Our Team

James Cowie

Pipe Major James Cowie

James started his piping at an early age commencing his journey with Melbourne’s William Bruce. Since then, he has become one of Australia’s most successful pipe majors.

James joined the Moorabbin City Pipe Band where he became pipe major at 14 years old until moving onto the grade one Nunawading and Victoria Police. It was at the Victoria Police where James learnt the challenging skills of bagpipe setup and tuning from the likes of Robert Crozier and Ross Bates.

In 1996 James moved to Perth to take up a full-time piping position with the Western Australia Police Pipe Band (WAPOL). In 1997, he was promoted to pipe major where he led the professional outfit for 11 years, culminating in a grade 2 World Championship and a grade 1 North American Championship. In the early 2000’s, WAPOL travelled to the World Championships twice qualifying in 2004. In addition to the competitive success, WAPOL recorded and released a number of popular recordings as well as produced a number of innovative concerts under James’ tenure.

James was the founding pipe major of Perth Metro and has been the driving force over the past 10 years, teaching and mentoring many players to help them realise their potential. This culminated in the 2016 grade 3B World Championships. 

James has competed with a number of grade one pipe bands including: Nunawading, Australia Highlanders, Victoria Police, Western Australia Police, Peel Regional Police and Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. 

James holds a bagpipe teaching diploma and the advanced certificate in piping from Pipe Bands Australia and is a qualified piping judge.


David Johnston

Drum Major David Johnston

David hails from Northern Ireland and commenced his drumming career at aged 11, receiving instruction from Barry Graham and Bobby Rea. 

Whilst in Northern Ireland, David won a number of prizes with Cleland Memorial including the 2004 Cowal Championships band and drum corps prizes (grade 4), and the grade 4 all Ireland Championships. 

After a number of years as leading drummer at Cleland Memorial, David joined Seven Towers Pipe Band in 2011 before moving to Perth joining the Western Australia Police Pipe Band in 2013 in a full time capacity. During this time, he won the Australian Championship title in 2014 and 2016 (grade 1) and appears on a number of their albums playing snare drum and acoustic guitar. 

Prior to joining Perth Metro, David played with the Wellington based Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band (New Zealand) and competed in the grade 1 World Championship final with them in 2016. 

David enjoys teaching Perth Metro’s upcoming snare drummers and looks forward to the bands continual development and involvement in the international competitive pipe band scene. 



Lead Tenor Sam Cowie

Sam comes from a long lineage of pipers and drummers and was taught tenor drumming by her cousin. Her drumming career spans over three decades and holds accreditation certificates in tenor, bass and snare drumming

Proving her proficiency across the entire range of pipe band drumming styles, she has won national titles as a snare and tenor drummer and international titles as a tenor drummer. These include Australian (grade 1), North American (grade 1) and World Championship (grade 2) titles with the WA Police Pipe Band and a World Championship (grade 3b) title with Perth Metro.

Sam is a passionate teacher and particularly enjoys sharing the gift of Scottish music with children.