SFU makes formal response to RMM2 discussions
Terry Lee, pipe-major of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, comments on recent stories and reader-comments on the upgrade and application to down-grade the Robert Malcolm Memorial II Pipe Band. We publish his letter verbatim:
“In response to increasing levels of silly innuendo and negative comment about our organization, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band would like to provide pipes|drums readers a perspective on recent events.
“The goal of the SFU Pipe Band has always been to produce the most competitive and entertaining pipe band possible. To support that goal, and also to give back to the British Columbia piping community, we started the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band in 1994. In fact, SFU has had a grade two band for nearly about 20 years. It was the first ‘other’ band that SFU started. Over the years, there have been poor, fair, good, excellent and non-existent (years off) Grade 2 bands in the organization. Some years there were not enough players to field a band. The Juvenile band has also ranged in quality over the past dozen years. These bands/grades are cyclical and cover the entire range. Players move through the bands, move forward or, sometimes, move on. That is how SFU has tried to run the program.
“Over the years, the organization has worked extremely hard at all levels to produce good musicians and good bands, all with the primary goals of developing the community, and maintaining the SFU¹s ability to field the best band possible. RMM members have worked extremely hard all the way through. A combination of hard work, talented players and excellent leadership have led to world championship wins at the Juvenile and Grade 2 levels. We are enormously proud of everyone in RMM and what they have accomplished.
“There have always been people bitter about the band¹s success and growth, and willing to cast aspersions under assumed names and behind our backs. We feel SFU¹s record of teaching, organizing and performing speaks for itself.
“It could be said that few have taught more pipers and drummers over the past 25 years anywhere in the world.
“At no time was it ‘the plan’ to bring RMM bands into Grade 1 to compete with the SFU Pipe Band. While the organization supported the RMM2 band’s drive to win the Worlds in many ways, at no time did we consider changing the primary goals and direction of the organization to accommodate that success.
“‘RMM1’ is simply not a fit within the organizational structure.
“To comment on only a few specific points that are floating out there:
- RMM2 was not ready for upgrading as it was not sustainable long-term and would not have survived as a grade one. People who knew the facts within the organization could see this.
- SFU promoted only three pipers which, in the scheme of things, is negligible. This was planned well before the Worlds 2006 results.
- The statement that the band faced ‘disbandment’ is absolutely false.The SFU and RMM Pipe Bands are proud of the accomplishment of winning the Grade 2 Worlds. We are grateful to the dedicated leadership and band members, and wish to thank David Hilder, Shaunna Hilder and Andre Tessier for their contributions. We wish all former members the very best in future endeavours.
“The band is hard at work with its family of bands for 2007, and we look forward to meeting friends at the Games in 2007.”
– Terry Lee
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