The Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band is New Zealand’s largest Pipe Band organisation, currently having over 110 members, comprising three competing bands, the main Grade One Band, Grade Two Band, a Grade 4 / Juvenile Youth Development Band, along with an active supporters club and an administrative body.
Manawatu Scottish was established in 1925 and is based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The band has a close affiliation with the Manawatu Scottish Society, extending back to when the band was first formed.
The Number One Band
The Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band (Number One) are seven times Grade One New Zealand Champion band having held this title between 2001-2008 (Unavailable to compete in 2007). 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 Graeme Parker, who is based in Northern Ireland.
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, having attended World Pipe Band Championships in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, and is currently at it’s peak with a current 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 it’s 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
The Number Two band competes in Grade Two and have also had numerous successes in recent seasons, culminating to 1st place at the 2010 New Zealand National Championship, allowing them to move up to Grade Two.
The Number Two Band is directed by ex Number One Band member Shane Cotton and is fortunate to have many retired members of the Number One band passing on their skills to the newer members of the band.
The Number Three / Juvenile Youth Development Band
The Grade 4 / Juvenile Youth Development Band is the training ground for Manawatu’s other two bands. This band has recently started competing and has already had successes. The band is tutored by members of the higher graded bands.