William John Roderick Livingstone was born in Copper Cliff, a mining town near Sudbury in northern Ontario. He is a graduate of Laurentian University and of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
Soon after being called to the Bar of Ontario, Bill opened his own law firm in Whitby, Ontario and practiced in the Medical Malpractice field until his retirement in 2013. He has been married to Lillian for 51 years and still calls Whitby home today.
Bill began his piping career with the Copper Cliff Highlanders Pipe Band, lead by his father, Bill Sr. Growing up, Bill received bagpipe tutelage from his father and from several of the art’s most legendary names both in Scotland and Canada. He has achieved numerous awards, capturing almost every major prize available in both light music and piobaireachd. He has made several solo recordings, six pipe band recordings and written two collections of music.
As Pipe Major of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band of Toronto from 1981 to 2010, Bill competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland for 27 consecutive years. In 1987, he and his band made a live recording at a concert in Northern Ireland, aptly titled ‘Live in Ireland’, that is considered by many to be the greatest pipe band recording ever made. His band went on to win the World Championships that same year, becoming the first time ever that a non- Scottish band took the prize. With Bill at the helm, the 78th Frasers won the North American Championships at the Glengarry Highland Games 13 times.
Bill was one of the first North American solo competitors to join the competitive circuit in Scotland and one of the first non-Scots to win the Highland Society of London Gold Medal. He holds the distinction of being the only person in history to have led a Grade One band to a World Championship and to have won a Clasp for piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, Scotland (1981 and 1984), the two pinnacles of pipe band and solo competitive success. He is one of only two pipers to have won a Highland Society of London Gold Medal and lead a band to win the World Pipe Band Championships.
Bill continues to be actively involved in competition as a piper with the Grade One Toronto Police Pipe Band and he is currently in high demand as a teacher and adjudicator around the world. He has recently released his memoirs, Preposterous: Tales to Follow.