SFUPB Releases New “Live from New York City” Album

SFUPB - Live from New York CityPerforming live in New York City, on May 4th, 2012, the SFU Pipe Band delivered a 30th anniversary concert that touched on many highlights of the band’s musical history. Live from New York City is their most ambitious concert and reflects the band’s talented membership and diverse musical influences. The band is excited to celebrate thirty years at the forefront of the pipe band world with a new concert and recording. With six World Pipe Band Championship titles and twelve recordings, the band proudly represents Simon Fraser University at home and abroad to help fulfill the University’s mission: Engaging the World.

Tracks details and previews are listed below.
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01 – Me and My Practice Chanter (Lincoln Hilton, Cop.Con.)

This tune, by Lincoln Hilton of Australia, came to the band very late in our planning, and we felt that it offered an interesting twist for the set list. Seven pipers with aluminum ES Session practice chanters performed this piece in concert.

02 – Donald Cameron Medley

  • Donald Cameron’s Powder Horn (Donald MacLeod arr. Gordon Walker, MCPS)
  • Isle of Jura (Don Bradford, Cop.Con.)
  • Rory MacLeod (Donald MacLeod, MCPS)
  • Air in B Minor (Andrew Douglas, Cop.Con.)
  • Jane Campbell (Michael Grey, ISA Music)
  • The Fiddler (Donald MacLeod, MCPS)
  • Short Coated Mary
  • Air in B Minor (Andrew Douglas & Danielle Millar, Cop.Con.)
  • Jenny Dang the Weaver

This was our 2011 medley. The opening is a hornpipe setting of Donald MacLeod’s jig Donald Cameron’s Powder Horn. The centerpiece is Air in B Minor, by Andrew Douglas. It appears both as an air and again as a reel near the end of the medley.

03 – Cape Breton Set

  • Jean Campbell (A.C. Beaton, Cop.Con.)
  • Devil Among the Tailors
  • Devil in the Kitchen
  • Elizabeth’s Big Coat
  • Brenda Stubbert’s (Jerry Holland, Fiddlesticks Music)
  • Jack Daniel’s Reel (John Morris Rankin, Cop.Con.)
  • High Road to Linton
  • Kelsae Brig (Ian Hardie, Grian Music)
  • Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Welcome to Shetland (Willie Hunter, MCPS)

This set begins with Andrew Bonar on pipes and Alastair Lee on keyboard, the tempo builds through Devil in the Kitchen to a series of small reels that are our nod to the rich musical traditions of Cape Breton.

04 – The Sleeping Tune

  • The Sleeping Tune (Gordon Duncan, Grian Music)
  • Cabar Feidh (arr. D. Johnstone, SFUPB)
  • Thunderhead (Grey Larsen, Sleepy Creek Music BMI)
  • 400% (Lincoln Hilton, Cop.Con.)

Gordon Duncan’s inspired piece is aptly titled. The music is so beautifully haunting and sleepy in feel. We start with a quartet of pipers and build to the whole pipe section and other instruments. This tune deserves the full treatment. We then weave our way through jigs in a mini-medley format.

05 – New York Wrap

  • New York Wrap (Robert Mathieson, ISA Music)
  • Doctor MacInnes’s Fancy (Donald MacLeod, MCPS)
  • New York Wrap (Robert Mathieson, ISA Music)
  • The Clumsy Lover (Neil Dickie, SoCan)
  • New York Wrap (Robert Mathieson, ISA Music)
  • Mason’s Apron

We wanted something special to bring to our New York crowd. The project was given to Rob Mathieson who developed the main theme, entitled New York Wrap. This was intertwined through several well-known SFU hornpipes. In the middle, there is a walk-on solo by our good friend, P/M Stuart Liddell, which was inspired by his famous solo at our 1998 Carnegie Hall concert.

06 – Last Train

  • Last Train to Malaga (Robert Worrall, ISA Music)
  • Mr. Jack (Roy Hamilton, Cop.Con.)
  • Blackie MacLeod (Robert MacNeil, Cop.Con.)

This group of hornpipes is book-ended by tunes from Canadian composers. It opens with Last Train to Malaga by Robert Worrall and finishes with the SFU favorite Blackie MacLeod by Rob MacNeil.

