Stuart Easton to Play at Wellington Pipers Club: Next Thursday, 14 July 7.30 pm

July 7, 2011

The Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band has some of the best soloist in the country and seven of them are coming to Wellington to perform for us next Thursday. In addition to Stuart Easton, we’ll be hearing from the following pipers:

  • Finlay Macgee (Wellington)
  • Ross Horsburgh (Wellington)
  • Douglas McGregor (Wanganui)
  • Chris Croton (Palmerston North)
  • William Rowe (Hunterville)
  • Revel McIntyre (Wanganui)

For those that don’t know, the Wellington Pipers’ Club will be held at the City of Wellington band hall in Hansen Street Newtown commencing at 7.30. The night will finish at 9.30pm , so it’s an all ages event!


Wellington Hawkes Bay Youth Band

May 30, 2011

Note from the Convener, Sheran Hancock:

Just a quick note to remind you all of the upcoming Education Days for our centre. The first day is to be held at the Palmerston North Boys High School in Palmerston North on the 12th June.  The Second is to be held in Masterton on the 24 July and the third at in Wellington on the 18 September.

All morning sessions of the education days will be option sessions so if you have a particular topic you would like to know more about please let me know so I can arrange it for you.
For those of you who wish to be involved with the Wellington Hawkes Bay Youth Band, we will dedicate the afternoon sessions to this activity. If you are not involved in the Youth Band we will continue to provide option sessions for you. Please let me know if you would like to attend any or all of these education days so that I can provide enough tutors to meet your needs.

The Wellington Hawkes Bay Youth Band initiative is a first for our centre and we would like to see it get off the ground this year. Piping Tutors have been sourced and are for Piping: Marion Horsburgh and Davey Welsh. Drumming: Adam Alexander and Glen Miller.  If you want to be a member of the Wellington Hawkes Bay Youth Band and are aged 20 or under, please send me back your expression of interest and I will forward some music and more information.

Click here to email Sheran.

Nicola Purvis to Play with SFU

March 30, 2011

It’s great to see that top notch tenor drummers are now in demand. Well done to Nicola Purvis from the Auckland & Districts PB for joining the SFU.

Amplify’d from
He also reported that the Grade 1 band’s snare section numbers 12, including the addition of former Toronto Police Leading-Drummer Doug Stronach, and that Nicola Purvis of New Zealand and Owen Russell of Minnesota, formerly of Auckland & District and the 78th Fraser Highlanders, have joined as tenor drummers. Lee said the band has 26 pipers on its roster.


1st Wellington Pipers Club Night for 2011 this Thursday

February 7, 2011

The Next club night under our new format night will be held at the City of Wellington Pipe Band Hall, Hansen St Newtown on Thursday February 10 at 7.30pm.
Featured players will include:

  • Grant Shearer
  • Brian Waugh
  • George Mason

Entry fee is $5 for non club members and no charge to financial club members.

The New Club Night Format

Regular monthly week night meetings (excluding December and January). Structured programme from 7.30pm – 9.3-pm to include up to 6 players interspersed with periods of fellowship and announcements. The players will, it is hoped, include pipers of all levels, learners, veterans and competing soloists playing short selections with a concluding longer item. 2nd Thursday of each month at the City of Wellington Band hall.
A reminder that the club activities and its support for piping in Wellington depends on club member subscriptions. If you have not paid your subscription please do so to the Treasurer Finn Macgee $15. Your subscription can be posted to the Secretary Wellington Pipers Club P O Box 29-086, Wellington. We have enjoyed great support from the City of Wellington Pipe band over many years who, not surprisingly, require a contribution to the ongoing maintenance of their hall. This is what your door money goes to paying on a club night. The balance of your subscriptions goes to funding our annual competitions, the Brown cup, Everest Piobaireachd and our emerging player’s events at Levin. The club is now a registered charity and any donations to the club qualify for a tax rebate and will be greatly appreciated.

E Mail Address
If you have an e-mail address, and would like to receive the club newsletter electronically can you please advise Ross Hanning at rjhanning

Winifred ‘Winnie’ MacLeod Recently Passed Away

November 9, 2010
Pipes|Drums has more information, but we are all benefiting from her contribution in making available Donald MacLeod’s (her hudband) Piobaireachd recordings.
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Mrs. Winifred MacLeod, wife of the late Pip-Major Donald MacLeod, M.B.E., passed away November 5, 2010, after several months of ill health. Mrs. MacLeod is survived by daughters Susan and Fiona, and their extended family.

“Winnie” MacLeod was partner to her husband’s many successful years as a soldier, teacher, businessman and successful competitor. Following the untimely death of Donald MacLeod in 1982, it was Winnie who decided to make available his extensive library of recorded piobaireachd, and with the assistance of family and friends, assembled the 21 volumes of the series.

The Highland Piping Society of Canterbury Jubilee History: Copies Available

September 20, 2010

The title of the book might lead you to think it could be a little dry, but I’m told that it is a gem. This is explained by the fact that it has been written by professionals. In addition, both  Gordon Ogilvie and Alex Thomson have a long association with piping in Canterbury, so it could hardly miss. Highlights include:

  • Scottish culture in “English” Canterbury.
  • Piping and pipe bands in Canterbury
  • promoting Piobaireachd
  • 102 piper biographies
  • 142 illustrations
  • Coverage of international piping personalities

Please click here to view more information about the book and how to go about ordering a copy.

Piper Bill Millin Died Aged 87

August 19, 2010

I’ve always wondered why Bill Millin played his pipes on the beach at Normandy on D-day. Was he brave, proud or mad. He was certainly lucky to survive. The obituary in the Times of London is great reading. Some quotes:

As the landing craft grounded in the shallow water off the Normandy beaches, Lovat was on one of the two ramps at the front of the craft, Millin on the other. The piper cannily let his chief make the first jump “because he was six feet tall, to see what depth it was.” Millin followed him smartly into the water from his ramp, noting that the shock of the freezing cold water had made him completely forget the wretchedness of his seasickness.

Millan strode ashore through the surf continuing to play right up the beach. Not everyone in the unit approved of the musical accompaniment. Some cheered. Others yelled “mad bastard” at him — a sobriquet normally reserved for the CO himself.

As Millin recalled, the speed of the brigade’s advance tended to make him forget his fear. As he ran through the bagpipe repertoire the process seemed to gain an unearthly momentum of its own. When another officer told him to run, he heard himself saying calmly: “No, I won’t be running sir. I will just play them as usual.”

At the end of a long first day in France Millin finally found himself piping to a small party of French civilians. He and Lovat had entered a clearly where a group of ragged and terrified farm workers crouched with a small girl with red hair and bare feet in their midst.

As the terrified girl shrieked “Music, music, music!” at them Millin turned to Lovat and asked him “What do you think?” “Okay, then, give her a tune,” replied the CO. Millin obliged with The Nut Brown Maid, until a further outbreak of mortar fire put an end to this impromptu entertainment, and the French workers fled for cover.

His bagpipes, which were badly damaged by shrapnel a few days after D-Day were given a permanent home in the National War Museum of Scotland in 2001.