Prairie Piping Invitational Event

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Adjudicator


Dr. Terry Lee
Vancouver

As the Pipe Major of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, Terry led the band to winning the World Grade 1 Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland six times! He has been the leader and musical director at the band’s concerts in many of the World’s best-known venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre in New York City, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall, The Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and many others. In 2013, Terry and his brother Jack were presented with Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Simon Fraser University for their exemplary work with the Pipe Band. Terry’s accomplishments as a solo piper have been overshadowed by his pipe band involvement, but as a young man he was the winner of many of the prestigious west coast awards including the MacCrimmon Cairn for piobaireachd at the B.C. Pipers Indoor Meet.

Terry retired as Pipe Major of the SFUPB and has become a member the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Adjudicator’s Panel.

Terry quit dancing at seventeen but he had, by that time, made quite an impact being the winner of the many SOBHD Championships in the US and Canada, a “top six” at Cowal and the highlight of being presented to Queen Elizabeth II as an aggregate winner at the famous Braemar Gathering. At seventeen, he made a recording for Highland dancing “Piper & Dancer” which was one of the first to be produced for Highland dancing and proved to be extremely popular.

Competitors


Andrea Boyd
Ottawa, ON

Andrea Boyd - Competitor - Prairie Piping InvitationalAndrea Boyd was born and raised in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. From a family and community strongly steeped in piping tradition, she began piping at the age of nine and has received tuition from Scott Williams, John Walsh, Bruce Gandy, and Robert Wallace. Andrea played with the Antigonish Highland Society Pipe Band from 1994 – 2001; Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia from 2003-2006; St. Laurence O’‘Toole Pipe Band from 2006-2011; and Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band from 2013-2017. Andrea currently receives solo tuition from Willie McCallum. She counts the Rankin Family, Howie MacDonald, Paul K. MacNeil, Doug Boyd, The 78thFraser Highlanders, and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band as formative musical influences. Her favourite pipers are Angus MacColl, Fred Morrison, Stuart Liddell, and Terry Tully.

Andrea’s piping achievements include winning the Young Piper of the Year, Benbecula, Western Isles in 2006; B March and B Strathspey & Reel at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2006; the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2008 and the World Pipe Band Championships with St. Laurence O’Toole in 2010. In 2015, Andrea was named Professional Piper of the Day at the Georgetown and Glengarry Highland Games and she was placed 3rd in 2014 and 5th in 2016 in the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering. In 2017, she won the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) at the Glengarry Highland Games and was the overall winner of the A grade solo piping at Cowal Highland Gathering.


Brad Davidson
Waterloo, ON

Brad began his association with the Highland bagpipe in his early teens in Winnipeg as a member of The Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band. He later received tuition from Garth Neel while they both attended The University of Winnipeg. After graduating from U of W, life took Brad to southern Ontario (Kingston and then Waterloo, where he still resides) and where he benefited from instruction from Colin MacLellan, Bob Worrall and Willie Connell. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s he was active as a solo competitor and with pipe bands, and won prizes in piobaireachd and light music on the Highland Games circuit in Scotland over several seasons. In 1992 he won The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) and retired (for the first time) from competition in 1994. He never lost his love of the music, but it wasn’t until September 2017 that he summoned the courage to retrieve his pipes from the back of his closet and mount another campaign as a solo competitor.


Raphael Mercier
Saskatoon, SK

Raphael started piping in Saskatoon with the 96th Highlanders, and played with the band there for a number of years, including a trip to Scotland where the band made the final of their Grade 4 contest at the World’s. Raphael joined the City of Regina Pipe Band in fall 2010, and has been a member of the band since that time, and competed and performed with the band at games in Canada and Scotland.

A prolific amateur prizewinner, Raph has won awards at games across Canada, including high-profile events such as the BC Pipers Annual Gathering and Maxville Highland Games, where he did very well in a strong class at the Grade 1 level. Since moving to professional piping, Raph has won prizes at Games across the prairie provinces, including a top-three finish in the Prairie Piping Invitational, and also won the “Audience Favourite” his first time in the event.

