Manchester Pipe Band / Link

Formed in 1914, Manchester Pipe Band is one of the oldest bagpipe bands in the country. Throughout its, the band has been a dynamic and innovative force in the realms of pipe band competition, musical performance and instruction in New England.

Manchester Pipe Band's reason for being is the pursuit of excellence. Through education and example, MPB will preserve and promote the the tradition and future of Bagpipe and Celtic music. The band provides expert instruction, education and training in highland bagpiping and drumming to interested individuals. Since 1914, the band has continually maintained the highest standards of performance and presentation. The band always provides a professional, competent performance, displaying its abilities at parades, concerts and performances. Manchester Pipe band has appeared with the Hartford Symphony and been featured on PBS with Boston Pops, as well as numerous fairs, celebrations, commencements and other historic occasions. For more information regarding hiring the band click the contact page. The band competes in the United States and Canada, and has consistently won prizes in all levels of competition. The Grade II unit currently ranks in the top 5% of all competitive pipe bands in the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association. The entry-level competition bands, part of the training program and designed to develop players' cooperative and competitive skills also place highly in the association ranks. We invite expert players as well as interested musicians competent at Grade IV Band level and who seek to improve to come listen and join the band. Beginners should be preferably under 16 years of age, but others will be considered. Contact pipemajor@manchesterpb.org for information and schedules Since 1914, the Manchester Pipe Band (30MPB) has proven one of the finest and most dynamic pipe bands in the United States. As one of the oldest continuously active bagpipe bands in the United States, MPB has continuously striven for excellence and precision in competition, parades, concert and every other venue. In 1913, the Holyoke Caledonian Pipe Band led the Manchester Orangemen's parade. An enthusiastic response from local youths inspired inspired the desire to found a local pipe band. The Manchester Pipe Band began Spring of 1914 under the instruction of Pipe Major Alex Scot and James Mathieson of the Holyoke Pipe Band with about twenty enthusiastic young students. The new band's first performed in public on October 31, 1914 in Talcottville, Connecticut. The band adopted the MacKenzie tartan and traditional military wear of The Seaforth Highlanders as the official band uniform that same year. The band developed and retained an excellent reputation amongst local pipe bands and other marching units. Under the direction of Pipe Major Joseph Taggart and Pipe Major John Stevenson, the band remained active through World Wars I and II and into the 1950's. The band traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada performing at venues from Ontario to Virginia. A highlight of these times was a 1950 visit to the White House in Washington D.C. to perform for President Truman and his staff. Pipe Major Gordon McGowan led the band in its first competition during the early 1960s. His successor, Pipe Major Charles Murdoch led the band to win numerous prizes in competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s at both the Grade I and II levels in North America, including the North American Championship on several occasions. It was during this period that the band donned the Ancient Hunting Sinclair tartan and the traditional civilian uniform worn by the band today. In 1974, the band won the 'Best Overseas Pipe Band' award at the World Pipe Band Championship in Scotland. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the band was a dominant and perpetually strong force in Grade II band competition in both the United States and Canada, under the continued leadership of Charles Murdoch and later his successor Brian Green. The band faced a major challenge in 1998, when the grade II competition unit was not able to compete. Under the leadership of Pipe Major Michael MacNintch, the band embarked on a major reconstructive effort. The band competed during the 1998 season in grade IV. The roster for that band contained several students from the bands instructional program as well as some veterans from the original corps. The goal of the band was, and still is, to be a significant force wherever it competes and to continue to progress. The band returned to Grade II this year and is under the direction of Pipe Major Brian Green. While the band's main focus is on competition, the youth training program and entry-level competition units continue to teach and train the next generation of Manchester players. -

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Created: 09/24/2005 :: Updated: 11/13/2006
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