Barry Donaldson was a police officer by profession retiring in 2006 at the rank of Chief Inspector. He is a founding member of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, formed in 1975 winning 11 World Championships. Prior to this he played with Monktonhall Colliery, Dundee City Police and Lanarkshire Police PBs.
From the late 70s through to the early 90s he was a successful solo piper winning many major light music competitions (CPA premier grade). In 1995 Barry was asked onto the solo piping judges panel, now known as the Solo Piping Judges Association and appointed senior light music adjudicator. He is a pipe band adjudicator with the RSPBA and also an examiner for the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board.
Promotion within the police service precluded further involvement with the police band, however paradoxically this enabled membership of other bands. He consequently focused on lower grades and over the next period found himself pipe majoring the following bands, Strathclyde Fire Service, North Lanarkshire and City of Edinburgh. These bands variously competed in grades 4, 3 and 2, all advancing through the grades winning Championships at each level. On his retirement from the police he was asked to join Shotts and Dykehead and the next few years saw his return to Grade 1. Barry was instrumental in establishing the following youth pipe bands, North Lanarkshire Schools' and City of Edinburgh Schools.In 2006 Barry became a piping instructor with the College of Piping, Glasgow and was invited onto the Board of Directors. He has taught piping locally and internationally and whilst he is no longer part of the COP, teaching remains his current remit.
In his formative years Barry was taught by James Russell and Willie McRostie. PM Ian McLellan was his main influence and teacher.