OK, it’s technically a couple hours into Monday, but I haven’t gone to sleep and woken up yet, so it’s still Sunday night as far as I’m concerned.

This band is one which I’m sure none of my friends have heard of, let alone listened to. The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band has been one of the best in the world for the past 15 years or so. The key current members of the SFU Pipe Band were members of the former world champion 78th Fraser Highlanders when they recorded their seminal pipe band album Live in Ireland. Here’s an anonymous piper and drummer playing The Clumsy Lover with Reid Maxwell’s drum score (as heard on Live in Ireland).

While the 78th Fraser Highlanders were the first non-Scottish pipe band to become world champions, the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band has accomplished this feat 6 times. Located in a suburb of Vancouver, SFU has had an excellent pipe band since the University was founded in 1966. It wasn’t until the arrival of Pipe Major Terry Lee and Drum Sergeant Reid Maxwell, however, that they were able to reach world champion status, winning the worlds in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008, and 2009. Here they are winning the world championships in 2008.

I’ve been lucky enough to play in two excellent pipe bands (Carnegie Mellon Pipes and Drums and Cabar Feidh) and learn scores from Reid Maxwell in person, and he’s one of the two greatest pipe band drummers since Alex Duthart’s passing. That means nothing to most of you, but suffice it to say that Alex Duthart is probably the greatest drummer to ever live not named Buddy Rich. Here’s Reid Maxwell leading the SFU drum corp, showing what a drum line should sound like.

I hope this opens your eyes to a style of music with which you’re not familiar. Enjoy!