in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, the RCMP "E" Division
Pipe Band was formed in April, 2006, and is one of the eight RCMP
Pipe Bands currently active in Canada. The band is comprised of both
police and civilian volunteers from throughout British Columbia, who have
come together to share and showcase their musical talent, and to bring
the community closer to its national police force.
This organization is the brainchild
of Drum Major Rob Smith, himself a 30-year
veteran of the RCMP, who has played in many pipe bands throughout his
career. As well as being the
band's current Drum Major, Rob is also a side drummer with the band, and
is a former tenor drummer. Rob had been trying to start the "E"
Division Pipe Band since 1998 when they had a nucleus of Regular and Retired
RCMP members playing at various Force functions. This early group, led by Pipe Major Colin
Grinstead, ceased operations in 2000 but the desire of Rob to have an "E"
Division band did not end with it. In 2006 Rob left the Maple
Ridge Pipe Band to devote his full time efforts to forming the Band - this time focusing on
a civilian volunteers as the nucleus of a community pipe band.
The band made its debut appearance
on October 28, 2006, at the Scottish
Cultural Centre in Vancouver, where they played 2 sets of familiar
tunes to a sold-out crowd of over 300 enthusiastic supporters, members
of the pipe band community, friends, and family. They were joined by Ann
Gray and Pipe Major Bruce Topp, who
each gave rousing solo performances, and The
Halifax Wharf Rats who played a lively mix of Celtic and Maritime/Atlantic
tunes to get the audience up dancing.
took over as Pipe Major of the E Division band and continued the band's
early successes. Hugh brings over four decades of piping
experiences to the Band and has maintained the high standard's
originally set out by the founding members. The release of the Band's
first CD, "Live in Langley" which was recorded in concert with the
Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir at the Christian Life Assembly Church in
October 2011 and the overseas trip to Beijing China in 2016 are
major milestones for the band.
The band has been fortunate to have
three top competitive side drummers filling the Drum Sgt role since its
inception. Initially Alistair Fraser built the drum corps from the ground
up starting in 2006. He established a high standard of drumming that continues
to this day. Gwyn MacGregor succeeded Alistair in 2008 and led the corp
until 2011. Gwyn's 'Kit Drum' performances at concerts were a highlight during
his tenure. Carol Fraser succeeded Gwyn in 2011 and led the drum corp for
the next 3 years including the drum corp of National Combined Bands
performance in Quebec City in 2013 and the Okanagan Military Tattoo in 2014.
In the fall of 2014, well known local drummer and judge, Gregor Merry,
took over the Drum Sgt role continuing the established tradition of top
leadership in the drum corp.
Band participates in numerous local events in BC from community parades
to corporate events to RCMP ceremonial functions. Band members have
also particiapted in RCMP "Combined" Band events including the Royal
Nova Scotia International Tattoo (twice), the presentation of the RCMP
Service Horse "George" to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Okanagan
Military Tattoo, and the Beijing International Tourism Fesitval.
To learn more about the RCMP
"E" Division, click