Performer Focus – Corinne (Corey) Tillyer, Piping Staff Sergeant, Delta Police Pipe Band

Here at the Belfast International Tattoo we are always very grateful to all of our bands who perform with us. Many of them come back time and time again and we have forged many relationships throughout that time. We thought we might delve into some of our performers from the bands and see what makes them tick! A huge thank you to Corey for agreeing to take part in this!

What is your name and how old are you?
a. Corey Tillyer
b. A lady does not share her age

Where have you lived and where do you live now?
a. I live in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
b. I’ve always lived in British Columbia
c. I’ve travelled to many places in the world and always love coming home. We are sea
to ski country boasting the ability to swim in the Pacific Ocean in the morning and ski
the peaks of Whistler Blackcomb in the afternoon.

What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?
a. Bagpipes (amongst a few instruments I play), but it’s the bagpipes bringing me to
Belfast and the Tattoo with Delta Police Pipe Band.
b. Since I was 12, so for 48 years (there, you now know how old I am 😉

How did you first get involved with the band that you are with now?
a. I was not enjoying competition any longer, but I still wanted to play. I knew a few
members in the DPPB and they were going to Seattle for the weekend to meet up
with the Seattle Police Pipe Band and were going to get a picture on the top of the
Space Needle (a famous landmark in Seattle, Washington, USA.) I thought, that
sounds like fun! So, I joined DPPB and have been doing very cool things ever since.

How would you describe your cultural identity?
a. My personal cultural identity is British – Canadian. Great Grandparents from
Scotland, one Grandmother from England and one Grandfather from Wales who all
immigrated to Canada in the early 1900’s. It was my grandfather who decided I was
going to play bagpipes. My aunt was my first teacher.

What musical accomplishments are you most proud of?
a. 1980 Grade 3 World Pipe Band Champion with the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band
b. Playing with the famous City of Victoria Pipe Band (Grade 1) under Jamie Troy, Sr.
c. World Pipe Band Championships competing in Grade 2 with the New Westminster
Police Pipe Band where we placed 6 th (2009) and won the qualifier placing 7 th overall
d. 2012 – piping with the Delta Police Pipe Band on stage with Sir Paul McCartney are
both highlights

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
a. Mathematician / Computer scientist but I became a Registered Nurse and led the
development of Digital Health Informatics for a large health authority in British

Who is someone you admire, and why?
a. My mom, Kathy Tillyer. She is such an amazing lady, a caring and kind mom who was
always there for my brothers and me. She just turned 85 and still swims laps at 0500h 6 days a week at her local community pool. She sews, does puzzles, reads…. She’s mentally, physically, and socially fit! I aspire to be just like her as I grow up 😉

If you could give a younger person musical advice, what would it be?
a. Forget the mistakes. Enjoy the music and the joy will come through.

What do you enjoy most about being part of your band?
a. I’ve been in competition bands since I was 12 and I lost the joy in piping. That is,
until I joined the DPPB. DPPB is old school and I love it. Everyone cares about one
another; every member is there to play their best and have a good time. There is a
lot of respect for everyone in the corps. I’ve done some very cool things with DPPB
that I’ve never done with competition bands. I also enjoy the sense over service to
the community. That might come from my health care background, who knows. I
also like it when young girls in the community come up to me and ask about piping. I
enjoy being a role model for the girls.

What is your favourite memory from your musical career so far?
a. I have to say winning Grade 3 World Pipe Band Championships with the Vancouver
Ladies Pipe Band. I was 16 years old and there were 42 bands competing that day.
We had no idea we were even in the hunt to win let alone win. That day defined
many of us girls in a really positive way.
b. My close second favorite memory is playing with DPPB on stage with Sir Paul

What are you most looking forward to when performing at the Belfast Tattoo?
a. Can I say the cast bar?
b. Getting to know other bands, other band members and everyone pulling together in
comradery to give a great and fun show to the people of Belfast and/or those who
travelled to the Belfast Tattoo.

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