RCMP Pipe Band History series – 2013

I hope you are finding the The Band History program writeups as entertaining as I am. Every year, it seems, some new and interesting event pops into the band’s schedule, along with some of the ones that had become regular. Life stayed hectic for the members. The 2013 write up contains so much interesting material, it has to be in two separate documents.

Piping Today magazine featured an article about the RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers in November 2013 and it was a very nice overview of the band’s history and program. There is mention of it in the main writeup, but a separate document provides a more readable copy here.

Graeme has also included interesting anecdotes about band members that give some insight into their motivation and contribution. In the 2013 write up, he has included an article on our piper/bugler; a man whose passion has re-started the tradition of bugle calls in the RCMP. There is also a story about the Tartan Day parade in New York City in a driving snowstorm. The cover photo for this post is from that parade.

Find those stories, and more, here.

RCMP Band History series for 2012

This issue of the Band History program is for the year 2012. It would be repetitive to say it was a big year, because by 2012, busy years had become the norm. In 2012, the band participated in 35 events and provided players for an additional 96 solo events. Of note on the list was our participation in the Queen’s Jubilee Concert performed at Centrepointe Theatre, a performance as featured band at the Military Music Festival in Quebec City and continuation of the annual traditions of the spring concert at the Perley-Rideau and at Dominion Chalmers. The band also got to “bagpipe train” another horse!

The cover photo above is of the cast of the Dominion Chalmers concert for 2012.

Have a read of the whole fascinating story of 2012 here

RCMP Pipe Band History series – 2011

The RCMP Pipe Band continued with traditions begun in previous years and added some new events. They presented another successful spring concert at Dominion Chalmers and sent a large contingent to Halifax for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.

They also played for 3 RCMP Change of Command Ceremonies, serenated the veterans at the Perley Rideau with a repeat concert in the spring, played as the duty band at the New Hampshire Highland Games (a.k.a. Loon Mountain) and participated in the Fort Henry tattoo. In total, the band performed for 36 events. The cover photo is from the show at Loon Mountain.

While providing solo pipes for various functions had been ongoing, in 2011, the band set a new record with 91 solo piper events. The red serge was obviously in demand.

Of course, there are other anecdotes and events highlighted in the 2011 history. Read the whole story here.

RCMP Pipe Band History Series – 2010

After the extremely busy year the band had in 2009, the year 2010 was a bit quieter and gave members time to decompress a bit. Of course “quieter” is a relative term, since they still did 38 events.

One of the sad duties of the band, but a very important one, is piping for funerals of police officers killed on duty. In that respect, 2010 was a particularly bad year with two funerals.

On a happier note, one event from 2010 which has been ongoing since, is a spring concert for the veterans at the Perley-Rideau health centre. This show is usually the first concert of the year, so gives the band members a chance to test out the new tunes and dances against a live audience.

The band also participated in four Tattoos, two of which were in the U.S. and three of which were over a period of less than one month.

Check out the full story, complete with many great photos, here

RCMP Pipe Band history series – 2009

In 2009, the RCMP Pipe Band had a banner year. The band played at 40 events and among them, 5 different Military Tattoos. That is a remarkable list of achievements, but is even more impressive when you add in the 2nd presentation of a variety show at the Dominion Chalmers, which they then took on the road to Pembroke for a presentation there.

One of the tattoos mentioned above was the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo. The RCMP were presenting a horse to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, so the band was invited to play at the tattoo where the presentation would take place. Twelve lucky musicians from across Canada formed the composite band for this event. As a side note, the RCMP had to ensure Police Service Horse George was not going to be surprised and react badly to the Pipes and Drums, so band members visited him at the Ottawa stable to acclimatize him. Apparently, he liked the pipes, but took a bit of time to get used to the “snap” of the snare drums and the whirling of the sticks. In the end, he proved to be a fan!

The cover photo above shows George posing with band members.

To read the full story of this exciting year, access the document here.

