Simon Fraser University Pipe Band

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Simon Fraser University Pipe Band
Glasgow2008 georgesquare sfu3.jpg
Established originally 1966, re-established 1981
Location Burnaby, British Columbia
Grade 1
Pipe Major Alan Bevan
Drum Sergeant J. Reid Maxwell
Tartan Simon Fraser University
Notable Honours Winner, World Pipe Band Championships: 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2009
Website www.sfupb.com

The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band (SFUPB) is a grade one pipe band affiliated with Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada (a suburb located just east of Vancouver, British Columbia). The band has consistently placed in the top three in world competition and has won the Grade One World Pipe Band Championships six times: 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008, and 2009.[1][2][3][4][5][6] SFUPB is one of only four bands located outside of the United Kingdom that have won a World Pipe Band Championship (the other three being the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, the Victoria Police Pipe Band and the St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band). In addition, the band has placed second nine times, finishing in the top two in the world in 15 of its 29[dated info] years. The band placed in the top three at the World Championships for 14 consecutive years up until 2012, with a fourth placing in 2013. They are the second most successful pipe band from outside Scotland, after the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

SFUPB regularly competes in Highland Games competitions sanctioned by the British Columbia Pipers Association in the northwestern United States and southwestern British Columbia before traveling to Scotland in August for the World Pipe Band Championships. The band wears the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band tartan.

Since 1994, the SFUPB has led an extensive family of pipe bands which each compete in their own grades. This organization is called the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band.

The band has produced twelve recordings, three concert/documentary videos, and appeared on four BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts. In 2002, the band gave three sold-out concerts in Vancouver, Belfast, and Glasgow, making it one of the busiest winters ever. In April 2001 the band recorded a CD live at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. On February 20, 1998, the band performed in concert at Carnegie Hall, New York City. This concert marked the first time a pipe band has performed a concert at this prestigious venue. The debut performance was recorded and released in June 1998 as Simon Fraser University Pipe Band - Live at Carnegie Hall. In June 1996, the band released its first live album Alive in America, the first live, in concert recording in the United States of a pipe band. Both these concerts are captured in the band's videos The Legacy: The Road to Carnegie Hall and Beyond and Alive in America - The Concert.[1]. In May 2012, the band returned to New York and recorded its latest album "Live from New York City" at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The band performed twice for Queen Elizabeth during her 1983 Vancouver visit and opened for rock star Rod Stewart at his 1989 and 1991 Vancouver concerts. The band also performed at the opening of the 2009/10 season for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League and the specially commissioned piece they performed was subsequently played before the start of each home game that season. In addition, the band has been profiled internationally on CNN and BBC, nationally on CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, and CTV, and has been featured many times on Vancouver television and radio stations.[2]

History of the Band[edit]

The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band was formed in 1966 during the university’s inaugural year. Over the years it has become a respected institution in the community and has brought fame to BC with its capture of national and international prizes.

Led by Pipe Major Terry Lee and Lead Drummer J. Reid Maxwell and wearing the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band tartan, the band consists of a talented core of over forty players. In 1982, the band won the Grade 1 North American Championship, the top prize on the continent. In August 1995 at Glasgow, Scotland, the band captured the ultimate prize on the globe, the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship. A year later, the band returned to Scotland and captured the title again, becoming the first pipe band from outside the United Kingdom to win the World Championship more than once.

In 1999, the band regained the World Championship title, winning the World Drum Corps Championship in the process, and followed that up with another Worlds win 2 years later in 2001. In 2001, SFU also won the Australian Pipe Band Championship during a tour to New Zealand and Australia.

In both 2008 and 2009 the band won not only the World Pipe Band Championships but also the World Drum Corps Championship. During its trip to Scotland in August, 2009 the band recorded its album, “Affirmation”, at a sold-out, standing room only, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

In all, the band has produced twelve recordings and three concert/documentary videos, with its latest recording "Live from New York City" in 2012. In June 1996, the band released its first live album, “Alive in America”. On February 20, 1998, the band performed in concert at Carnegie Hall, New York City. This concert marked the first time a pipe band has performed a concert at this prestigious venue. This debut performance was recorded and released in June 1998 as “Simon Fraser University Pipe Band – Live at Carnegie Hall”. Both these concerts are captured in the band’s videos “The Legacy: The Road to Carnegie Hall and Beyond” and “Alive in America – The Concert”.

In April 2001 the SFU Pipe Band recorded a CD live at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, “Down Under”. After this string of 3 live recordings in different parts of the world, the band decided to do things closer to home and produced two recordings both in studio and in front of a live audience at SFU in 2005. These were released as “On Home Ground, Volumes I and II” in 2005 and 2006.

On March 26, 2000, following a joint concert the night before with Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster at the Marriott Center of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, the band performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the US national live broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word from the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On September 29, 2013, Terry Lee stepped down as Pipe Major after leading the band for over 30 years, replaced by Alan Bevan, a two-time solo gold medalist. Terry remains close to all aspects of the band including playing, tuning, music construction, instruction, and administration.[7]

Notable SFUPB personalities[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Live From New York City (Live 2012)
  • Affirmation (Live 2009)
  • On Home Ground Volume 2 (Studio and Live 2006)
  • On Home Ground Volume 1 (Studio and Live 2005)
  • Down Under - Live at the Sydney Opera House (Live 2001)
  • At The Worlds (Compilation 2000)
  • Live at Carnegie Hall (Live 1998)
  • Alive In America (Live 1996)
  • Do Mo Chara Maith ("For My Good Friend") (Studio 1994)
  • The Silver Anniversary Tribute (Studio 1991)
  • A High Cut Above (Piping for Highland Dancing)(Studio 1991)
  • Nous Sommes Prêts ("We Are Ready") (Studio 1984)

Concert/Documentary Videos[edit]

  • Battle of the Bagpipes (Documentary 2010 by Thomas Buchan)
  • Legacy - The Road to Carnegie Hall and Beyond (Documentary and Concert 1999)
  • Alive In America - The Concert (Concert 1996)

References[edit]

External links[edit]