It’s been a busy few months for the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, with new folks, new equipment and plenty of piping and drumming.
Earlier this spring, the band celebrated the acquisition of a new band mace, following a successful “Raise the Mace” fundraising campaign last year. Our new mace, carried by the Drum Major at all parades and events, holds all the names of fallen members of the RCMP and North West Mounted Police. It’s an important symbol of the regiment, honouring those who have fallen in the line of duty. The mace-presentation ceremony was attended not only by Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, Commanding Officer, E Division and Sergeant Major Dave Hall, but also the entire E. Division headquarters, who turned out on a beautiful spring afternoon to hear the band and witness the turn-over of the mace to Drum Major Mike Guillimin. You will see the mace any time the band is performing or marching in a parade.
While our colleagues in the East are thinking about a possible end to a long and snowy winter, our thoughts on the west coast are turning to daffodils, cherry blossoms and spring concerts. And with International Tartan Day landing smack in the middle of this early spring, the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band is again planning to celebrate.
On April 25, at the Riverside Palace Banquet Hall in Richmond, the band will hold its 2nd annual Tartan Day ceilidh. For the past few months the band has been preparing a repertoire of music that will form the major part of the evenings entertainment. Drum Major Mike Guillemin, Pipe Major Hugh Peden and our new Drum Sgt. Gregor
Merry will lead the band through their paces. The professional dance troupe Shot of Scotch (Vancouver) Highland Dancers will also participate in the ceilidh with a number of performances. There will be a silent auction, whisky tasting and of course a full meal followed by dancing.
The ceilidh is the major fundraiser for the pipe band, and is a great evening of entertainment, camaraderie and Celtic spirit. Formal highland or tartan evening wear is requested. But if you don’t have a kilt, don’t worry. Bring a clan tartan scarf, tie or sash and
enjoy a great spring evening in the Lower Mainland while celebrating all that is great about our Scottish (and tartan) connections.
Tickets are $60 and can be obtained by emailing Brent Jette, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve all seen it; a pipe band marching towards you, the skirl of the pipes and drums echoing off the hills or buildings, and leading the band; the drum major carrying the regimental mace and the decorations of the regiment across his or her shoulder.
Drum majors have been a part of the British Army for almost 400 years. It began with a fife and drum corps, under the direction of a drum major, providing signals to various field units during battle. When not directing music during times of war, the DM would often be responsible for delivering justice among the ranks, administering whatever flogging needed to be done. Oh, and he delivered the mail.
By the 18th century, as Highland piping became more prominent in the British Army, drum majors adapted to leading pipe bands as they marched or played in a performance. Read more…
The sun shone again, for the 16th time in the 17 year history of the BC Law Enforcement memorial, commemorating those officers of the RCMP and all other police forces who lost their lives in the line of duty in British Columbia. This is an annual event that draws police members from all over British Columbia and Washington. A similar memorial is held in each province at the end of September, with a national memorial held in Ottawa.
This is also an opportunity for the three police pipe bands in the Lower Mainland to play for the honour guards and troops who march to remember their past colleagues. The RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, under Pipe Major Hugh Peden and Drum Major Rob Smith, led the bands to Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford today, followed by the Delta Police Pipe Band, under PM John Ralston and Drum Major J.P. DaSilva and the Vancouver Police Pipe Band, under PM Cal Davis.
This is normally the time of the year when many (non-competitive) pipers and drummers are packing away their instruments, grabbing their umbrella’s and coolers and heading to the beach for some R&R. After months of practice, the spring and early summer months bring the highland games, parades and performances with the latter part of summer a time to take a break. Not so, for the RCMP E.Division Pipe Band.
This upcoming weekend, the band is making the five hour trek to the interior to participate in the Okanagan Military Tattoo. Now most people who read this blog are likely familiar with a military musical tattoo. So, for the uninitiated … a musical tattoo is a demonstration of military drumming, piping and skills. It’s called a ‘tattoo’ because when the British Army was fighting in Belgium 300 years ago, soldiers were called in from the pubs each night for curfew, or Doe den tap toe, Dutch for ‘Turn off the tap’.
There is of course the granddaddy of tattoo’s, the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo each year in Scotland. Nova Scotia hosts its own Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in July, and this year, the Okanagan Military Tattoo will be added to that list. Hundreds of dancers, musicians, pipers and drummers will participate in the inaugural Okanagan tattoo at Vernon’s Kal Tire Centre. Performances are scheduled for Friday evening, August 1 and Saturday afternoon, August 2. Other pipe bands participating in the tattoo include the Kalamalka Pipe Band and the Aaron Campbell Memoiral Pipe Band. The Royal Canadian Artillery Band has already arrived and has been practising at Silver Star Mountain, one of the major sponsors of the event. For a complete list of other performers, click here. For further information and/or to buy tickets, please click here.
Here is the schedule for the weekend and location:
Friday, August 1, 2014 7 PM. Doors open at 5:30 PM
Saturday, August 2, 2014 Matinee. Doors open 12:30 with show at 2 PM.
Kal Tire Place
3445 43rd Avenue
In the world of pipe bands, there are only a few occasions when both competitive and performance pipe bands play together. The June 14 “Bagpipes by the Beach” in West Vancouver is one of those rare occasions.
In the Lower Mainland of BC, we are fortunate to be a hotbed of both competitive and performance pipe bands, with two top-level, competitive Grade I bands (Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band) and a number of bands in Grade II, III & IV divisions. Along with these competition bands, there are a number of performance bands, including the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, the Vancouver Police, Delta Police pipe bands, J.P. Fell Pipe Band of North Vancouver and the Irish Regiment, to name a few. Read more…
The RCMP E. Division Pipe Band had a very successful, and fun, evening of piping, dancing, scotch tasting and general merriment on Saturday, April 5. The Tartan Day event was hopefully the first of many more to come. The crowd was appreciative, the food was great and of course the music and dancing fantastic. Here are a few photos from the evening, courtesy of Sgt. Ed. MacKenzie.