David Wilton, 27, Glasgow

PIPING has always been in my family, so it was probably inevitable that I would get involved at some point. My grandad came from Dundee and emigrated to Winnipeg in Canada, where he became a drummer in the police band. My mum also played drums in the band.

We moved back to Scotland when I was a child and I started Highland dancing at the age of five, and piping at six. I loved them both as a child and practised equally. Luckily piping and dancing championships never fall on the same day, so I never had to choose one over the other.

I suppose I was initially more competitive with the dancing, which was much more physical, obviously. At seven I entered the premier – the top tier – for the first time and won. I went on to win 192 championships, including seven world championships, before retiring at the age of 23. I now run workshops and clinics and will be choreographing the Glasgow Tattoo Highland Dance Troupe at the Hydro in January.

The whole world loves piping and Highland dancing. And they go together so well – the music really complements the dancing. Pipers sometimes forget that the music they are playing is all about dancing, and the dancers forget how important the music is. It’s great for me to have such a deep connection to both.

Piping has a bit more longevity, obviously. I went on to do the traditional music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, then I worked at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow for four years. I’m just about to start a new job as a piping teacher in Dundee. It’s really great to be able to make a living out of what you love doing – I feel very lucky. Teaching is a very fulfilling job, whether it is piping or dancing.

And through my involvement with both I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world – Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and, last year, Brazil, where they were hosting the South American Highland Games.

I love being a pipe major too. My band is the Lomond and Clyde Pipe Band, which is based in Broomhill, Glasgow. I’m the main man at the front, though it’s very much a team effort. If I’m good to them, they’re good to me and we make each other’s jobs easier.

I suppose I’m a bit like a musical director. It’s my job to focus on the music and the tuning and help them play better together, developing their individual skills. I’m one of the younger people to be doing this role, though I’m not the youngest by any means.

I’ve got 22 pipers to look after and once I get them lined up, my job is pretty much done. But that doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoy leading them out – I’m very analytical and critical, and always looking for them to be better. But I really enjoy the responsibility, too. I have such a busy life outside of the band with my teaching, so being the pipe major is a real release for me.

The band has recently been rebuilt under my leadership and we’re moving forward together really well. They’re a young band – 18, 19, 20 – and have a lot of spirit. And they’re desperate to win. I just want them to play well, then the winning will take care of itself. It’s all about putting on the best performance we can on the day, wherever we are.

We are really excited about performing at the Glasgow Tattoo – it’s such great idea to have something like this in Glasgow. And the Hydro will be a great place for it. Every piper loves to perform - that’s why we take up this instrument and spend our lives practising. It’s great that there are now so many different events in Scotland to promote piping and this one will definitely help keep things fresh. We’re going to relish every moment.

The Glasgow Tattoo will showcase pipe bands and Highland dancers from all over the world. It takes place at the Hydro on January 19, 20 and 21, 2017. For more information go to www.theglasgowtattoo.com or www.thessehydro.com