Scots of Victoria

City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band

Member Society Name: State: Country: City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band Victoria Australia
President Chris Bouwmeester
Secretary Lyn Vanos
Mailing Address GPO Box 3242, Melbourne 3001
Practice Address 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne – Thursday nights
Telephone 0409 010 685
Email: enquires
Website: http://www.melbournepipeband
Tartan: Logan/McLennan
Formed: circa 1897
Brief History
The City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band is one of Australia’s oldest pipe bands. Our members are proud of traditions dating back to the 1890s. Since that time the band has earned a reputation for musical innovation and excellence in performance.The band is highly regarded within Australia as a key exponent of the traditional art of Pipe Band music. In recent years the band has developed new concepts and innovations within this traditional field, including the blending of traditional / non-traditional music with specialized choreographic displays and concert performances. 1897 to 1913 Born out of desire for the early Scottish settlers to perpetuate the traditions and customs of their homeland, the band began life as the South & Port Melbourne Thistle Society’s Pipe Band around 1897. The band performed for both society and public occasions growing in size and prowess as their existence became more widely known and new arrivals joined their number. In 1913 the pipe band split from the society to become a self-governing body changing the name to the Melbourne Highland Pipe Band, which was to endure for sixty-five years. These years encompassed war service for the members – the band enlisting en-masse and becoming the Pipes and Drums of the 5th AIF and eventually in a peacetime reserve services role as the 5th Battalion Victorian Scottish regiment. 1913 to 1978 The band was at the forefront of the pipe bands standard in Australia during the forties, fifties and sixties competing in contests Australia wide and accumulating many accolades including the National and State Championships at the highest level. During this period the band was invited to record and participate in the radio based contest by the BBC. A copy of this event remains in the band’s archives. In 1978 a geographical affiliation was established with the City of Melbourne and the band became The City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band. 1978 to the present day During the eighties and nineties the band underwent an extensive reconstruction and growth period. The result was an expansion of our activities and promotion to the higher level of piping groups at a national level. The band also celebrated its centenary with the production of a CD comprised mainly of original compositions. The band travels extensively interstate, and to New Zealand on several occasions, to improve their musical competitiveness, and have been rewarded with numerous successes. With in excess of thirty members in the Pipe Corps and twenty in the Drum Corps, the band enters contest groups in various grades. When the number of advancing learners warrants it the band also enters a Juvenile band in competition to extend their training opportunities. The members are an extremely representative cross section of the community being of either gender and ranging in age from ten to seventy years. Members come from throughout Melbourne and Victorian country areas. In addition to the standard contest format, which establishes the bands criterion within the traditional parameters of piping, they also excel at the more recent innovation of ‘Own Choice’ Display Marching – the integration of traditional /non-traditional music with specially designed choreographed movements, performed by the musicians in a contest format. The Melbourne band remains undefeated in such performances over the past fifteen years. In addition to contests, the band performs regularly at a wide range of corporate and community events. Regular performances include the AFL grand final parade, Beechworth Celtic Festival, ANZAC day services and the Melbourne Cup parade.