The remaining members of the dissolved Robert Malcolm Memorial II Pipe Band (RMM2) have joined with the members of the Triumph Street Pipe Band of Vancouver to re-launch Triumph Street, reportedly as a Grade 2 band.
David Hilder, who had been pipe-major of RMM2, will lead the new Triumph Street. Andre Tessier is the leading-drummer and Shauna Hilder the pipe-sergeant. Both held those positions with RMM2.
The agreement was reached at Triumph Street’s January 4 annual general meeting.
“We are very grateful to the past members of the Triumph Street Pipe Band who have so graciously welcomed us into their organization,” said David Hilder, who was elected president of the TSPB Society. “We are proud to be associated with an organization that has had such great success in the past, and are looking forward to building the band for the future.”
Andre Tessier added, “Our goals for 2007 are modest. We are looking to add some talent to our roster and hopefully land a sponsor, or sponsors. We are also planning on competing at some of the local contests this season”.
The move marks a potential renaissance for Triumph Street, which had been one of the most prominent Grade 1 bands in the world in the 1970s under Pipe-Major Hal Senyk and Leading-Drummer William McErlean. Triumph Street won the World Drumming Championship and finished fifth overall at the World’s in 1979, but in the late-1980s continually lost members and sunk to the lower grades.
The new band will continue to play the new Naill band chanters that RMM2 played. The Simon Fraser University organization sold the set of chanters to the new Triumph Street band at a substantially discounted price.
“We wish them nothing but the best,” said Terry Lee, pipe-major of the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. “Another Grade 2 band (for now) in the area will be good.”
The Simon Fraser University organization will continue with its relationship with the Grade 2 Maple Ridge Pipe Band.
“Our major concern and interest is in the ever-graduating kids from the RMM Juvenile band. These players need a Grade 2 band to join in our organization, if possible. It is only the very exceptional cases that can jump directly to a good Grade 1 band. We are providing this, now, through Maple Ridge and are keeping the best interests of the kids in mind,” Lee continued.
Triumph Street merged with the Grade 3 Sir John A. MacDonald Pipe Band several years ago, and the organization has been called “Triumph Street and Sir John A. MacDonald,” with the Grade 3 competition band playing under the name Triumph Street.
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