RCMP Pipe Band History series – 2008

In its eighth year, the band spread its wings even further and got involved in more varied events. One of the memorable highlights is their participation in a special event in Las Vegas, at the Planet Hollywood Resort Casino in Las Vegas, hosted by TV icon Regis Philbin. The story of that adventure is included in this year’s edition and is definitely worth a read. The cover photo is the band on stage in Las Vegas for that special event,

Other events in 2008 included a fundraising concert to a sell out crowd at the majestic Dominion Chalmers United Church in downtown Ottawa. This concert resulted in the production of a great CD. Trips to Regina, Kingston, Charlottetown and Pictou rounded out the very busy year. There were 38 band events in total and the dancers were also performing in eight of those. You might notice that a few of the events were labeled as Composite band participation. When there is a major event which would benefit from a larger presence, pipers and drummers are recruited from other RCMP Pipe Bands across the country. It makes for a bigger sound and greater presence, but does lead to other challenges.

Read the whole interesting story of 2008’s adventures here.

RCMP Pipe Band History series – 2007

The band history series continues with this offering from the Pipe Major covering the events of the year 2007.

In 2007, the band moved into its new practice area at the then-RCMP National Headquarters in Vanier. The bigger space worked out well with the increase in numbers of band members and to allow joint rehearsals with the new dance corps.

There were many significant events, including the RCMP being granted Freedom of the City by the city of Regina in May that year. They also performed at the Saskatchewan International Tattoo, the Gold Cup Parade in Charlottetown, the Festival of Tartans in New Glasgow NS and the 125th Anniversary Policing Tattoo in North Bay. The highlight photo for this post is from the tattoo in Regina. There were 38 events in total for the band, and over 50 events where solo pipers from the band performed. The story of the performance at the Vimy memorial is definitely worth a read.

To get the whole story and see the fantastic photos from that year, check out the document here.

RCMP Pipe Band History series – 2006

The Band History series of posts continues with the year 2006. This was a significant year for the band. First, there was a fairly major change of players as many of the founding members went back to the Ottawa Police Service band. Fortunately, there were many new players who stepped up and joined the RCMP band.

In previous years, the Loch Murray Dance school had provided the dance contingent for the band to give events a bit of extra colour. In 2006, work started to build a dance corps integrated with the band to give senior dancers from all schools the opportunity to join.

The band participated in only 27 events that year, a few less than previous years. Of significance, though, was the first band international trips to the Greater Cleveland Police Officers Memorial Weekend and to Rochester, New York for their International Marine Tattoo. The feature photo above shows the band participants at the Rochester Tattoo along with some members of the Gurkha Pipe Band.

Read about these events and more in the full document here

Band History Series – 2005

The RCMP Pipe Band History series with this recap of 2005’s events and activities for the band and dancers.

The year was unfortunately marked by the RCMP tragedy at Mayerthorpe. Although most of the band members are not RCMP officers, we do have an attachment to the organization, so share the sorrow when the RCMP family is stricken. The band also strongly felt the unexpected passing of the band’s first Pipe Major, Ottawa Police Superintendent Pat Hayes.

But 2005 also saw the band and dancers do their first concert series; three performances at the Centrum Theatre in Orleans, and was involved in a number of other major activities. All told, the band members performed in over 35 events over the course of the year. Busy times for a bunch of volunteer musicians.

Read the whole story here

RCMP Pipe Band History Series – 2004

The band history series continues with a look at 2004. The band was now independent of the Ottawa Police Pipe Band and had a strength of 19 pipers and 10 drummers. Plus, we had the support of the Loch Murray dancers for performances. The variety and scope of performances increased and included the Hamilton International Tattoo and the St Patrick’s day parade in Toronto. Of course, the band also supported RCMP events, such as the police memorial in Toronto, medals parades and a change of command parade in London, Ontario. There was also an international event, with Pipe Sgt Gilbert Young piping for a conference in Arlington VA. The partnership with Ottawa Police Pipe Band continued with joint shows at a Gala fundraiser for Big Sisters and Big Brothers of Ottawa and the Sunset Ceremonies. The full list of the activities is included in the article.

The photo is of the band marching in the Canada Day parade in 2004, in front of the beautiful Chateau Laurier.

Lots of interesting snippets in the history for 2004. Have a read of the article here.