Hal Senyk, one of the great contributors to and most accomplished competitors on the British Columbia piping and drumming scene, was given a an Honourary Life Membership by the British Columbia Pipers Association at the organization’s annual dinner.
A piper for more than 51 years, Senyk is perhaps best known for his role as Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 Triumph Street Pipe Band in the 1970s and ’80s, one of the first non-Scottish bands to make a significant mark on the world scene. As a soloist, Senyk was highly successful in Canada and, in the relatively few years that he competed in Scotland, his success included winning the March at the 1972 Northern Meeting.
Originally from Montreal, Senyk moved with his family to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1963, and started competing on the scene in the late-1960s. He received instruction from the great Bob Hardie, starting with the Coeur d’Alene School of Piping in Idaho, to which Senyk legendarily road his bicycle to get to – a six-day trip.
Senyk was invited to play with Hardie’s Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band, and he spent 18 months in Scotland, where he also obtained instruction for a two-week stint with Robert Brown.
He returned to take over Triumph Street, and the band went on to become a significant force in Canada and rose to gain a fifth prize overall at the 1979 World Pipe Band Championships, at which the band’s drum section won the Best Drum Corps award.
In addition to competition and teaching, Senyk has served in various roles with the BCPA.