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Saskatoon Caledonian Pipe Band

 lh 4144 web

Caledonian Pipe Band of Saskatoon - 1913

Posing in full Scottish regalia on steps of a brick building. Date on back of Postcard. Card is "from Bob Arnet's collection."

Photo credit: LH-4144 by Free and Rea
Saskatoon Public Library - Local History

 lh 5190 web

Pipe Major J.S Mitchell, Jimmy Briggs, Bill Murdoch, Art Nairn, Andy Mackintosh, H. Foster, Dave Stewart, Jim Dearie, T. Smith, Bill White, Jim McDonald, Basil Millar, Walter Berry, J. Robb, ---, J. Birch, Reg Carry. 

Photo credit: LH-5190 by Free and Rea
Saskatoon Public Library - Local History

Wa Wa Shrine Pipes & Drums

Anyone want to contribute a history?

 wawashrine 1986

The Pipes & Drums of the Wa Wa Shrine - Los Angeles, 1986
Photo: Duncan Fisher

The Wa Wa Shrine pipe band was formed as one of the units of the local Shrine, and they started with some pipers and drummers who had been part of bands in Regina for a long time. Pipe Major Duncan Fisher had been a member of the 12th Signals and the 10th Field Regiment, and he built the Shrine Pipe Band into the best unit of its kind in North America.

The band has performed at functions throughout Saskatchewan: parades, festivals, and many community events. For many years the band was instrumental in organizing the Regina Highland Games, and they helped build the foundation for the event that continues today. Many of the band members have taught piping and drumming for years, and also helped with the organization of pipe bands and other events.

Back Row [L-R]: Doug Lee, Owen Smail, Bill Kelly, Bob Wilem, Al Stork
Second row [L-R]: Dunc Fisher, Doug Keal, Ray Hukee, Dave Houston, Howard Chamberlain, Doug Keem, Don Felstrom, Bob Watson, George Crawford, Cy Guthro, Bruce Cook, Wes Turner, Jack Jameson.
Third row kneeling [L-R]: Don Flegg, Jim Nicholls,Ken McMillan, Roy McQuarrie, Ray Brown, Jack Gardner.
Front row [L-R]: Harry Mandryk, Gord Shearer, Al Wagner, RonStankov, Geo. Hurn

 wawa park

The Pipes & Drums of the Wa Wa Shrine
Here the band poses in front of the waterfall gardens at Regina's Kiwanis Park.

Photo: Duncan Fisher


Saskatchewan Summer School


History of the SPBA Summer School

In the mid-1960s a well-known piper from Moose Jaw started a small school of piping and drumming in Moose Jaw. Jim McWilliams had trained as a piper in the Canadian army, and had an appreciation for the benefits of piping schools, and with the help of Hugh Scott of Moose Jaw, set about starting a small summer program.

At about the same time, the Government of Saskatchewan had decided to turn the old Tuberculosis Sanatorium—Fort San— in the Qu’Appelle Valley into a summer school of the arts. In 1967, The Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts had its first piping and drumming session at the new facility, and it was a great hit.

In the years that followed, a lot of work was done to ensure that local students would receive a rounded education in piping and drumming. The school set up a series of certificate exams based on the requirements of the famous Army School of Piping in Edinburgh, and these certificate levels stood as the basis of instruction for many years at the school.

For the school’s second year, Pipe Major Donald MacLeod was hired. This was the beginning of a long-term relationship with one of the century’s greatest all-round pipers. Donald MacLeod was a legend in his own time. He was a decorated veteran of the war, a multiple winner of every prize offered, a gifted composer of both light music and piobaireachd, and the owner of Grainger and Campbell, one of Scotland’s premier bagpipe makers at the time. It also turned out that he was an inspiring teacher, a recitalist without equal, and a charming, gentle man who related well to everyone he met. Donald MacLeod taught at the school from 1968 to about 1980, and he died suddenly in 1982.           
For many years, the school’s primary instructor was ex-Shotts lead drummer and Canadian Forces drumming instructor, MWO John Kerr. John Kerr influenced many leading drummers, and he was instrumental in converting prairie drummers to written scores, from the old-fashioned method of “try to play what I do." John was extremely forceful in his views that drummers should be “musicians first,” and his direction at the school helped to formulate many of our best musicians on drums.

In the mid-1980s, the Government of Saskatchewan responded to budget pressures by cutting a number of programs and services in the province, including arts subsidies and maintenance of the Fort San facility. The arts community scattered to find other venues for the school, and for a couple of years the Piping and Drumming School was held in Saskatoon. The school operated in Saskatoon for a couple of years with mostly local instructors, and then stopped operations for about three years.

In 1994, the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association decided to re-establish a summer school program, and had several successful sessions in its current location in Regina. Following 2002, the instructional program was completely redesigned to meet the needs of SPBA members and bands, and also to incorporate more fully modern instructional methods and Institute of Piping curriculum.

fort san 67 

Fort San, August 17, 1967
L-R: Hugh Scott (MJ), school administrator;
Andy McAnsh, Bill MacLeod, Jim McWilliams, Angus Spence

L-R: Andy McAnsh, Jim McWilliams, John MacLellan, Angus Spence
In 1967, the school was held at the Fort San facility for the first time. 
Capt. John A. MacLellan was a visitor to the camp for a couple of days. 
In those days, the school was 14 days long, and the Capt. was there long enough to play a recital, 
teach some tunes, and have a visit with instructors.
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The Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, 1968
Piping Instructors: James L. McWilliams (back row, left); Angus Spence (back row, far right); 
P/M Wm. MacLeod (middle row, 2nd from right); P/M Donald MacLeod (front row, far right).
Drumming Instructors: Geordie Pryde (middle row, far left); Irene Scott (front row, far left).
School Administrator: Hugh Scott (middle row, far left)Click for larger view.