In 2017, Raph won many prizes in regional games, and later travelled throughout Scotland in the summer, where he featured in many prizes lists at top games, including a 2nd in piobaireachd at the Aboyne Gathering.

Raphael has an Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently computer science.


Alex Rasmussen

Regina, SK

Alex Rasmussen.
Alex Rasmussen.

Alex started piping in Lumsden, and later joined the Fraser Pipe Band, where he played for a number of years. After a short stint in the grade 4 band, Alex joined the City of Regina Pipe Band in 1998, and has been a member ever since.

Over the years, Alex has performed with the band at contests and concerts in Canada, the USA and Scotland, and continues to be a contributor to the band on a number of levels.

After many years off for good behaviour, Alex jumped back into solos a couple of years back, and won a considerable number of prizes at the Grade 1 level at Highland games in this region and at Maxville Games in Ontario. He made his pro debut two-years ago at the Winnipeg Scottish Festival last year, where he was the overall winner of the light music.

Alex’s other musical pursuits include piano, guitar, reelpipes and uilleann pipes, and is a member of the Cape-Breton-inspired band “West of Mabou” which has just released its second recording. He is a teacher by profession.


Stewart Smith

Calgary, AB

Stewart Smith - Competitor - Prairie Piping Invitational
One might say that Stewart Smith was born to pipe. As a 3rd generation piper, Stewart is the youngest of three brothers to have played in the Alberta piping scene.

He is an accomplished player and has gained many top prizes at competitions throughout North America in solo and band competitions. After playing with the Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band from 1996-2007, Stewart was lucky enough to play with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band when they won the World Pipe Band Championship in 2008. Stewart was the 2015 Prairie Piping Invitational Champion.

Stewart is also an accomplished uilleann piper and can be heard playing at various Irish music sessions around Calgary.

Stewart lives in Calgary with his wife and son.


Sean Somers
Calgary, AB

A consistent prize-winner in professional piping contests throughout North America, Sean is also a former winner of the Prairie Piping Invitational in 2013. As the pipe-major of the Grade 2 Rocky Mountain Pipe Band, the RMPB has established itself as one of the premier competitive bands in Western Canada under Sean’s leadership. Sean has led the RMPB to win the North American Pipe Band Championship (2017), the BC Indoor Annual Gathering (2017, 2018), many consecutive Alberta Provincial Championships, multiple Northern Canadian Championships, and many other top prizes at local Highland Games throughout Western Canada. With many appearances in the Grade 1 finals at the World Pipe Band Championships, he is also the former pipe-sergeant of the Grade 1 Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band, and former key member of The 78th Highlanders (Halifax) Pipe Band where he won both the Canadian and North American Championships in Grade 1. Sean spent his formative years with The City of Regina Pipe Band and credits his former teacher, P/M Iain MacDonald (Regina)and his wife Barb MacDonald as major influences on his piping career.

Sean is the former Principal Piping Instructor at the College of Piping (PEI), and has since continued to teach regularly at workshops and at summer schools. More recently, Sean has enjoyed opportunities to lecture and give recitals in addition to his teaching in both Canada and the United States.

An award-winning composer, Sean has been commissioned to write music to commemorate special events, and dozens of his tunes have been published in several contemporary collections of bagpipe music. His music has been played and recorded by some of the world’s best pipe bands.

Sean has been Chair of the Music and Judging Committee for the Alberta Society of Pipers and Drummers, Past President of the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association and member of Music Initiatives Advisory Committee with the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations.

An accredited member of the Alberta Society of Pipers and Drummers adjudication panel, Sean has judged solo and band competitions throughout North America. Stops include British Columbia, the Canadian Prairies, the Maritimes in eastern Canada, as well as the Pacific Region, the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Over the years, Sean has also been a contributor to pipes|drums, the world’s most popular magazine for pipers and drummers, with feature articles, reviews and opinion.

Sean has also assisted in the development of a bagpipe making business, which manufactured highland bagpipes, practice chanters and accessories.

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Sean is married with a young son and daughter. A civil servant in “real life”, he manages the Department of Transportation’s Communications team with The City of Calgary.