PHSD marks 25 with composing contests

Published: January 24, 2018
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With more than 300 students, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band organization’s Piping Hot Summer Drummer school is the largest of its kind in the world and, to mark the school’s 25th anniversary, composing competitions for both piping and snare drumming are being launched.

Teachers and students from a 2017 Piping Hot Summer Drummer week.

There are a few singular twists to the competitions. The pipe tune contest calls for “a nice, easy-to-memorize march” that the Piping Hot Summer Drummer Grade 5 band would perform at the Kamloops Highland Games on July 14th. The band forms each year as an opportunity for young novice players who don’t often get a chance to play in a band in their hometowns to have a go at competing.

A good element of fun at PHSD, including the occasional water-fight.

The snare drum score contest will be for a composition for the winning pipe tune. Deadline for submissions to the pipe tune contest is March 31st. Judges will work quickly to announce the winning tune, and then make it available for interested snare drummers to compose a score to submit no later than May 31st. Students at the school will then tackle both compositions accordingly.

The winner in each category receives a full week scholarship to Piping Hot Summer Drummer 2018, and Requests for more information or submissions can be sent by email.

PHSD students learn the Nether Lorn Canntaireachd for a piobaireachd that more than 100 sing at the Thursday-night ceilidh each week, likely the largest (or only) canntaireachd choir in the world.

Thumbing their collective nose at The Style Guy, PHSD instructors performed wearing sunglasses last year.

Located on the scenic Silver Star Mountain in British Columbia, Piping Hot Summer Drummer this year runs in two one-week sessions, July 8-13 and July 15-20, with instruction piping; pipe band snare, tenor, and bass drumming; and Highland dancing. Among the instructors are Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, Callum Beaumont, Delma Wilson, David Wilton, Jack Lee, Reid Maxwell and many members of the Grade 1 SFU Pipe Band.

Piping Hot Summer Drummer is one aspect of the SFU Pipe Band organization’s instructional program that has produced dozens of pipers and drummers in the Pacific Northwest over the last three decades. The program is an integral part of the organization’s sustainability strategy, resulting in four full competition bands, and continuity of a top-six world standard for the six-time World Champion Grade 1 band.


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