1979 InstructorsBack Row, L-R: Tom McGurk, Tommy Thompson, Don Mitchell, Jimmy MacGregor, Rob Rife, Barry Robinson 
Front, L-R: John Kerr, John Kellet, Blair Brown, Dave Neil, Willie MacLeod, Hugh Sutherland 
[Photo: Blair Brown]

 1970 school

The 1970 Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts
[photo: Lorne Adams]

Instructors include the famous Pipe Major Donald MacLeod, MBE 
and Geordie Pryde, a former member of the Edinburgh Police and the L/D of the well-known Powell River Pipe Band.

 1971 school

The 1971 Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts
[photo and program: Lorne Adams]

There are some pretty well-known faces from the piping world in this photo. 
See if you can find Jack Lee, Jamie Troy, Sr. and John Fisher.

Here is the program from the final concert: page 1 | page 2 | page 3
 instructors 1972
 Pipe and Drum Instructors - Fort San, SK 1972
(L-R) P/M Donald MacLeod, MBE; Jeff McMurdo, Barry McMurdo, Fred MacLeod, Doug Lutz, Barry Robinson, 
Jimmy Catherwood, Randy McNichol, Rod Sim, Andy McAnsh, Bill MacLeod, Jim McWilliams, Irene Scott.
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The Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, 1974
In this photo are P/M Donald MacLeod, MBE and the well-known Shotts drummer Bert Barr. Also here are John Fisher (L/D of City of Victoria/member of Shotts corps, and well-known drummer and instructor; Garth Neel, winner of the Marches at Inverness in the 1970s; Dave Hennigan, member of City of Victoria Pipe Band; Iain MacDonald, member of Babcock-Renfrew PB and SFU Pipe Band, now City of Regina PB; Roland Reid, member of McNish Distillery corps under John Kerr, later won the Worlds with SFU; Jimmy Walker, member and later L/D of Dysart & Dundonald; Graham Neill, P/M of Edmonton Caledonian; Dave McNicholl, originally from Winnipeg, was the first L/D of City of Victoria PB; Barbara (McDougall) MacDonald, member of SFU Pipe Band, now CRPB.


Pipe and Drum Instructors - Fort San, SK 1975
[Photo: Hugh Fraser]
(L-R) P/M Donald MacLeod, MBE; James L. McWilliams, Hugh Fraser, Jr., Ken Ramsay, Barry Robinson, Bruce Lutz,
Sheriff Sandy MacPherson (Glasgow); Andy McAnsh; P/M Alex Cupples, P/M William MacLeod

instructors 1976
Pipe and Drum Instructors - Fort San, SK 1976
[Photo: Hugh Fraser]
(L-R) P-M Donald MacLeod, MBE; P-M William MacLeod; P-M Alex Cupples; Bruce MacDonald, Garth Neel; John Kerr; Ken Ramsay; Andy McAnsh; Jim McWilliams, Tommy Thompson

1978 school
[Photo: Blair Brown]

1978 Instructors
Back Row, L-R: Rob Rife, Garth Neel, Blair Brown, John Kellet 
Middle, L-R: Roger Yule, Hugh Sutherland, Dave Neil, Barry Robinson
Front, L-R: Tommy Thompson, John Kerr, Willie MacLeod, Donald Mitchell 
[Photo: Blair Brown]

1979 School
[Photo: Blair Brown]

 1979 Instructors

Back Row, L-R: Tom McGurk, Tommy Thompson, Don Mitchell, Jimmy MacGregor, Rob Rife, Barry Robinson 
Front, L-R: John Kerr, John Kellet, Blair Brown, Dave Neil, Willie MacLeod, Hugh Sutherland 
[Photo: Blair Brown]


1980 School
[Photo: Blair Brown]


1980 Instructors
[Photo: Blair Brown]

[L-R] Blair Brown, John Kerr, Barry Robinson,?, Don Mitchell, Andrea Eresman, Jim McWilliams, Tommy Thompson, Mary Ann Houston, Tim Coffey, P-M Jimmy MacGregor, P-M Willie MacLeod


1981 School
[Photo: Blair Brown]


1981 Instructors

L-R: Blair Brown, George Reid, Gerry Radford, Tommy Thompson, Don Mitchell, Andrea Eresman, Jim McWilliams,
Donald MacLeod, Willie MacLeod, Barry Robinson, Barry McMurdo, Roland Reid
[Photo: Blair Brown]


Weyburn Legion Pipe Band

 WeyburnPipeBand1951 lg
 Weyburn Legion Pipe Band, 1951

Alexandrina Miller of Penticton, BC writes:
Jock Chalmer's original pipe band in Weyburn. He taught many more
players for years. John Abel [BC] is the only one of this group still alive.
William MacDonald is my brother. He was in Cranbrook and Victoria, BC 
pipe bands until his death. 

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