March 07, 2024

Four top-tier pipers to duke it out against cancer at 8th Boney Invitational Saturday

2024 Boney Invitational performers (clockwise from top left): Alan Bevan, Seumas Coyne, Zepnan Knichel, and Alastair Lee.

The Boney Music Memorial Invitational Competition & Recital was started in 2016 by Andrew “Boney” Bonar himself when he was waging his personal battle against cancer. The eighth rendition of one of the piping and drumming world’s most charitable events is set to take place on Saturday, March 9th, at the Seaforth Armoury, 1650 Burrard Street, Vancouver.

Performing in the spirited and lively contest/recital are four of the west coast of North America’s best pipers: Seumas Coyne, Glendale, California; Alan Bevan, Abbotsford, British Columbia; Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia; and Zephan Knichel, Surrey, British Columbia.

The action starts at 6 pm (PT) and will be live-streamed by the British Columbia Pipers Association’s Facebook page.

All proceeds from ticket sales and donations before, during and after the event once again go to the BC Cancer Foundation, which has set up a special QR code to make donations quick, secure and easy.

Organizers said there would be a special performance by the Bonar family, including Andrew Bonar’s sensational young son, Cameron, who, at age 16, has already won top piping events in the Professional/Open grade.

The format for the contest this year calls for competitors/performers to deliver a 20-minute recital of tunes of their choice, with the stipulation that they must include:

  • The ground of a piobaireachd.
  • At least one tune composed by Andrew Bonar.
  • At least two two-parted strathspeys.
  • At least one tune written by a Canadian composer not from British Columbia.
  • At least one, four-parted 6/8 march.

The format is the same as the original event in 2016.

Andrew Bonar died in 2017 from brain cancer. During his too-short life, he made a significant mark in piping as a solo and band competitor, composer, teacher, publisher, and legendary mischievous and quick wit.

The distinctive Boney Music Invitational trophies.

The result is determined by a panel of undisclosed judges scattered throughout the audience.

David Hilder, the accomplished piper recently retired from competition, will emcee the event. Bevan was the winner of the 2023 Boney Invitational.

The combined efforts of the Boney Invitational and various events organized by the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, with which Bonar was a member for three decades, have raised close to $100,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation.

pipes|drums has once again made a monetary contribution to the BC Cancer Foundation in memory of Andrew Bonar.






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