78th Fraser Highlanders Calgary Garrison


Over the years, literally hundreds of young people have passed through this wonderful youth training program. The life skills and personal growth they mastered as a result of their time in the Frasers, have served them well.

Please take a moment to read a few of these testimonials and judge for yourself.

ANDREW CARNIE, Piper: B.A. (Hons), Ph.D  (1983 - 1986)

My teenage years were defined by my time in the 78th Fraser Highlanders.  Not only did I learn about Canadian history, piping, highland dancing, and musketry, I developed a set of teamwork and leadership skills that still serve me today in my own leadership roles.

Some of my closest friends to this day were my Fraser bandmates. It was a unique experience that shaped who I am today.

Professor of Linguistics
Emeritus Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate College
University of Arizona.


P/M KYLE B. SCOTT, B.A., LL.D, M.B.A.  (1979 - Present)

I joined the Frasers at the “high end” of the age range – 15 years old.  I had left a Pipe Band over a year before and I missed playing, but the Frasers were, even then, much more than “just another Pipe Band” – leaps and bounds ahead of my prior Band in terms of musical training, not to mention drill and leadership.  As an older member with prior experience, I quickly rose through the ranks, but you have to earn things in the Frasers – it took two years to make Pipe Major, and that was after a summer employment with true “Fraser Basic Training” at the Headquarters in Montreal. 

It helped build in me a sense of independence and confidence much sooner than most teenagers.  “Graduate School” for Leadership Training was to be one of the Trainers of the younger recruits – invaluable experience, as you learn more having to teach a subject than any other method.  After I “aged out” I remained active with the Garrison, rising to Chief Instructor, Band Officer (2 rotations) and ultimately now as Officer Commanding.  I encouraged my own children and the children of friends to become members, and many also thrived under the experience.   

We all were taught the benefits of hard work, diligence and perseverance, which has served me well in my studies and work, graduating with joint Law and Business Degrees before going to work as a corporate/commercial lawyer.  Most importantly, many of the friendships I made as a teenager serving with my fellow Frasers turned into “lifelong” ones and these bonds remain strong to this day.

Craft Law Group
Calgary, AB


P/M IAN SMITH (1979 - 1986)

I am thrilled to be part of this incredible experience as a participant in the Calgary 78th Fraser Highlanders Outpost and some memorable summers spent in Montreal through their employment exchange program.

Being a part of the Calgary 78th Fraser Highlanders Outpost for so many years was nothing short of extraordinary. The sense of camaraderie among the members, the rich cultural heritage, and the dedication to preserving Scottish military traditions were truly inspiring. It was an honor to learn from and contribute to this remarkable community. Moreover, the opportunity to spend some of my summers in Montreal through their employment exchange program added an extra layer of enrichment to my journey.

It allowed me to immerse myself in the vibrant culture of Montreal, forge lasting friendships, and gain valuable personal and professional experiences. I am immensely grateful for these experiences, and they have left an indelible mark on my life.

IT Manager
Oil & Gas Company


LT. DAVID McFADZEAN, Piper: B.Sc., M.SC. (1979-1983) 

I joined the Old 78th in 1979 as an original member of the Fort Calgary garrison. I rose through the ranks to become Powder Sergeant, responsible for musket drill, before graduating from the band in 1983. Subsequently, I earned a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. Around the same time, I joined the Frasers Historical Society with several friends from the original band and was commissioned as a Lieutenant.

Since 1987, I've built a successful career in software engineering, contributing to multiple technology startups. A standout moment was leading a team that developed a robotic assistant for neurosurgeons. Over the past three decades, I've mentored numerous engineers, many of whom have advanced to roles as technical leads, principal engineers, and executives.

Looking back, what stands out about my time with the 78th is the unique education it provided—far beyond musical skills. We were taught history, discipline, etiquette, responsibility, and understanding the chain of command and the art of being young gentlemen. These lessons have been instrumental in my success, and even after 40 years, I proudly identify as a Fraser.

Engineer, Developer & Entrepreneur
Toronto, Ontario


STUART HAMBY, Piper - (1983-1987)

In the fall of 1983, I had just moved from a small town in southern New Jersey to Calgary, Alberta. I barely had but a couple of acquaintances in the neighborhood and a few friends at school. I had hobbies and interests (which included, of course, playing the Great Highland Bagpipe), but no direction and no social group to belong to.

When I found the Fraser Highlanders, I found my tribe: I more or less walked into a group of kids I didn’t know, holding my chanter and ended up with some of the longest-lasting friendships I’ve had in my life. For the next 2 to 3 years, I was part of the band, this was my closest-knit group of friends, centered around this funny thing we were all extraordinarily passionate about.

Some of the kids in my orbit thought playing the bagpipe was weird – and probably uncool. But I knew better. I knew that this uncommon group of quirky, rambunctious, dedicated youngsters (and our adult instructors and leaders) were right: that piping, and drumming, and highland dancing, and haggis, and kilts, and the caber toss—all things Scottish—were damn cool, and I was always proud to be part of it. There was nothing I loved better than competing in highland games on a hot summer day.

