Our Story

One Hundred Years of Music and Visual Entertainment 

Since 1920 the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band has performed and stirred both national and international audiences with their music and striking full dress uniform.

The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band is proud to display the traditional Royal Stewart Tartan, which it was granted permission to wear by the Lord Master of the Rolls for the United Kingdom.

The band was formed after the 1919 General Strike at a time when the Winnipeg Police Department was looking for ways to improve moral and have an entity to connect with the Community.

Chief of Police Chris Newton was interested in starting a Brass Ensemble band but was convinced to create a Pipe Band from serving Police Member Jock Coghill. Pipe Major Coghill started and remained the Pipe Major of the band for the next 28 years. Pipe Major Coghill was the first member of the Winnipeg Police Department to volunteer for War Service (WW1).

The WPPB has had only 6 Pipe Majors over the last century;

  • Jock Coghill 1920-48
  • Neil Sutherland 1948-69
  • Donald A. Morrison 1969-85
  • A. Bruce Taylor 1986-99
  • S. McPherson 2000-03
  • D. Roxburgh 2003 - Present

Upon its inception, the band was formed with only serving Police Officers. This has since shifted to a band comprised of 70 members from all walks of life, including:

  • Serving and Retired Police Officers as well as
  • Volunteer members of the community that range from University Students to Business Owners as well as Fire Fighters, Pharmacists, Nurses etc.  

The WPPB has been considered the Official PB of the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba and has performed at numerous venues and events from competitions, fairs, festivals, civic holidays, special events, among many others. Some highlights include:

  • Pine to Palm tour April 1957 lead by Mayor Stephen Juba (Wpg to New Orleans) A plaque commemorating this event can be located at Pembina and Stafford)
  • Aquatennial Parades in Minneapolis
  • The Rose Bowl Parade in California
  • Belfast Ireland where a PB member  accompanied Civic Officials to Ireland to promote the City of Winnipeg (City councilor and later Premier of Manitoba the Honourable Gary Filmon participated in this tour).
  • The Grey Cup performances at every Grey Cup city. The Grey Cup exposure dates back to the 60's when the band used to travel by train to the festivals.
  • The Police Pipe Band has been a part of opening ceremonies for the opening of City Council after civic elections for decades.
  • The WPPB has been a part of Royal Visits where we have performed for the Queen (84 Official Visit), Princess Anne (Pan Am Games 99) and Prince Charles (2014 Order of Manitoba). Not to mention Sir Paul McCartney in 2013.

In addition to local events throughout the City to Festivals around the Province the members of the Pipe Band are proud to promote the WPS.

Members take particular pride in supporting WPS or law enforcement members who call upon the Pipe Band during times of happiness and sorrow (birthdays, funerals and weddings)

 

 

 

 

 

As the Band has grown so has our ability to represent the Service, City and Province internationally. The high lights include:

  • Cleveland International Tattoo 2009
  • Las Vegas International Tattoo 2011
  • Virginia Military Tattoo (Norfolk Virginia) 2012
  • Pacific Tattoo (Victoria BC) 2013
  • Okanagan Military Tattoo (Vernon BC) 2015
  • Festival Interceltique - Lorient France 2016
  • Belfast Ireland International Tattoo 2017

The musicianship and dedication of our members has made the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band a diverse and engaging group. The band currently has beginner players all the way to three World Champions amongst our ranks. The diversity of our performers has led to the band expanding it’s focus to a Grade 2 Competition Band that has successfully competed at Highland Games all over North America.  

In the months ahead, the Band is excited to be celebrating our 100th anniversary and have invites to attend the World PB Championships in Glasgow Scotland in 2022 and the Basel Switzerland Tattoo in 2023.

The Pipe Band is a strong supporter of youth Piping and Drumming. Each year the band sponsors local youth to participate in summer music camps where they receive world class instruction.

The Great Highland Bagpipe

The most common and best known of the world's bagpipes (other versions exist), the Great Highland Bagpipe is an ancient instrument that can trace its modern form as far back as the 1500s when it was developed by the Gaelic speaking people of Scotland's Highlands and Western Islands.


The Royal Stewart Tartan

The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band is proud to display the striking pattern of the Royal Stewart Tartan, which it was granted permission to wear by the Lord Master of the Rolls for the United Kingdom.


The Call of the Pipes

The distinctive music of the pipes was first used by Scotland’s Highland clans to initiate gatherings, provide accompaniment for celebrations and games, and to inspire warriors in battle. It was later adopted by the British military to lead its own soldiers in battle, thereby introducing this important part of Scottish heritage to the farthest reaches of the British Empire, and the world.


Former Pipe Majors

I. Stewart MacPherson       2000 - 2003

A. Bruce Taylor                    1986 - 1999

Donald A. Morrison             1969 - 1985

Neil Sutherland                     1948 - 1969

J. Coghill                                1920 - 1948

 

Former Drum Majors

Robert Dutchen

Robert Watson

John Robins

Cliff Cooke

Thomas Arfield

John Coghill

 

Former Pipe Sergeants

Garth McCombe

I. Stewart MacPherson

A. Bruce Taylor

Ross McClay

Daniel MacKay

Harold Forgie

Robert Young

 

Former Drum Sergeants

Robert Draho

Russell Lelliott

Robert Cooper

Harold Cooper

Andrew Swan

Sid Hughes