Skip to Main Content

Meet Haileybury’s very own Pied Piper

It’s a testament to the strong culture and community of the School that inspires many of our alumni to return as teachers. Meet Lincoln Hilton (OH 2010) our Director of Pipes & Drums.

NEWS 1 Feb 2022

Lincoln Hilton was 11-years-old when he received an unusual birthday gift from his Scottish stepdad – a practice chanter. Learning how to play the woodwind instrument is the first step on the road to learning how to play the bagpipes and Lincoln was instantly hooked.

From then, his chanter rarely left his side and Lincoln became an impressive bagpipe musician. He became Young Australasian Piper of the Year, performed as the lone piper in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Australia and at the age of only 16, he began teaching other students how to play the bagpipes, too.

Fast forward to 2022 and the Old Haileyburian is Director of the multiple award-winning Haileybury Pipes & Drums. He has helped grow the program from 40 students to more than 100 students who perform more than 100 gigs each year.

It was his piping skills that brought Lincoln to Haileybury on a full scholarship in 2007.

“There was no way that my family could have afforded a private school so my Dad emailed every top school in the country asking for them to give me a scholarship due to what he called ‘my piping talent’,” says Lincoln.

“After I received the scholarship from Haileybury, my family couldn’t afford to move to Melbourne so I moved on my own and lived independently from the age of 16. I earned money to pay my rent by busking and playing bagpipe gigs. Bagpipes became my whole world and I even met my wife in a bagpipe band!"

“After graduating in 2010, I sent our CEO and Principal, Derek Scott, a list of my piping achievements because I was hoping to begin a career in the Pipes department at Haileybury. Thanks to Derek’s confidence in me, I started that career as soon as I graduated and over a decade later, I’m now running the department.”

There have been a series of highlights for Lincoln with Haileybury Pipes & Drums.

“One of the most memorable experiences would have to be getting Haileybury Pipes & Drums to their first European Championships in Scotland. It took a lot of coordinating but was worth it for the band’s development and camaraderie,” he says.

“I enjoy inspiring students to improve their playing, sound and music production skills and it’s exciting that Haileybury has multiple graduated pipers and drummers who have achieved silver and gold medals internationally.”

COVID-19 lockdowns didn’t thwart rehearsals for Pipes & Drums students with Lincoln conducting lessons over Zoom and relying on his cinematography skills to ensure his students stayed engaged.

“After each lesson we sent individual students a unique video recording, sheet music and a list of things to work on that were reviewed the following week,” he says.

“We also created split-screen performances and those online group performances were vital in keeping our students and team motivated.”

After years as a Haileybury student and teacher, Lincoln feels fortunate to be part of the school.

“We have the best minds in all different departments,” says Lincoln.

“Everyone is willing to take time out of their day to work with you and to make each project an exceptional experience.”