Young pipers set to play on world stage
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, in Stirling, Scotland, 011-44-0751-246-3673 (cell); Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca
http://at.sfu.ca/zbbcZn (far left)
|Tori and Taylor:
Innes Asher of Makawao, Maui, is a young, redheaded piper who at 10 years of age is playing with the RMM Grade 4 band. The young piper began learning to play when he was five, first learning on a practice chanter.
“My dad had been playing with the local Isle of Maui Pipe Band, which would bring (SFU pipe sergeant) Jack Lee to Maui for an annual bagpipe workshop,” Asher explains. “At some point I told my dad I’d like to play. He told me that I was the only kid on Maui learning the pipes, but definitely not in the whole world.”
Asher attended the SFU Pipe Band’s Piping Hot summer school near Vernon and began Skype lessons with Lee, who invited him to join the RMM4 band. “We have lots of Scots-Canadian relatives and they all think it’s great that I am involved with the family culture like this, even though we live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,” says Asher, adding that there have been Scots piping on the islands ever since Captain Cook – whose parents were both Scottish –landed on Hawaii.
Max Middleton of Christchurch, New Zealand, is a 13-year-old piper who met Lee during a summer school he taught in New Zealand. He was “lucky enough” to be awarded a scholarship to attend the band’s annual Piping Hot summer school near Vernon, B.C.
Middleton attended the week-long session and has been taking lessons – via Skype – with Lee, who calls him a talented young player. “I feel a bit nervous to play at the Worlds,” says Middleton, whose father, Mark, is also a piper and is among a contingent of parents in Scotland as well. “But I also can’t wait to play there, with all the other bands. It will be very cool.”
Tori and Taylor Killoran, a pair of sisters from Kamloops, both joined the RMM Grade 4 band just a year ago.
Tori, a piper and Taylor, a side drummer, both played previously for three years with the Kamloops Pipe Band. They are looking forward to stepping out together on Glasgow Green on Saturday to compete together in the novice-juvenile category, a first for the young band. The two travel twice a month to Burnaby to practice with the RMM band.
Gavin MacRae, of Anmore, B.C., is one of three members of the RMM Grade 3 band who’ll be elevated to the senior Grade 1 band this fall.
MacRae, an 18-year-old drummer whose grandparents are from Scotland, is the band’s drum sergeant. He has played the drums since he was eight, showing a natural talent for the instrument. “There’s a talent for you,” says SFU Gr. 1 Lead Drummer Reid Maxwell. “He’s also a very good soloist.” MacRae won the B.C. Piping Association professional aggregate this year.
MacRae, whose drum corps won first prize at last weekend’s North Berwick Highland Games in Scotland, a ‘pre-worlds’ experience for the bands, was with the Gr. 3 band when it competed at the Worlds in 2009, placing fourth. His father Gordon is a piper and director of the Dowco Triumph Street band, which is also in Scotland for the Worlds.