June 14, 2024

Association Leadership Spotlight: David Hilder, British Columbia Pipers Association VP & Music Board Chair – Part 1

The British Columbia Pipers’ Association was officially started in 1932, making it one of the world’s oldest piping and drumming organizations. With roots dating back to 1905 with the Pipers’ Society and the Vancouver Pipers’ Society in 1921, the BCPA today has about nearly 500 members and almost 20 competing bands.

The organization is known for its consistency of excellence and strong camaraderie, with a familial culture throughout the scene. The competitive success of bands like Simon Fraser University, Triumph Street, City of Victoria and the Vancouver Ladies, and soloists such as Jack Lee, Hal Senyk, Jamie Troy, Alan Bevan, Reid Maxwell, and John Fisher – to name just a few – British Columbia is a consistent hotbed of talent.

David Hilder is the BCPA’s vice president and chair of both the Music Committee and the Band Grading Committee. A household name in the piping and drumming world, Hilder recently concluded five years with the Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band, and before that was pipe-major of Grade 1 Triumph Street, competing at more than a decade of World Championships and qualifying for the final nine times, winning the qualifier twice and placing sixth in the medley final.

Shaunna and David Hilder with ScottishPower at the World’s.

David Hilder began his piping career with the Courtenay Legion Pipe Band, where he was eventually appointed pipe-major. He then had a successful solo piping career, working with Jamie Troy, Jimmy MacMillan, and René Cusson, the current president of the BCPA.

Hilder went on to play with City of Victoria and then SFU in the 1990s, eventually becoming pipe-major of Grade 2 Robert Malcolm Memorial, leading the band to the World’s Grade 2 title. He has been in demand as a piping teacher and judge for several decades.

He is an example of the BCPA’s strong family culture. His wife, Shaunna, is herself at least as accomplished as a piper, leader, and teacher. Their son, Liam, is a highly successful piper, and their daughter, Andrena, is a skilful tenor drummer.

In his professional life, David Hilder was awarded Canada’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Medal and Bar from the Governor General of Canada in 2010 and 2015.

As part of our ongoing Association Leadership Spotlight series, we spoke with David Hilder for two parts about the British Columbia Pipes’ Association’s recent developments and future objectives.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for Part 2 of our discussion with BCPA Vice President and Music Board Chair David Hilder in the next few days.








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