About Matt Willis

Matt Willis first started playing music at age seven. It began with simple whistles and recorders, before he moved onto other woodwinds such as the clarinet, saxophone, and flute. It wasn’t until the spring of 1996 that Matt started learning the highland bagpipes. The pipes quickly became a passion, and by the summer of 2001, he was playing with the Silver Thistle Pipes & Drums at the World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow, Scotland.

In the summer of 2004, Matt joined The Killdares, a leading celtic rock band here in the United States. With the band, Matt has performed on the pipes to people across the nation. Matt has recorded the studio albums Any Given Element and Secrets of the Day, and most recently was filmed with the band for their live DVD Up Against the Lights.

Matt Willis is also a sought-after recording artist. He has worked with such artists and organizations as Floramay Holliday, Heather McCready, Milo Deering, Gateway Church, and the Daystar Network.

Matt continues to bring the pipes into the community, and plays events throughout the metroplex and beyond. He has been a featured performer at dozens of weddings and more than a hundred memorial services. Matt has also had the opportunity to play for many Relay for Life events, raising awareness for cancer.

When he began learning the bagpipes in the mid-’90s, there were few resources out there for a beginning piper. Matt attempted for nearly two years to teach himself the instrument before running into Tom Campbell, at that time playing with The Scottish Rogues. With Tom’s help, Matt was directed to Wade Harper and the Silver Thistle Pipes & Drums. Matt received advanced instruction from Ken Liechti. Ken is an open-class piper and a former student of the late Donald MacLeod.

Matt graduated in 2005 from Texas State University—San Marcos with a degree in early childhood education and was a certified public educator. His passion for the bagpipes, however, led him to teach the pipes rather than work in a traditional classroom. Matt has been instructing others on how to play the pipes since 2001.

In 2013, Matt Willis and fellow piper Barrett Bishop founded Metroplex United Pipe Band. The band has quickly grown and now plays at events throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, as well as competing in pipe band events throughout the country.

Matt published his first tune book/CD combo titled Tunes, Chords & Harmony Volume ONE in the summer of 2015 and and released Volume TWO: Christmas Edition in November 2015. Both are available on Amazon today!