Canadian Mounties always get their tunes
They old saying goes that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “always get their man,” and now the storied institution is hoping to get tunes from pipers around the world for a music collection in 2023 that celebrates both their 150th anniversary of the force and 25 years since they created the RCMP tartan and the eight RCMP Community Bands of Pipes & Drums from across Canada.
The collection already has a name: Maintiens le Droit (Uphold the Right), the motto of the RCMP and also the name of a hornpipe by Pipe-Major Graeme Ogilvie of the RCMP band based in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.
The non-profit effort is to be unveiled on May 23, 2023, the actual day that the force was officially formed.
Anyone can submit compositions for possible inclusion in the book. The criteria is to submit pieces named in honour of the RCMP or members and family within the force, their bands, as well as tunes composed by RCMP pipers or drummers.
“This broad-based criteria enables composers worldwide to participate,” said C/Supt. (retired) Rod Booth. “For new compositions, the RCMP has a rich history and there are no shortages of tune naming ideas to choose from. This is an exciting project that has already generated a tremendous response.”
In addition to the national Ottawa-based pipes and drums, there are currently RCMP pipe bands based in Montreal, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.
Booth added that noted composer, Sean Somers of Calgary, has submitted compositions. Somers’ two aunts were trailblazers in the 1970s when they were among the women admitted into the ranks. Somers released his own compilation of music, the 120-composition Out West Collection, earlier this year.