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Dr Decker Forrest

Course Leader – BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music

01471 888 320


Decker is the Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music Degree at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. An award-winning, well-known piper, originally from San Diego, California, Decker began post graduate research at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and eventually became the Head of Academic Studies for the BA (Hon) Scottish Music Degree and Depute Head of Department. He then began his current role at SMO and the following year, in 2009, was awarded his doctorate from the University of St Andrews. He lectures annually to students at the RCS and National Piping Centre and his research mainly focuses on ethnology and the music of the Great Highland bagpipe. He was elected to the Board by the staff at SMO in 2022.


  • BA (Fine Art) University of Redlands
  • DPhil University of St. Andrews/Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama


The history, development and organology associated with Gaelic music and especially as these relate to the Great Highland Bagpipe. Research-based performance in traditional music General ethnology of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland


Module leader for all music modules (12) Lecturer –

  • Ensemble, Singing and Individual Performance Studies 1-4
  • History of Gaelic Music 2
  • Themed Presentation 4
  • Honours Dissertation 4

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