Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the SFU Pipe Band or the RMM Pipe Bands? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, feel free to submit a question on our Contact Us page.



SFU Pipe Band FAQ's

A. Email Jack Lee and Rob Watt at [email protected] to arrange for the SFU Pipe Band or RMM Pipe Band to play at your event.

A. It is our policy to not distribute sheet music out of respect for the composers. Please search one of the many online tune databases.

A. The SFU Pipe Band Organization has a number of information resources. Check out the rest of our website, Facebook, and YouTube, or contact our band Secretary/Registrar. For direct communications regarding questions involving the information contained in the FAQ section or any other questions, please email [email protected].

 

RMM Pipe Band FAQ's

A. Robert Barbulak and Malcolm Bokenfor were two very popular, hardworking and dedicated players with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band who were tragically lost as the result of a motor vehicle accident in 1993. The accident was attributed to the actions of an intoxicated driver who cut short the lives and promising careers of both young men.

A. In early 1994, following the tragic loss of Robert and Malcolm, the members of the SFU Pipe Band decided to honour the memory of both boys by forming a youth pipe band program.

A. The RMM family of pipe bands makes its home at the Burnaby Campus of Simon Fraser University. Four RMM bands, along with our Beginner Instrument and Introduction to Scottish Music students, practise every Tuesday night from September through June. Tuesday night practices are 7-8pm for Beginner Instrument/Introduction to Scottish Music students. RMM band practices are 7-9pm each Tuesday night and include 8:45-10am practices on Sunday mornings as the season progresses. The RMM bands may continue practising into July or even August as their performance/competition year dictates.

A. Parents can register their children 6-8 years of age in our unique and aptly named Introduction to Scottish Music. The class is taught by a retired elementary school teacher who provides children with an opportunity to learn Scottish music theory and sight reading prior to being introduced to any form of musical instrument. The Introduction to Scottish Music class begins in September and continues until the end of January. At the conclusion of this class, students may take the option of starting in the Beginner Instrument level where they are introduced to the bagpipe chanter, snare, tenor and bass drum between February and June for a prorated fee. NOTE: Introduction to Scottish Music and Beginner Instrument classes are 1 hour in length every Tuesday night.

RMM also starts its Beginner Instrument program in September which offers students 8-16 years of age an opportunity to learn the Highland bagpipe, snare, tenor or bass drum. Students are led through three levels of instruction on an instrument of their choice until reaching a level of proficiency which prepares them to join the Grade 5 Pipe Band. In order to successfully complete the Beginner Instrument level, players must be able to memorize numerous core tunes and be proficient in playing their chosen instrument. For pipers, this includes blowing up and maintaining sufficient pressure on the bag to create constant tone and notes, known as the attack. Players are also taught how to maintain their instruments and do routine maintenance while learning to play instruments at this level. ALL practice instruments are the responsibility of each student; however, once in the Grade 5 band, those in the drum corps are provided with an RMM drum and harness while pipers must provide their own instrument for hygiene and cost reasons. Pipers who intend to continue playing the pipes should consider the purchase of their own bagpipes as a worthwhile investment.

Once in an RMM Pipe Band, classes are two hours long each Tuesday night at Simon Fraser University. Competitive bands add an additional Sunday morning practice from 8:45-10 AM as the season progresses and more preparation is required.

A. RMM encourages players to experience what is called the RMM Pipe Band experience. Under the umbrella of the SFU Pipe Band Organization, players are taught by members of the SFU Pipe Band and are offered an opportunity to practise with and potentially become a member of the SFU Pipe Band itself. This opportunity to be exposed to bands in Grades 5, 4, 3 & 2, as well as Grade 1, in one pipe band family, is unique in the pipe band universe.

RMM does NOT recruit players from other pipe bands and relies on word of mouth for the most part, attracting players both locally and from around the world. Players defined as “Out of Town” players routinely connect to our Tuesday night and Sunday morning practice sessions via privatized online connections. These private practices are taped and allow players to review them in their own time zone as time permits. Out of town players are asked to attend practices “In Town” approximately 2-3 long weekends every year in preparation for competitions that may extend from California to Scotland. Designated “Out of Town” players are responsible for their own travel arrangements; however, once in town, RMM attempts to assist players with accommodations where possible.

A. RMM tuition and membership fees vary by year. The mandatory fee for every player is $10 according to the SFU Pipe Band Constitution. This fee is required yearly and family memberships are available to reduce costs up to a maximum of $20.

RMM Tuition Fees fluctuate and are subject to discounts for a) recruiting a band member who remains for the entire year, b) hardship reasons that are subject to approval from the SFU Pipe Band Board of Directors. Note: Bursaries and scholarships are NOT offered in the “YOUTH” RMM program; however, students attending Simon Fraser University who are active members of either the SFU or RMM bands are eligible to apply for bursaries and or scholarships.

Tuition for the the current year is expected to be $435, which is the third year in a row at that tuition rate. Tuition fees are subject to yearly review.

Players who travel with the band for required competitions and/or performances are provided with significant discounts for band trips. Players usually only pay about half of the estimated costs incurred by traveling with the band, which may include buses, accommodations, competition entries and other related fees.

A. Tuition and membership provide players with the following:
Pipers – Kilt, flashes, sporran, chain, belt, vest, jacket, necktie, cords, bag cover and hat badge as required for each band level’s uniform.
Drummers – Kilt, flashes, sporran, chain, belt, vest, jacket, necktie, drum, drum harness and hat badge as required for each band level’s uniform.

Players must provide their own black shoes (Ghillie Brogues in Grades 2 & 3, dress shoes in Grades 4 & 5). Band shirts are available for a discounted fee along with socks, rain coat (Inverness Cape) and a glen (hat). ALL items not available from our band quartermaster are available for purchase from our sponsor for a discounted fee for belonging to the organization.

Players who travel with the band for required competitions and/or performances are provided with significant discounts for band trips. Players usually only pay about half of the estimated costs incurred by traveling with the band, which may include buses, accommodations, competition entries and other related fees.

A. The RMM Pipe Band Organization has a number of information resources. Check out our band website, Facebook, and YouTube, or contact our band Secretary/Registrar. For direct communications regarding questions involving the information contained in the FAQ section or any other questions, please email [email protected].