The Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band is one of New Zealand’s largest pipe band organisations, comprising three competing bands: a Grade One Band, a Grade Three Band, and a Juvenile Youth Development Band, with an active supporters club and an administrative body.
‘Manawatu Scottish’ was established in 1925 and is based at the Manawatu Scottish Society hall, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The Number One band has held the Grade One New Zealand Championship title seven times (2001-2008). The band is led by Pipe Major Stewart McKenzie, who is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. Stewart has a long family history with Manawatu Scottish. The Drum Corp is under the direction of Drum Sergeant Gary Potter, who is based in Perth, Australia.
In 2002 the band attended the Australian and South Pacific Championships in Brisbane, where they won both Grade One titles – the first band since 1974 to win both Australian and New Zealand Champion titles in one year.
The band has developed a highly distinguished international profile with encouraging results. Since 1997 the band has made a biennial trip to Scotland to compete in the World Championships, and peaked with a ranking of 9th in the world. In addition, the band was invited to perform at the renowned Internationale Celtique Festival, Lorient, France in 2003.
The Band enjoys a growing reputation as a concert band. The two key factors of innovation and musicality influence the bands concert format leading to a staunch local following and increasing interest in other centres and overseas.
In 2002 the band produced its debut studio album “The Calling”, showcasing homegrown talents reflective of the highest international standards. This was followed in 2009 by the second studio album “Twelve Thousand Miles” – the distance between New Zealand and Scotland, and also the distance many of our ancestors travelled over 150 years ago in search of a new life.
The Number Two band competes in Grade Three and has also had numerous successes in recent seasons, including first place in the 2020 National Championships in Invercargill. Although placing third at the 2021 Nationals the drum corps took out the Champion Grade 3 drumming title.
The Juvenile Youth Development Band is the training ground for Manawatu’s other two bands. The band is tutored by members of the higher graded bands.
Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band has a very successful teaching program that takes learners from around 8 years old and upwards. It offers tuition in both piping and drumming. For those that want to progress there is a pathway through to the top level of Grade 1.
Many of our younger players are selected to join the National Youth Pipe Band of New Zealand.
Experienced pipers and drummers who are interested in joining one of the bands are also welcome to contact us.