City of Maitland Pipes and Drums band celebrates 70th anniversary at Maitland Tattoo 2017

The Celtic sounds of bagpipes and fiddles will fill Maitland Town Hall this Saturday night in a special celebration for the City of Maitland Pipes and Drums.

The band will celebrate its 70th anniversary at the Maitland Tattoo, which is a local nod to the internationally successful Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland.

The City of Maitland Pipes and Drums performing at the 2014 Maitland Tattoo. Picture: Perry Duffin

The City of Maitland Pipes and Drums performing at the 2014 Maitland Tattoo. Picture: Perry Duffin

The Maitland edition is normally held biennially, however organisers have staged the event for the second year in a row to celebrate the pipe band’s anniversary.

The Maitland District Pipe Band was formed on September 4 1947, after 14 pipers and six drummers enrolled with no experience.

The band agreed to wear the Clan McKenzie tartan from a hat draw after members could not choose from the three tartans nominated, but switched to the Clan Maitland tartan in March 1984.

The band formally became The City of Maitland Pipes and Drums in 1985. 

One member, Shirley Wilson of East Maitland, has been part of the band for almost the entire 70 years. Some current members also have relatives who were founding members.

“Families have kept the band going,” band secretary Greg Queenan said.

Most Maitland residents would have seen the band perform at community events such as Anzac Day, Steamfest and festivals.

Despite the age of the band, Mr Queenan said the group has welcomed some young members and adapted its repertoire to incorporate modern music, which will be on show at Saturday night’s Tattoo event.

Other performers at this year’s Celtic spectacular include Maitland award-winning family group – String Loaded Celtic Fiddle Band, Nancy McLennan Highland Dancers, Voyage of the Dance Irish Dance Troupe, Newcastle Pipe Band, 308 Squadran Cadets, Maitland City Brass Band, United Mine Workers Pipe Band, Newcastle RSL Pipe Band, Cessnock RSL Pipes & Drums and special guest artist African Rhythms Dance Band.

Tickets for the event are available online here

This story Maitland Tattoo: great music, no ink | PHOTOS, VIDEO first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.