Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

These Burnaby Mountain drummers are tops in the world

Simon Fraser University's highly lauded pipe band placed in the top six at the recent World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow — and its drum corps came out on top.

If the skirl of the pipes and the beat of the drum don't stir your heart and get your blood pumping, then this is most definitely not for you. 

But if you have Scottish blood (or just wish you did), then you can join in celebration of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band — and, in particular, its drum corps.

The band just returned home from competing at the 2022 world pipe band championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The Burnaby Mountain-based ensemble finished among the world's elite, in sixth place overall, while the drum corps captured the top prize in the competition's World Drum Corps Championship.

Headed by lead drummer Reid Maxwell of Coquitlam, the drummers delivered four strong performances over the two-day competition Aug. 12 and 13.

"Taking the drumming championship is a huge feat for our corps," Maxwell said in an SFU post. "There are no drummers in the existing group who were in the corps the last time we took the drumming title (in 2009). A large bunch of them would have barely been teenagers."

Maxwell himself is among the world's most decorated drummers, as he has six drum corps world titles under his belt: five with the SFU band and one with the 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto. In total, he has tallied 19 world champion titles for band and drumming.

Playing alongside him in the current drum corps are several rookie players, competing for the first time at the worlds at the elite Grade 1 level. 

Members include recent SFU grad  and tenor drummer Madison Rattai and current SFU student Taylor Killoran, a snare drummer. Plus, when the band's bass drummer became ill days before the championship, the band called on Ali North, who plays with the drum corps equivalent of the farm team: the organization's Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 2 band, part of the four-band feeder system of the SFU Pipe Band organization.

"I have never seen so many tears and smiles all at the same time following the announcement, myself included," Maxwell said. "I feel no less excited than on any of the previous occasions. Eight of the drummers have come through our (Robert Malcolm Memorial) system, which is a particularly huge accomplishment for our organization."

Plus, the corps includes seven young women — which Maxwell said is "by far the most" of any band playing in the top grade.

It's by far from the first international honour for the band: the SFU Pipe Band has been crowned world champions on six occasions.

See the band in action leading up to the world championships in video here:



Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie,

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks