Canada’s Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, one of the leading Grade 1 bands of the last 30 years, have not yet ruled out travelling over for the World Championships in August but are keeping a watching brief on Covid-19 developments.
Meanwhile the band have produced a surprise new album recorded live last month. P/M Alan Bevan explains: ‘The band has been going very well this year. Last spring we made a decision to play a concert in Chilliwack (a city about an hour east of Vancouver) in February 2020.
‘That is pretty early in the year for us, but it really got us working hard over the winter so the band would be on form much earlier than we sometimes are.
‘Almost at the last minute, I asked Jamie Kubasiewicz (a suitably skilled member of the band) to produce audio and video recordings for our own use so we could post a couple video clips online.
‘The band played really well on the night and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of both the audio and the video recordings. With so much of the world in social isolation or quarantine right now, we thought people would appreciate being able to watch clips of the concert on YouTube, so we are going to be posting a number of them over the next few weeks.
‘We have also released an album of the entire concert, for those who wish to purchase it through the band’s online store.’
Check out this clip from the album track ‘Hallelujah’; it could be a anthem for the times:
And now to cheer everyone up….
Alan continued: ‘Regarding our August plans, like the rest of the pipe band community we are watching and waiting to see whether there will be an abbreviated season, or no season at all this summer. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to keep the members of the band connected and engaged, and to try and maintain the momentum we have built so far this year.’
Check out this gallery of pix from the big night:
The band’s publicity man Kevin McLean added: ‘ Live in Chilliwack’ was recorded on February 29 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre in British Columbia. It features a lot of new and exciting material for the band. When we recorded the concert, we hadn’t originally planned on releasing an album.
‘We recorded it mostly for our own internal use, and to hopefully release a few YouTube videos. We turned out to be very pleased with the audio quality and with the recent COVID-19 crisis and with so many people in social isolation, we thought releasing the live album would be a nice way to connect with our community. Right now it’s only available in our online store at $0.99Cdn per track or $9.99Cdn for the whole album.’
- The album will be reviewed on Piping Press in the near future.