The History of St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band
Formed in 1933 from the Caledonian Society and the St Andrews Pipers, the band wears McKenzie Tartan after the bands first Pipe Major: Bob McKenzie and is Tasmania’s oldest and longest continuing band. Launceston enjoys very strong Scottish threads in its 200+ year history and St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band is proud to be a custodian of the region’s cultural heritage. As a community band, new members (learners and players) are most welcome.
Performing at annual community events, the band enjoys a strong community following in Northern Tasmania and their 75th Anniversary in 2008 was acknowledged by the Launceston City Council with a Civic Reception. The bands reputation as performers with broad ranging appeal has grown considerably after the band began an ambitious annual performance programme in 1999. The shows Celtic Force and Scottish Power: Lords of the Isles perform to thousands of local patrons annually in Launceston, Burnie and Devonport. The shows have featured every pipe band in Tasmania along with hundreds of community performers who have leant their style to the Celtic idiom.
As the band’s skill in treading the boards increased, so did their ambitions and in 2005 St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band produced a CD from the show and self-funded a concert tour of Scotland. The tour included performances at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, the Isles of Skye and Orkney and became the first Tasmanian Pipe Band to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships. They also entered the Guinness Book of Records at Pipefest as being part of the largest pipe band ever formed. The band returned to the World stage in 2010 with a tour of Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland and also competed at Northern Ireland Championships, the Cowal Highland Games and the World Pipe Band Championships.