Nothing off-kilter about SFU pipe band’s final concert in Burnaby ahead of world championships

Local bagpipe enthusiasts got a rare treat this weekend when the world class SFU pipe band played a free concert at the university’s Burnaby campus Sunday.

The band heads to Scotland this week for the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow Green from Aug. 17 to 18, and organizers put on the concert to fine-tune its competition program and give back to local fans.

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“You may or may not think we sound strong, but I can assure you that there are bands just as strong in Scotland, and so we know that we must be at our very best,” pipe sergeant Jack Lee told a crowd gathered around a grove in the academic quadrangle.

The band, comprised of more than 40 pipers and drummers, has won the world competition six times and placed in the top three more than 20 times.

It has also won the North American and Australian championships, and played in some of the world's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Lincoln Center.

The group is led by pipe major Alan Bevan, pipe sergeant Lee (currently the world’s top solo piper) and lead drummer Reid Maxwell.

Three of this year’s band members are from Burnaby: longtime member Derek Milloy, Damien Burleigh and SFU student Jamie Kubasiewicz.

The concert Sunday was the first the band has played on campus in 10 years.

For more information, visit sfupipeband.com.

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