SFU drops Pearl in favour of Andante
The 2009 World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band has discontinued its sponsorship with Pearl Percussion opting instead for a deal with Northern Ireland-based Andante Percussion. The partnership comes after the band had won two straight drumming titles at the World’s using Pearl instruments.
The agreement calls for the SFU drum section and Leading-Drummer Reid Maxwell to perform exclusively on Andante drums, heads and sticks. The band will actively promote Andante products at contests, performances, workshops, websites and associated advertising. Andante Percussion will provide SFU with its products.
SFU had been playing Pearl drums since 1999 shortly after Pearl entered the pipe band market with the introduction of a snare drum targeted specifically at pipe bands. The band’s deal was renewed every two years, and the current deal allegedly officially runs out at the end of this calendar year.
Several competitors with SFU, including Maxwell, at the 2009 World Solo Drumming Championships used Andante drums. Five of the 12 adult finalists at the 2009 World Solo Drumming Championships played an Andante drum.
A source close to the band cited disappointment with Pearl’s attention to the band, saying that the manufacturer’s support has “not been sufficient.” He said that the band since “at least 2004” has had to make modifications to its drums to get the desired sound.
Several top bands have endorsement deals with Pearl, including House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead and ScottishPower. Shotts made the move last spring after a separation from Premier Music International Ltd., which then declared a “boardroom restructure” in August.
Grade 1 pipe bands already using Andante instruments include Boghall & Bathgate, Dowco-Triumph Street and Inveraray & District.