Ron MacLeod is former Chair of the SFU Scottish Studies program. He sends out regular reports about Scottish-Canadian culture and news in the Vancouver area. Simon Fraser University Pipe Band first won the world Grade 1 title on
Glasgow Green back in 1995. The band repeated in 1996, 1999, 2001, and now for 2008.
Greetings, GREAT NEWS! Simon Fraser University Pipe Band won
the 2008 Gold at the World’s Championships at Glasgow Green, Scotland, Saturday August 16.
The order of finish was as follows:
1st Simon Fraser University
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery
3rd Shotts and Dykehead
4th Boghall and Bathgate
5th St. Laurence O’Toole
also good news for the White Spot Pipe band at the Juvenile level. They came in
6th, competing against a score or more other juvenile bands.
Piping Champions for the Fifth Time
For the fifth time in 11 years the Simon Fraser Pipe
Band has won the World’s Piping Championship. On Saturday, August 16th,
2008 the Band competed against the world’s best Pipe Bands at Glasgow,
Scotland, and came away the winner.
Pipe Major Terry Lee and his brother Pipe Sergeant
Jack Lee founded the Band with
Simon Fraser University as their primary sponsor. They proudly wear the ancient
Clan Fraser Tartan. Lead Drummer Reid Maxwell later joined the Band to provide
top professional direction for the drum section. In 1982, the Band began to
shine on the international stage when it won the North American Piping
Championship. In 1995, the Band won its first World Piping Championship in
Scotland. Competing and winning in Scotland against the world’s best bands
fired up the Lee brothers and the lads and lassies in the Band. They won again
in 1996, 1999, 2001 and now in 2008. In the intervening years, the Band was
always a formidable contender, for the most part earning 2nd or 3rd
place rankings. The Band is probably better known in Scotland, the
ancient home of Clan Fraser, than in Canada.
In 1998 the Band played in concert at Carnegie Hall,
New York City, to a packed house.
They have played with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Ogden, Utah, and
put on piping and drumming seminars at Brigham Young University. They have thrilled audiences in concert at the
Sydney Opera House, Australia. They have performed before enthusiastic
audiences in Melbourne, Australia, and Christchurch, New Zealand. They have
given recitals in 13 Canadian cities from Halifax to Victoria and in 17
American States. The Band has been one of Canada’s top goodwill ambassadors
over the past two decades.
The Simon Fraser Pipe Band is not just a single Band.
A core of 30 pipers and drummers form the nucleus of the senior Band. In all,
there are six levels of bands, ranging from raw beginners to the senior Band.
The Band’s pipers and drummers teach 150 or more children year in and year out. Their ethic is work, work,
work, learn, learn, learn. Their purpose is to refine skills and to develop the
discipline it takes to produce a harmonious band. One of the SFU Juvenile Pipe
Bands, the Robert Malcolm, has won their division in Scotland four times.
Every two years, the Band presents a Highland Arts
Festival at Simon Fraser University. Instruction is given in piping drumming
and Highland dancing. As part of the 1988 Festival the Band piped for the
world’s largest Scottish Country dance where 256 danced their way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 1999, Pipe Major Terry and brother Jack Lee were each
awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Award. Jack Lee, one of the piping world’s
great soloists, was further
honoured in 2004 when he was among the first British Columbians to be presented
with the B.C. Community Achievement Award by Premier Campbell. This award
recognizes “those exceptional individuals whose personal contributions to the
good of their communities has the effect of enriching all of us as citizens of
this fortunate province”.
The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band is more than just
another band. It is both a community and an international role model.
The SFU Pipe Band’s website is www.sfupipeband.com
An interesting video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15NoXr0Q_D8
Check out these links as well.