THE Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, one of Canada's most renowned bands, is pulling out all the stops to claim three world titles at the 2005 World Pipe Band Championships taking place in Glasgow on August 13.
This year for the first time in their history they have entered their SFU Grade 1 band and their Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band in Grade 2 and in the juvenile grade.
The Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band was named after Robert Barbulak and Malcolm Bokenfohr, two members of the Simon Fraser band who were tragically killed in a car accident in November 1993.
The band was formed in January 1994 to continue the development of talented and dedicated players such as Rob and Malcolm.
Throughout the history of the Simon Fraser, the band have been working hard to meet and beat the current world standard for pipe bands at both the adult and juvenile world competition level.
They have developed a significant youth program through its junior band system. Their pipers and drummers have contributed to the teaching of over 110 children and teens in a four band graduated system.
The SFU Grade 1 band has won the world championship title in 1995, 1996 1999 and 2001, and the world drum corps championships title in 1999 and 2004. They have played twice for Queen Elizabeth during her state visit to Vancouver and opened for rock star Rod Stewart at his 1989 and 1991 concerts. The band has performed and recorded at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Waterfront Hall in Belfast and appeared on stage and competition fields around the world.
Now we wait to see if they can achieve their dream of winning the ultimate prize in pipe band history at the worlds this August. There they will face the stiff challenge from our own current world Grade 1 champions- Field Marshal Montgomery, and from our Grade 2 Ravara, Eden, Killeen and Cullybackey Pipe Bands.
The Pipe Band Association has been saddened by the news of the death of John D. Burgess, one of the world's most famous and respected pipers who died on June 29 2005 aged 72.
He gained great fame as a child prodigy of Pipe Major William Ross and won the Highland Society of London Gold Medals in 1950 at the age of 16.
He went on to win virtually every solo piping prize there was to be won. He was Pipe Major of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band and played with the Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band in the 1960s. For the last 25 years he has been a much sought after teacher and adjudicator.
The sympathy of the piping and drumming world is extended to his family and many friends across the piping world.
The 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto have appointed a new bass drummer after John Rowe had to resign due to a back injury.
He is Bob Hartleib who in the past has played with the Grade 2 Windsor Police Pipe Band.
The 78th Fraser's has had many bass drummers since the 1980s including Craig Colquhoun who was bass drummer for about 10 years and was with the band when its bass section won three world titles.