About the Inventor
Photo of Robert with his sons Bobby & James
Robert Crozier was born in Melbourne Australia in 1966 and at the age of 13 had his first piping lesson with Pipe Major George Brass from the Footscray Pipe Band in Melbourne. In 1980 Robert started his bricklaying apprenticeship with his father and worked as a bricklayer for several years. After Robert started playing in the Footscray Pipe Band, he began experimenting with new ideas and innovations to improve the performance and consistency of his bagpipes. In 1985 Robert started a business partnership with Geoff Ross making the worlds first synthetic drone reed named the “Ross Reed”, this reed was made from a black plastic body with a flat sealed cane tongue. In 1987 Robert and Geoff worked on a new idea for an innovative pipe bag that was named the “Ross Pipe Bag”. This pipe bag has a revolutionary canister system inside the bag that controls the moisture to the reeds and is accessible through an opening on the bag that has an air-tight seal.
In 1990 Robert decided to take a different direction, on ending the partnership with Geoff Ross. A few years later the Ross Reed was phased out but will always be remembered as the original and most innovative drone reed. There are now many synthetic drone reeds on the market which in some way are all a copy of the original Ross Reed that used a plastic body with a flat vibrating tongue.
Robert took over the job of tuning and helping out with the piping in another band in 1990, in that year they first competed in grade one at the World Championships in Scotland. Robert soon became well known all over the world for his tuning abilities and great ear for sound. This band quickly became famous for its great sound and placed in the top six bands every year from 1992 until finally winning in 1998 to be crowned the World Champions. The band also won every grade one competition in Australia from 1989 until they finished competing altogether in 1998.
A few years later in 2001, Robert was asked to play with the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Toronto Canada. It was on this trip that he first came up with a unique idea that would eventually become the Omega Drone Reed. The creative Ross Bagpipe Reeds partnership of Robert and Geoff was reunited in 2002 and they refined the new Omega Reed design. Robert released his own drone reed in January 2004 calling his new business Crozier Bagpipes Pty Ltd. In December 2004 Geoff Ross decided to retire from making reeds to pursue his interests in photography.
Due to popular demand, Robert decided to re release a modern version of the original Ross Reed in 2005 to coincide with its 20th anniversary and renaming it the Crozier Cane Reed. Using all of the original Ross Reed tools and machinery, the reed is identical in its manufacturing methods and like it’s predecessor, the Crozier Cane Reeds are also identical in their operation but with a modern design made to a higher pitch to suit today’s piper. Robert now continues to make the Omega, Carbon and Cane Drone Reeds for his company Crozier Bagpipes Pty Ltd.
Robert is always passing on his piping knowledge to pipers and bands all over the world helping them to improve their sound and playing standards. Robert and his wife Estella have two sons, Robert Crozier Jnr (Bobby) & James. Robert’s hobbies include, watching movies, collecting science fiction movie replicas, astronomy and creating his “twisted photography”.
In 2008, Robert was invited to play with the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band. He tuned the band at the World Pipe Band Championships in August at Glasgow Green, Scotland.
Here is what a few of the Worlds most renowned piping personalities have to say about Robert:-
John Cairns, Double Gold Medalist and Pipe Major of the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band:-
Robert Crozier is a talented and gifted musician. I have had
the great fortune to work with Robert through his involvement
with the 78th Fraser Highlanders and I can honestly say that I have never met a piper with a better ear for sound. Robert has dedicated himself to perfecting his abilities in this regard and in my opinion, he ranks as one of the World's best authorities on bagpipe sound.
Pipe Major Robert Mathieson, House of Edgar – Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band:-
The pipe band world is full of self appointed experts that are only too keen to deliver an opinion or critique at every opportunity. In Robert Crozier we have the genuine article. He does not deliver opinion or politics he presents tone in its finest form. A benchmark for any piper today.
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