SFU Pipe Band opens world championships
Rob MacNeil, band manager: 011-44-746-292-7242 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Lee, pipe sergeant (in Scotland): 011-44-798-213-3152; email@example.com
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, (in Vancouver) 604.209.5770; Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca
GLASGOW—Steady Scottish summer rain, and wind pushing 30 km/h, greeted the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band Saturday as it kicked off the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Not bad, not bad, not too bad,” said Pipe Major Terry Lee, after the band’s opening round of qualifying play, presenting its March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) program.
Starting with the march tune of “Highland Wedding,” the band was the first of 225 to play in the rain on Saturday. SFU is seeking its seventh world title.
Terry Lee led the band into the soaking grass playing arena for the 30th time, a record for the event.
Piper Andrew Lee, son of Jack Lee, the band’s pipe sergeant, added: “It went pretty well, even with the rain. Let’s hope the rain stays this way for all the other bands all day so we have a level playing field.”
Rain and typically unstable Scottish weather is a challenge for pipers as it affects their tuning and consistency. Said Jack Lee: “We did a lot of work early in the week to reset the pipes for the Scottish weather.”
Lead drummer Reid Maxwell said the steady rain Saturday morning presented problems for the SFU drum corps as well:
“You couldn’t give it ‘the big shot’ because you’re scared of the wet sticks flying out of your hands. And there was a steady waterfall pouring off the side of the drum head.”
The band, one of 23 elite Grade 1 bands in the 2013 competition, was to return to the Grade 1 arena on Glasgow Green on Saturday afternoon to play its medley arrangements.
The 225 bands in the event come from 17 countries and feature more than 8,000 pipers and drummers.
SFU’s six wins in previous championships came in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008 and 2009. In 2012, SFU finished third behind an eight-time winner, the Field Marshal Montgomery band from Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Power pipe band.
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.
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