- Additional Programs
Tim is a widely sought-after piper and whistle player, and has been providing private tuition and performing at Middlebury College for nearly 15 years. As a teacher, he guides beginners and advanced players alike on the familiar Scottish Highland pipes, Celtic whistle (a.k.a. penny- or tin-whistle), Lowland/Border pipes, and Scottish smallpipes. A diverse repertoire, primarily including traditional music of the greater Celtic diaspora, is taught both by ear and with the aid of sheet music. Tim earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education (The College of Wooster, OH); and both a B.A. Honours degree in Ethnomusicology and an M.A. in Musicology (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand). While living in New Zealand, Tim was a member of the Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band (Gr.1), winning the Royal NZ Pipe Band Championships in 2001. He was also the 2002-03 Artist in Residence at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada (Summerside, PEI).
In recent years he has appeared as a performer, workshop leader, and dance musician at Acadia Trad School (ME), the Beinn Gorm Smallpipe Weekends (VT), Càirdeas [The Vermont Bellowspipe School], the Celtic Arts Foundation (WA), Maine Pipes & Fiddle Weekends, the Northeast Heritage Music Camp (VT), PEI Fiddle Camp, The Pipers’ Gathering (VT, CT), The Piper’s Rendezvous (QC), Trad Camp (VT), the Upper Potomac Piper’s Weekend (WV), the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival and Piping Retreat (CO), the Boxwood Festival (Australia), the Celtic Harmonies International Festival (QC), the Champlain Valley Folk Festival (VT), Festival Chants de Vielles (QC), the New World Festival (VT), and Swing Into Summer at Pinewoods (MA).
In addition to teaching and performing, Tim operates Birchen Music & Publishing, a cottage industry devoted to publishing a diverse array of new music for Scottish-style pipes. He has also written extensively for Piping Today magazine. Additional creative pursuits have included an award-winning duo album with Jeremiah McLane, ‘The Wind Among the Reeds’ (2016), as well as ‘On This Day Earth Shall Ring’ (2017), an extensive printed collection of carols arranged for Scottish-style pipes. Most recently, Cummings released ‘The Birds’ Flight’ (2021), a Scottish/Appalachian-crossover album with Brad Kolodner and Middlebury music emeritus Pete Sutherland, and was the featured guest artist with the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra (Spring 2022). He most frequently performs in a duet with McLane, and also with Triton, a trio with McLane and Alex Kehler.