07 – His Father’s Lament

  • His Father’s Lament for Donald MacKenzie (John Ban MacKenzie)

This piobaireachd is believed to have been composed in 1863 by the leading Victorian-era piper, John Ban MacKenzie, after the death of his son, Donald, himself a champion piper. John never committed it to paper, and for many years it survived only by the oral tradition of canntaireachd. Jack Lee conducts the SFU pipe corps with our own vocal rendition of this beautiful tune followed by several variations played on pipes.

08 – Tag Team Duet

  • Maraîchines (arr. Tangi Sicard)
  • Lochaber Dance (Fred Morrison, Fred Morrison)
  • Calum Cambell of Benbecula (Fred Morrison, Fred Morrison)
  • Steve Byrne’s Jig (Fred Morrison, Fred Morrison)
  • The Silver Spear
  • Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie (Phil Cunningham, Bracken Music)

Will Nichols opens with Maraîchines, a traditional Breton tune that he learned while a guest with Xavier Boderiou and Bagad Cap Caval in 2011.
Will notes that the next tune, Lochaber Dance by Fred Morrison, is fun because it can be played differently every time. Gordon Conn continues with two more Fred Morrison tunes before being joined by Will for the classic reel The Silver Spear. The duet finishes with Phil Cunningham’s Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie and is based
on a version played by Gordon Duncan in 2001 for BBC Scotland Pipeline radio program.

09 – Thunderstruck

  • Thunderstruck (Angus & Malcolm Young, J. Albert & Son)
  • Angus Thing (Gordon Duncan, Grian Music)

Stuart Liddell starts this set off with Thunderstruck. First performed by Australian rockers AC/DC, Gordon Duncan brought it to the pipes. It is interesting to note that Gordon Conn, Will Nichols and Stuart had only rehearsed via online video chat until the day of the concert.

10 – Robert’s Swing

  • SFU Ceilidh in New York (Robert Mathieson, ISA Music)
  • Whispering Snares (Robert Mathieson,ISA Music)

One can guess whether the name refers to the swing of two polkas composed by Rob Mathieson or by Rab’s distinctive walk into the circle with the famous Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band. In concert, we made room for our D/M Jason Paguio to dazzle the audience.

11 – Nelson Mandela

  • Nelson Mandela’s Welcome to the City of Glasgow (Blair Douglas, Cop.Con.)
  • The Bride’s Jig
  • Ewe wi’the Crookit Horn

Nelson Mandela’s Welcome to Glasgow by Blair Douglas is a very lively and celebratory tune, and includes the use of varied percussion effects, including finger snaps and hand claps. The band really enjoyed developing this set—so much so that Rob Mathieson was inspired to compose The Fingersnap to begin and finish the set.

12 – Take me to Rio (Mark Saul, MCPS)

Keeping the mood lighthearted, piper Myles Stewart starts this set and the band continues with Mark Saul’s Take me to Rio.

13 – Reelin Through the Years

  • Alick Cameron, Champion Piper (George S. McLennan)
  • Lexy MacAskill (Dr. John MacAskill, Cop.Con.)
  • Kalabakan (Angus MacDonald, ISA Music)
  • Lt. Col. D.J.S. Murray (Lt. J. Allan, Paterson’s Publ.)
  • Traditional
  • Thompson’s Dirk
  • Back of the Moon (A.G. Kenneth, The College of Piping)

At Carnegie Hall we performed a monster set of jigs, and this time we thought it would be fun to perform a big set of reels taken from the band’s repertoire over the past 30 years.

14 – 400% (Lincoln Hilton, Cop.Con.)

This fantastic piece came to the band from Lincoln Hilton of Australia. We were attracted to it immediately, and enjoyed working with Lincoln on its development.

15 – Haunting

  • The Haunting (Neil Dickie, SoCan)
  • Drops of Brandy 6/8
  • Drops of Brandy 9/8
  • Lewis Jig
  • Patrick’s Annabel (arr. Gordon Duncan)
  • Give Us a Drink of Water (Terry Tully, Cop.Con.)
  • Paddy Be Easy
  • The Foxhunter

Neil Dickie’s brilliant air has been in our playlist since 1982 and the epic start allows us to make a complete musical statement as we wend our way through a big set of 9/8 jigs. The jigs include Drops of Brandy and The Foxhunter, two more classic tunes from 30 years of band history.


All tunes are traditional and arranged by Simon Fraser University Pipe Band except where noted. All drum scores composed by J. Reid Maxwell.