The SFU Pipe Band has competed in the World Pipe Band Championships 20 times, and has won the championship nine times. This year, the band is bringing along the Grade 3 Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band to also compete in the juvenile category.
For Kendrick Rutherford, a piper in the Grade 3 band, this will be his first time participating in such a large competition.
“I’ve never done something this big,” he said at the pipe band practice in general manager Jack Lee’s Cloverdale backyard. “There’s never been that many people watching.”
But, “I’m hoping for us to play well, do the best we can,” he said. “And hope we win.”
Rutherford is going into Grade 11 at Fraser Heights Secondary. The World Pipe Band Championships’ juvenile category — where the band will be competing against seven Scottish bands — is only open to people 18 years old and under, which means the band can only compete every three years at most.
“It takes two or three years to raise the money and then train the young ones to go to Scotland and be competitive with the Scottish bands,” Jack Lee, general manager of the pipe band, said. The Scottish bands go every year, and are school-based, meaning the musicians take bagpipes or drums in school the same way they take chemistry or English.
The last time the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band was at the World Championships was in 2012, when they won the championship.
“They don’t have to win for it to be a success,” Lee said. “It’s never been about winning, because we know they’re in really really tough competition.
“So we hope for some good performances and be right in there and be competitive. That would define a good trip.”
The Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band will be competing in Glasgow on Saturday, Aug. 12.