NHL expands pipe band traditions with SFU, Edmonton, 48th

Published: October 31, 2009
(Page 1 of 1)

The Pipes & Drums and Regimental Band of the 48th Highlanders of Canada have played at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ home opener of the National Hockey League season for more than 60 years, and now the NHL appears to be starting new traditions with pipe bands in Canada, extending to Vancouver and Edmonton, Alberta.

Last week the 2009 World Pipe Band Champions, Simon Fraser University, played at the home opener of the Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Caledonia performed at the Edmonton Oilers’ first home game.

SFU Pipe-Major Terry Lee said his band, all wearing Canucks sweaters, was introduced as the six-time and current World Pipe Band Champions, and received a warm ovation from the crowd.

To prevent slipping on the ice, Lee said that some of the band members wore rubber overshoes on their brogues, and “some didn’t (like me) and nearly bought it.”

 SFU performs at the Canucks' hope opener

Although pipe bands have traditionally been closely linked with hockey in Canada, the elevated interest may be in part due to the popularity of the new Hockey Night in Canada theme tune, which features the piping of Sandy and Rob Campbell, former members of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band.

The Edmonton game featured piping on the ice and in the stands, with the Campbell brothers performing along with a Celtic circus-like act overhead.

Celebrated hockey raconteur and former NHL coach, Don Cherry – a national hero in Canada – is a strong supporter of pipe bands, and reportedly was a tenor drummer with a band in Kingston, Ontario, for a time.

In Scotland, pipe bands regular feature at football and rugby matches, often performing at international events at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0

MOST RECENT POST
  • Haves and have-nots
    Thu, 25 Jun 2015
    There are those pipe bands that have and those that have not. And increasingly there are competitions and Highland games that have and have not. The size and success of bands and competitions are linked. June 23rd was one of … Con …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS July 1, 2015Pugwash Gathering of the ClansPugwash, Nova Scotia

July 1, 2015Embro Highland Games355644 35th Line, Embro, Ont.

July 2, 2015Instructors’ RecitalKing City, ON

July 4, 2015Penticton Scottish FestivalKings Park, Penticton, BC

July 4, 2015All Ireland ChampionshipOmagh

TIP OF THE DAY
Pipers: Leather bags will mould to your shape and this is one of the reasons why I recommend leather – a bit more expensive to start, but a sound investment in your piping performance and enjoyment.
James Begg, Begg Bagpipes, Glasgow