The RMM Organization
Part of the world renowned Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band is named after Robert Barbulak and Malcolm Bokenfohr, two dedicated members of the SFU Pipe Band who were killed in an automobile accident not of their cause in November 1993. The RMM band was formed in January 1994 to continue the development of talented and dedicated young players much as Rob and Malcolm were.
Robert and Malcolm
Robert Barbulak came to the SFU Pipe Band in September 1989 from Alberta. While playing with the band Rob completed a Bachelor of Business Admin. at Simon Fraser University. Rob learned the pipes playing in the Edmonton Boys Pipe Band and was playing at the grade 1 solo level when he came out to BC. After winning several prizes at the amateur top grade in BC, he moved to professional and had advanced to the 2nd round of the BCPA knockout competition. Rob was 23. Malcolm Bokenfohr grew up in Port Coquitlam and learned the pipes playing with the Maple Ridge Legion Pipe Band under the direction of Archie McAffer. Malcolm moved up through the competitive grades and won the "Coeur d'Alene" School of Piping Medallion. He took further instruction from Jack Lee after Archie McAffer and joined the SFU pipe band in 1983. He had joined the board of directors of the BCPA in the year of the car accident. Malcolm was 27.
When and Where
The RMM Pipe Band program practices Tuesday nights at Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain from 7PM to 9PM. During competition season, bands also hold extra practices on Sunday mornings around campus or at nearby Burnaby Mountain Park. Beginner students (Ages 6 to 16) are instructed in our Introduction to Music and Beginner Instrument programs on the highland bagpipes, snare, tenor and bass drum between September - June yearly before joining our multi-tiered pipe band program. Introduction and Beginner Instrument classes are held Tuesday nights from 7:00 to 8:15pm weekly. Introduction to Music classes include children 6-8 years of age from Sept - January while Beginner Instrument classes start in September or February and continue through until June. For students interested in joining the band as a piper or drummer, the organization has a Grade 2, 3, and 4 program while Beginner players often form a Grade 5 (Beginner) band dependent on the # of players available on any given year.
RMM instructors are led by Pipe-Major Terry Lee (Ret.), SFU Pipe-Major Alan Bevan, Pipe-Sergeant Jack Lee, Lead Drummer Reid Maxwell and Manager Robert MacNeil. Terry Lee led the SFU Pipe Band since its inception in 1981 and after 32 years at the helm of the SFU Pipe Band which won six World Championships titles in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008 and 2009, retired in order to spend more time on music and instructing at RMM.
Jack Lee who is one of the most distinguished pipers in the world, has a lengthy list of accomplishments including Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness plus an ever increasing list of awards and other achievements every year.
Reid Maxwell who has won the World Pipe Band championships with three different bands, has led two of the pipe band drum corps to multiple World Drumming Championship titles as well.
All of our other instructors including SFU Manager Rob MacNeil are current and or former members of the SFU Pipe Band, aspiring veteran players from within our RMM Grade 2 Pipe Band or former World Pipe Band champions from other bands who all work in partnership under the umbrella of the SFU Pipe Band organization.
What started out the first night with 35 members, has grown to become one of the largest pipe band organizations of its kind in the world. With over 150 players and bands in Grades 2, 3, 4 & 5, students are continuously challenged by our instructors to be the very best they can be, starting with our Introduction to Music program then up into our Beginner Instrument groups and finally one of our pipe band levels.
These programs bring players together from around the globe who become members of what is known as the SFU Pipe Band Organization. Players joining RMM from outside the Metro Vancouver area are provided with online tutoring in order to make every band member the very best they can be when arrive in Vancouver for workshops, weekend practices and for highland games across the Pacific Northwest, in California or Scotland.
"MAKE IT HAPPEN" is our motto and is what our Instructor's strive to do with all of our students/players who become part of our world renowned pipe band program.