media release

Historic sweep by B.C. pipers at Oban

August 22, 2013

Rob MacNeil, band manager (in Vancouver):
Jack Lee (presently in Scotland but returns this weekend): 011-44-798-213-3152; 604.574.3299;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


B.C. pipers are piling up prizes. In what’s being billed as an historic sweep, three B.C. pipers – including two from the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band – have won the top awards at the 2013 Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland.

SFU Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee took first prize in the Senior Piobaireachd (a piping contest for former winners of the gold medal he also won in 2001) – while SFU Piper Alan Bevan won the Highland Society of London Gold Medal (he won the equivalent gold medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness in 2008). Meanwhile Vancouver Island piper James Troy took the contest's Silver Medal.

The B.C. wins completed the first of the two-day event, this year being held just days after the World Pipe Band Championships.

Day two started with an outdoor march of competitors – led by the B.C. winners – and ended with more hardware for SFU. Lee’s nephew piper Alistair Lee of Coquitlam took the top prize in the March while Bevan claim second prize in the Strathspey & Reel (SR). The young Lee finished fifth in the SR.

In the days leading up to the Worlds, Jack Lee, of Surrey, also won the Masters Solo competition during Glasgow's Piping Live, earning him a spot at the prestigious Glenfiddich contest in October (which he was also invited to and won in 2003, the first North American piper to do so). He’ll now be joined by Bevan, of Abbotsford, who earns a spot at Glenfiddich after his gold medal win at Oban today.

Piper Andrew Bonar of Surrey, who last week was named best overall piper from a field of more than 50 pipers at Scotland's Perth Highland Games, also placed fourth in the Gold Medal contest at Oban.

“The results coming in from the solo contests in Scotland show the enduring strength of SFU band members,” says band manager Rob MacNeil. “It’s a testament to the talent of our band. SFU remains very much a contender in world competition in years ahead,” says MacNeil.

The band placed fourth at the Worlds last weekend after being the only Grade 1 band swept by a downpour of rain and heavy wind during its Medley performance on Sunday – after topping the event, beating out champions Field Marshal Montgomery, with their performance on Saturday.

Lee and Bevan are considered among the world’s best pipers and both have won numerous international awards. Lee has won every major piping award available and continues to teach around the world.

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


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

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