Band takes firsts leading up to Worlds
The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band will be heading to Scotland on a high note after winning a pair of major competitions, one near Seattle this weekend and another in Portland earlier in July.
Competing at the Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering at Enumclaw, Washington July 30 and 31, the Grade 1 band took first in both the March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) and the Medley, which they will perform at the World Bagpipe Championships in Glasgow on Aug. 13.
Both pipes and drum corps took top prizes in their categories as well.
Besides band firsts members cleaned up with several top individuals honours, including the five top placers in the MSR: Colin Lee, of Surrey, one of three piper sons of pipe sergeant Jack Lee, followed by Gordon Conn, of Calgary, Will Nichols, of Blaine, Jori Chisholm, of Seattle, and Surrey’s Andrew Bonar.
Lee also topped the Hornpipe & Jig contest, followed by his brother,Andrew, also of Surrey, then Bonar, Nichols and Chisholm.
And in drumming, Derek Cooper of Warminster, Pasadena and David Bowman of Vancouver took first and second respectively in the Hornpipe & Jig.
The pipe band’s Grade 3 Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band (RMM) also placed first at the competition while its Grade 4 band took third in band competition and first with its drum core.
“It’s great for us to head into the Worlds knowing we’re playing well – it helps to keep our confidence high,” says pipe sergeant Jack Lee, who is looking for the band to reclaim the top spot in Glasgow after finishing third last year.
The band, celebrating 30 years since officially being named the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, has claimed six world championships.
Band members will practice in Lee’s Surrey backyard on Monday evening and weather permitting, Tuesday and then Wednesday in C lot at SFU, before members begin heading for Scotland.
The BBC will once again stream the competition live on their website at www.bbc.co.uk/worlds