The time I spent as a Fraser Highlander was a formative period in my life. We were kids and adolescents: we had fun, we studied, we got into fights, and we grew into ourselves. Our near-constant performances, frequent band and individual competitions, and the relentless work we put in to better our skills gave me a degree of self-confidence that nothing else in my life at that time compared to. It’s a beautiful thing to see youthful passion for, and dedication to, a skill whose sole purpose in life is to reflect a heritage and culture that hold intense depth and meaning – but only for those who seek it.

Technical Writer and Fine Artist
Kansas City, Missouri


DR. DAVID BEATON, BSc Hons (Gla), MBCO, MCOptom, Piper - (1979-1985)
I was involved during the formative years with the Calgary Outpost of the Fraser Highlanders.
I look back on those years even now with fondness. The organization took in a group of young, shy lads and turned them into men. We were taught not only to play instruments, but also vital skills that I still call upon even now. 
We learned public speaking skills, we learned discipline, etiquette, and history. It was all made so interesting for us and encouraged trust and dependency on each other and confidence in ourselves. 
The Frasers offered a great life of travel, we were taken all over western Canada and down into the States. 
It gave us faith in ourselves and gave us summer jobs far more interesting than our friends working in supermarkets or shops. 
I have since gone on to become an optometrist with two successful practices under my belt, I still have a love of history and photography, interests that were sown during my time in the band. 
Joining the Frasers will certainly coax out the person you were meant to be and introduce you to skills and friends that will last a lifetime. 

Optometrist & Businessman
Dundee, Scotland



I first became aware of the Frasers when I was nine years old after seeing their black powder demonstration at the Calgary Highland Games.

As someone who had always been interested in military history, particularly the 18th century, I was enthralled by the distinctive scarlet uniforms and the well-drilled use of the muskets. I turned to my dad and said, “I want to do that!”  The following year, I was a recruit in the youth squad.  

Music was far from my primary interest at the time. What I really wanted to do was don the uniform and fire muskets; however, it was not long before I grew to love my chosen instrument: the bagpipes.

The chief instructor of the band at the time challenged me to compete in beginner chanter solo competitions at the highland games in Calgary, Canmore, and Red Deer. Later, when I started on the pipes, I kept on competing and honing my musical skills. I now compete at the grade II level, guided by the same instructor that I began working with over a decade ago. 

The Frasers provided me with the scaffolding that allowed me to explore my interests (Canadian history and military drill) and develop new ones, such as highland dancing and bagpiping. I have travelled with the youth squad three times: twice to eastern Canada (a highlight being the Plains of Abraham in Quebec where the original 78thFraser Highlanders made their mark on Canadian history) and once to Scotland to see the birthplace of the regiment.

A major highlight of the trip to Scotland was the military-style mess dinner we shared with the current Lord Lovat, Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat, and Colonel-in-Chief of the reraised 78th Fraser Highlanders. Always surrounded by interested and interesting individuals, my involvement in these trips and various other events around Calgary provided me with a strong sense of community.

Here I made true friends and excellent professional connections.  

Chief Instructor
Fort Calgary Garrison
The  Old 78th Fraser Highlanders


SANDY McNABB, Piper, B.Sc. P.Eng.

The Frasers were the first band experience for me in a life-long playing career that has lasted over 44 years (and counting!). 
If you are looking for excellence in highland music instruction, and a way to kick off a love of everything pipes and drums, then I can fully recommend this leadership and instruction group.  After my time with the Frasers I went on to play at higher and higher levels, culminating in three trips to Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships.  Only a small handful of Canadian bands in piping history have ever cracked the top ten, and we went on to place 10th and 7th in consecutive years.  The foundation for all my musical success started with the Frasers.
However, my experiences ran much deeper than simply learning to play an instrument.  We were taught self reliance; responsibility; history; dress and deportment; discipline; trust; confidence.  All through a lens of friendship and camaraderie that has lasted through to today.  I am lucky to still count those on this testimonial page as friends and colleagues, some of whom continued their playing journey with me in other bands.  We are much overdue for another gathering!

Professional Engineer, Operations Manager
Oil & Gas Company
Calgary AB Canada


ANDY MOORE, Piper (1979 - 1986)


The Frasers have meant so much to me over the years and I have so many life-long friends that I met because of the Frasers. I also attribute so much of my leadership capacity (that I applied to my senior 
manager job level in the federal government
and in volunteering in my community) to what I learned through the Fraser Highlanders....the best training grounds EVER!!!

(NOTE: Andy took is his training in Montreal and was an early member of the Headquarters Youth Squad at the Old Fort on Ille Ste Helene. Simultainously he played withthe Black Watch (RHC) PIpe Band for 12 years.  In 1979, the Calgary Frasers invited the Montreal Youth Squad to the Calgary Stampede which precipitated the youth program being formed there.  Andy played with the RCAF Pipes & Drums in Ottawa before moving west.  Today he resides in the interior of BC and plays with the Kamloops & District Pipe band)

Senior Manager
Government of Canada