SFU pipe band off to the Worlds
Seven Tri-City residents will leave today (Friday) for Scotland to compete with the award-winning SFU Pipe Band in next week’s World Pipe Band Championships.
Pipe major Terry Lee and his son, Alistair, will be joined by Rob MacNeil, Dani and Duncan Millar, and Reid Maxwell and his son Grant for the Aug. 13 showdown in Glasgow.
Lee, a Coquitlam resident, founded the Grade 1 pipe band 30 years ago with his brother, Jack. And since 1999, the 46-member group has placed in the top three at the Worlds. Last year, it clinched third position following two years in the top spot.
This year’s band “is very, very strong. It’s as strong as any year,” pipe sergeant Jack Lee told The Tri-City News yesterday. “We have some talented players but the competition has never been tougher.”
Among the SFU band members is Robert Mathieson, a retired pipe major with rival The House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band.
Also new to the band are former Toronto police lead drummer Doug Stronach, and drummers Owen Russell, formerly with the 78th Fraser Highlanders, from Minnesota, and Nicola Purvis of the Auckland & District Pipe Band of New Zealand. Maple Ridge resident Kevin McLean is making his first appearance at the Worlds.
The band will have a week to practice and to get its bagpipes acclimatized to the cold, wet Scottish weather before hitting the stage next Saturday afternoon.
At the Worlds, the SFU band will perform twice: the first is a march, Strathspey and Reel, while the second is a six-minute long medley of choice. For the medley, Jack Lee said they will start with Donald Cameron’s Powder Horn and end with Jenny Dang the Weaver. Lee said the group has made small changes to the music “to make it our own. We hope it gives us an advantage.”
• BBC will stream the competition live on its website at www.bbc.co.uk/worlds.