media release

SFU Pipe band stays in top three

August 11, 2012

Jack Lee, in Stirling, 011-44-0798-213-3152 (cell);
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, in Stirling, 011-44-0751-246-3673 (cell);

The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band has shown it is still one of the top pipe bands in the world, placing third at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

And its junior bands shone, with its Grade 3 Robert Malcolm Memorial band taking first place in the Gr. 3A category and its young Grade 4 band also placing third. The bands performed under sunny skies that drew a crowd of well over 35,000 spectators.

The Gr. 1 band hoped for better after playing strong. “This is the best we’ve played all year,” says Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee, calling the band’s sound as tight and polished as it has ever been. “We’re disappointed, we thought we played well, particularly in the medley and were hoping for better. But we’re still happy to maintain our top three status.”

SFU, a six-time world champion band, finished second last year.

Placing first once again was Irish band Field Marshal Montgomery, followed by Scottish band Scottish Power. Of the 14 bands competing in the Gr. 1 finals, five were Canadian. In all, 235 bands performed in various categories.

Lee is thrilled for the junior bands for their outstanding performances. It was the Grade 4 band’s first ever appearance at the Worlds. Band members jumped and shouted as they paraded their trophy around the field on Glasgow Green.

“This is the best, it’s just the best,” shouted Gr. 3 piper Brian Haddon, while several members cried, and later broke out singing We Are The Champions.

The Gr. 3A announcement sent an explosive cheer through the crowd of SFU band members on the field and supporters in the bleachers

The Grade 4s also celebrated pulling off a surprise third, happy to have just made the qualifying round.

The senior band is one of only four bands outside the UK to win a world championship, taking the prize in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008, and 2009. The band has placed second nine times, finishing in the top two in the world in 15 of its 28 years of competing.

The RMM Grade 3 band has won four championships since the junior band began competing in 1997 (1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005). They placed second in 2007 and fourth in 2009 (their last appearance at the Worlds).

The RMM band is named after two members of the SFU Pipe Band, Robert Barbulak and Malcolm Bokenfohr, who were killed in a car accident in 1993. It was formed to continue developing talented and dedicated players in the spirit of the two young men.

Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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