Bellingham Highland Games - June 2, 2001

Or - Bob's excellent afternoon adventure:
Daughter Alison took her S.A.T. in the morning, so we both arrived just in time for the afternoon band contest. This was a new  experience for both of us - missing the morning (solo) events, and it felt a bit strange.. But,  this was my first 'out of the house' activity  since my most recent back problems and surgery, and as you can imagine ... I was really looking forward to the adventure. 

Not only did the band contests live up to my expectations (both memorable and enjoyable), the afternoon weather was quite 'complete' (?) too. A little bit of everything.. cold, wet, rain, sun, warm, cloudy, breezy.. 

An early afternoon photo (actually two of them spliced together), looking into the field where the pipe band competition will take place.

Hovander Homestead Park is one of the most beautiful imaginable venues for a piping competition. A large flat grass field, surrounded by trees, with the Nooksack River on one side (to the left, behind the trees in this photo) and a small forest on the other side in which every band found shelter - It was a bit crowded, but heck, there were 22 bands!

Immediately behind the photographer (that was me.. I did a little 'walking'), in the photo above, was the scoring, information, and trophy areas, and then another large field behind them.

The piping trophy table: in the photo to the right you can see the smaller 'keeper' trophies on the RH side, and the larger perpetual trophies of the Bellingham games (they are perpetually kept by the games organizers too). Reading the names on the previous winners of these awards gives one a small history of piping excellence in the Pacific Northwest. 

Each year the Bellingham Games play host to an inspiring  number of kids / juvenile pipe bands (7 again(!) this year). Observers must get great warm fuzzy feelings for the future of piping in the Pacific Northwest - IMO.

The first band out for competition this day was the Robert Malcolm Memorial PB Grade 4 'B'. This beginner band does not actually have a drum corps, so they 'borrowed' a few drummers -  from the SFU Grade 1 PB!  They were not really competing, just playing for judges comments, and the experience.

Imagine how great this must be - debut performance on the field, and your drummers include J. Reid Maxwell,  SFUPB Bass Drummer Katherine Tawse, and a few other  SFUPB side drummers! It certainly seemed that everyone had great fun. Notice that a few of the pipers (there were about 20(?) of them)  are not much taller than an extended bass drone...

As the Band competition progressed, we had a chance to experience nearly all the weather the Pacific Northwest has to offer in June:  Cold, wet, breezy, cloudy, and then , as a change of pace... a little rain..

In the photo to the right you can see a portion of the crowd surrounding the band competition.  A few things to point out here:

A) There is great support from the community - This was an impressively large crowd, even considering the weather which was expected to be 'poor'.

2) We (the spectators) were prepared.. when it rained, out came the rain capes, and umbrellas, we had coats for the cold, and we removed layers and layers as the weather improved - all the way down to shirts sleeves as the day progressed.

iii) By the time the Grade 3 contest had started, we were enjoying sunny skies.   And many of us somewhat casually noted the bald eagles that were circling in thermals (rising columns of warm air)  slowly drifting overhead.  Yes indeed, a three Bald Eagles came to watch and listen for a while too.. (Only in the Pacific Northwest I think)

OK - ready for a short quiz? Cotton floating in the air at the Bellingham Games means:
1) the rain has stopped,
2) the cottonwood trees have dried somewhat,
3) there is  a breeze,
4) I am certainly happy that I am not allergic to cottonwood (and I wish that was the case for my daughters)

Answer: 5 - all of the above...

Grade 1 bands?   Once again we had 3 -  From the San Francisco Bay Area, came the 2000 Grade 2 World Champions, now upgraded to Grade 1 - The Prince Charles PB (in the photo to the left); finishing second for the day was the Alberta Caledonia PB; and winning the day in Grade 1 was the Simon Fraser University PB (they're pretty good).

As you would hope and expect, the Grade 1 band contests were a great show; all three bands competed first in the MSR, then they came back for a Medley contest.

I have settled into a wonderful 'rut' at our games... I park myself in the band competition area, and listen.. to every band.. Great fun! To hear the progression; new bands, getting better each time (like the Fraser Valley Youth PB) - great performances by 'old timers'  (like the White Spot Juvenile PB - the winners in G4), and the progression of skill (and this time, the weather) as the different PB Grades compete:.
Grade 4: (rain, and rain capes),
Grade 3: (clearing, just jackets - for spectators and bands), 
Grade 2: (warm and dry, shirt sleeves, and the bald eagles),
Grade1:  (still warm, blowing cotton seed - looks a bit like snow, but much warmer (ha)).

What a day!

Oops.. I got carried away with words... Now, on to the RESULTS:

Many thanks (again) to Rob MacNeil for sending these results to me
(This means, to me, that the results are complete, and correct - I seem to have trouble doing that on my own, and Rob.. well.. he is meticulous!)

Results of the Bellingham Highland Games

Hovander Homestead Park,
Ferndale, WA
June 2, 2001
Mixed weather with coolness, showers, and bright sunshine throughout the day

Solo Adjudicators: James Barrie, Rene Cusson, Graham Davidson, Rob Menzies, Skye Richendrfer, Bruce Topp; John Fisher, Willie McErlean

Band Adjudicators (P,P,D,E):

Grade 4, Grade 2, and Grade 1 MSR: Skye Richendrfer, Rene Cusson, Willie McErlean, Bruce Topp

Grade 3, Grade 1 MSR: James Barrie, Graham Davidson, John Fisher, Rob Menzies


Grade 5: 21
Grade 4: 20
Grade 3: 21
Grade 2: 14
Grade 1: 12
Professional: 8

Side Drumming
Grade 4: 4
Grade 3: 8
Grade 2: 7
Grade 1: 3
Professional: 6

Tenor Drumming
Grade 2: 11
Grade 1: 4

Grade 4: 9
Grade 3: 7
Grade 2: 2
Grade 1: 3


Grade 5 2/4 March
1 Ryan Angeltvedt
2 Marina Lawson
3 Karen Dykes
4 Megan Angeltvedt
5 Angus Martin
Slow Air
1 Jessica Ibach
2 Megan Angeltvedt
3 Scott Needham
4 Kyle DeGraw
5 Mackenzie Warren
6 Marshall Brooks
Grade 4 2/4 March
1 Graeme Vivian
2 Mark Mullaney
3 Laura C. Rose
4 Andy Stevens
5 Emerson Dodge
Strathspey & Reel
1 Sean Van de Voorde
2 Colin Lentz
3 Andy Stevens
4 Cody David Nicoll
5 Sarah Tobey
Grade 3 2/4 March
1 Ben Parsonson
2 Kristen Mossington
3 Colin Lee
4 Patrick Case
5 Nicholas Glover
6 Micah Babinski
Strathspey & Reel
1 Steven Anderson
2 Kristen Mossington
3 Colin Lee
4 Nicholas Glover
5 Will Nichols
Grade 2 March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Elizabeth Dunsire
2 Tamara Cameron
3 Drew Dodge
4 Alexander Gale
Jig & Hornpipe
1 Elizabeth Dunsire
2 Jonathan Farrell
3 Michael McLeod
4 Alexander Gale
Grade 1 March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Rob Bruce
2 Evan Stewart
3 Andrew Lee
4 Neil Macpherson
1 Andrew Lee
2 Iain Bullis
3 Robert Abel
Jig & Hornpipe
1 Andrew Lee
2 Neil Macpherson
3 Evan Stewart
4 Rob Bruce
Professional March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Alan Bevan
2 Andrew Bonar
3 Andrew Smith
1 Andrew Bonar
2 Alan Bevan
3 Jori Chisholm
Jig & Hornpipe
1 Andrew Bonar
2 Andrew Smith
3 Alan Bevan


Grade 4 2/4 March
1 Randy Wood
2 Rayna Watson
3 Christa Renneberg
6/8 March
1 Randy Wood
2 Shawna Keyes
Grade 3 2/4 March
1 Andrew Finley
2 Stephen Farrell
3 Ted McKnight
6/8 March
1 Stephen Farrell
2 Ted McKnight
3 Kate Boyd
Grade 2 March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Alexander Munro
2 Holly Tawse
3 William Gunn
Hornpipe & Jig
1 Alexander Munro
2 Holly Tawse
3 Sean Leroux
Grade 1 March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Grant Maxwell
2 Carly Coulson
Hornpipe & Jig
1 Carly Coulson
2 Grant Maxwell
Professional March, Strathspey & Reel
1 J. Reid Maxwell
2 Tim Boan
3 Glen Gurney
Hornpipe & Jig
1 J. Reid Maxwell
2 Peter Hendrickson
3 Tim Boan
Tenor Grade 2 2/4 March
1 Katie Macpherson
2 Benjamin Finley
3 Deborah Mossington
4 Katie McKnight
Tenor Grade 1 March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Annie Head
2 Andrew Bullis
3 Mary Bruce


Grade 4
1 White Spot
2 Northwest MacGregor
3 Castle Cary Gr4

Best Drum Corps: Northwest MacGregor

Grade 3
1 Robert Malcolm Memorial Gr3
2 Chilliwack & District
3 Washington Scottish

Best Drum Corps: Robert Malcolm Memorial Gr3

Grade 2
1 Robert Malcolm Memorial Gr2
2 Maple Ridge

Best Drum Corps: Robert Malcolm Memorial Gr2

Grade 1
March, Strathspey & Reel
1 Simon Fraser University
2 Alberta Caledonia
3 MacTarnahan Prince Charles

Best Drum Corps: Simon Fraser University

1 Simon Fraser University
2 Alberta Caledonia
3 MacTarnahan Prince Charles

Best Drum Corps: Simon Fraser University

1 Simon Fraser University
2 Alberta Caledonia
3 MacTarnahan Prince Charles

Best Drum Corps: Simon Fraser University

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  After writing all these words, I'm curious... Visits since  June 3, 2001