RRCMP "E" Division Pipe Band 
Profile: Rob Smith
 

 

 

 

Rob's pipe band career started as a snare drummer at the age of 10 under the direction of Don Bellamy, Director of the Whitespot Pipe Band. He played with the band for four years until 1967 when he joined the Seaforth Cadet Pipe Band. For two years he played in the Cadet and Militia pipe bands competing around the Pacific Northwest. At the bequest of his father, Rob moved on to play with the Maple Ridge Legion Pipe Band as their lead drummer, and along with Pipe Major Archie McAffer they took the band to a competitive level previously unseen in Legion bands in B.C.

In 1974 Rob joined the RCMP and put his drumming career temporarily on the shelf. Rob was posted to Campbell River, BC

 

where he was asked to help instruct the local pipe band, providing instruction to the entire drum corps. In 1979 Rob's career brought him back to the Lower Mainland and upon arriving he was approached by Drum Major Fred Hall of the Vancouver Police Pipe Band to join their drum corps. Rob played with the band for six years attaining the role of drum instructor due to the rule that all lead positions in the band had to be held by Vancouver Police Officers.

In August of 1984 Rob was invited to play with the Triumph Street Pipe Band (Grade 1) under the direction P/M Rob Menzies and Lead Drummer Scott Robertson, the latter providing excellent direction and tutelage to Rob during this time. It was a highlight of Rob's career in drumming. Not only was he able to play at this level of drumming but he was also able to play in a band with his sister, Kim, for the first time. The band enjoyed competitive success on the west coast, and in 1986 competed in the World Championships. Due to personal family reasons Rob left the band in 1987.

In 1988 Rob joined the Delta Police Pipe Band where, during

 

his sixteen years with the band, was a side drummer, Lead Drummer and Drum Major.

In 2004 Rob was asked to play with the Maple Ridge Pipe Band (grade 2) as a tenor drummer, and he eagerly accepted this new challenge. Under the leadership of Lead Drummer Alistair Fraser and the personal instruction of Jacquie Middleton, Rob made the transition to the tenor. In 2005, Maple Ridge finished 2nd in Grade 2 at the North American Championships, and in 2006 the Drum Corps finished 4th in the qualifiying round at the Worlds, but the band was shut out of the final round.

Rob had been trying to start the "E" Division Pipes and Drums since 1998 when they had a nucleus of Regular and Retired RCMP members playing at some Force functions. In 2005 he left Maple Ridge to devote his full time efforts to getting this band off the ground by focusing on civilian volunteers. With musical leadership from P/M Bruce Topp and D/S Alistair Fraser the future is looking very bright.

To send an email to Rob,
click here.