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Bag pipers and drummer march into town

POSTED February 24, 2010 12:13 a.m.
Three first-rate musicians in the world of bag piping and drums are headed to Turlock for a special clinic and concert.
The First Annual Night of Champions Concert and Clinic, sponsored by the Turlock Police and Fire Pipe Band, is set for 7 p.m. March 6, at the Turlock Community Theater at 1574 E. Canal Dr. Featured performers are drummer John Fisher and bag pipers, John Cairns and Jake Watson. All three men hail from Canada and have won numerous awards between them.
Fisher is a former North American Drumming Champion and was a member of the World Champion Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band drum corps. He’s performed for several years as a session drummer in Los Angeles and Canada and was recently the lead drummer of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band.
Cairns has the distinction of becoming only the 11th person in the history of piping to win both Highland Society of London Gold Medals for solo piping in the same year. More recently, he won the Bratach Gorm in 2004 and holds a Senior Teacher’s Certificate from the Institute of Piping. In 2000, his composition “The Lament for the Unknown Soldier” was performed during the dedication of Canada’s National War Memorial.
Watson joined his first competition band at the age of 12 and went on to win all major solo events through the amateur ranks. At age 19, he became pipe major of the City of Waterloo Police Pipe band. He has been a member and leader of bands that have won the world and North American championships.
Prior to the night’s performance, the three men will lead a workshop for all those interested in learning to play the bagpipes and drums. The clinic is meant for both novices and seasoned musicians.
“This is really a chance of a life time to have these three here at the same time to teach and perform,” Turlock Fire Chief Mark Langley said.
Tickets for the concert alone are $30 and the cost of the workshop by itself is $40. The workshop and concert combo is $55. Tickets are available through the band’s Web site at www.tpfpb.org or at the door on the day of the event.
The workshop is from noon to 4 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.
A raffle also will be held with piping and drum items as prizes.
Al the proceeds of the show will go to the Turlock Police and Fire Pipe Band, which is in need of uniforms and drums for their growing ranks.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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