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The Grade 2 Rocky Mountain Pipe Band of Calgary is hoping for greater success in 2010 with the addition of some top-flight talent to its ranks following a successful 2009 debut.
Andrew Smith of Calgary has joined the Rocky Mountain as Pipe-Sergeant to Pipe-Major Sean Somers. Smith had played for the last two years with Simon Fraser University, being a part of two wins of the World Championship along the way. Smith is a successful soloist and before joining SFU was a member of the Grade 1 Alberta Caledonia.
Somers said that Ann Gray, also of Calgary, will move to the pipe section after playing snare drum for the last two years with the band. Gray has a long history of solo piping success, including winning the Dunvegan Medal at Skye.
Pat Napper, the former Pipe-Sergeant of Alberta Caledonia, will join Rocky Mountain in an “advisory role,” Somers said, providing input on musical arrangements, and assisting the band with tuning and sound at major events.
In addition to the three more recognized new members, Somers added that “nearly a dozen” other local pipers and drummers have joined the band after the 2009 season.
“We’re thrilled with all of the positive changes with the RMPB,” Somers said. “The experience and talent being added to the ranks will prove to be awesome for the band, I’m sure. It’s going to be a very exciting year.”
The band plans to make the nearly 4,000 kilometre journey in August to compete at the North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario.