in 2012-2014; the 2009 opening ceremonies of the Canada Games which was held on PEI; and the honour of performing for Prince William and Kate in 2011. While Laura was a medal winner at many competitions throughout the Maritimes, she also was a medal winner at the 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 ScotDance Canadian Championship Series (SDCCS). At the 2017 and 2019 SDCCS held on PEI and in Moncton, Laura accomplished one of her many goals by representing PEI in the Canadian Championships. Laura has been an associate member of The British Association of Teachers of Dancing for 7 years. Laura has been the president of ScotDance Prince Edward Island for 1 year. Laura was the highland dance instructor at the College of Piping in 2018-2020. This is Laura’s second year as the highland choreographer for Highland Storm. Outside of dancing Laura is a Resident Care Worker.

Staff

Rachel Kitts
Rachel Kitts
Front Office Manager

Rachel grew up in Claresholm, a small town in Southern Alberta. Moved to Calgary to attend S.A.I.T., where she graduated from the drafting program. While attending school, Rachel met her future husband Charles. After working several years as a pipeline drafter, Rachel decided to leave her job as a drafter to become a full time mother to their two children, CJ and Kiley. Charles’ work brought him to PEI, where he fell in love with the island. In 2008, the Kitts family decided to make Summerside, PE their home. Rachel was first introduced to The College of Piping when Kiley started attending snare drumming lessons in 2012.

Maggie Clarkin
Maggie Clarkin
Controller

Margaret Clarkin joined the College in 2016 and brought with her over 30 years of financial experience. Maggie has operated her own bookkeeping and office management company for 25 years and has clients in both the not for profit and private sector.