January 09, 2007

Disguise that blessing

The long-rumoured news of the remaining RMM2 members creating a new Triumph Street (Harry Tung reported on it weeks ago in “Trailing Drones,” by the way) has got to welcomed by all – including the SFU organization.

For years, the BC scene has been dominated by the SFU bands, and it still is. It’s a remarkable piping and drumming machine that people want to become part of, and with which they want to remain, and full credit goes to Terry and Jack Lee and Reid Maxwell for leading such a successful program.

But there have been detractors. Where the British Columbia circuit used to boast three of four Grade 1 bands and a good number of Grade 2 bands, the numbers had dwindled to only SFU in Grade 1 and three bands in Grade 2. The fact that Maple Ridge is now linked with the SFU organization indicates that that band will remain in Grade 2 as long as the relationship continues.

So breaking away to form what is essentially a new band from familiar personnel, independent of the SFU system, has got to be considered a positive move and a good thing for BC piping and drumming – and, I daresay, for SFU’s Grade 1 band. Healthy competition is always good, and no one in any jurisdiction likes a monopoly, no matter how beneficent it may be.

I would hope that the players who now make up Triumph Street remain on good terms with the SFU organization, and indications are that they will. It could be the close to a remarkable series of events, but the start of a new era for piping and drumming in British Columbia.




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