In the spring of 1973, several graduates of the Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band approached Pipe Major Robert Fraser, founder of the Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band, and asked if he would be interested in starting up a senior band. The St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg was approached as a possible sponsor and immediately approved of the plan. The Band adopted the Earl of St. Andrews tartan, and held its first practice on November 15, 1973.
The Band regularly performed at various town parades and St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg functions, as well as at several White Heather Concerts, concerts with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the World Curling Championships, the Royal Visit of 1984, and the Opening Ceremonies of the 1999 Pan American Games. The Band maintained its mandate of entertainment for many years, but in the late 1980’s altered its course to include competition. In 1992, the Band played at the World Pipe Band Championships for the first time, where they quickly learned a lot more was needed to play at the international level. Locally, however, the Band continued to improve at the Grade 3 level with competitions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Pipe Major Bob Stankey took over operations of the Band while Pipe Major Fraser continued with the tone quality and the music selection. Under their direction, the band’s sound continued to improve, as did their success abroad. From 2001-2003, the Band competed at the North American Championships in Maxville, ON, with a first place in the medley contest in 2002 highlighting their results.
The fall of 2003 was a turning point for the band as both Pipe Majors Fraser and Stankey retired. The band sought leadership from Pipe Major Wes Sheppard, formerly of the 78th Fraser Highlanders. By August of 2005 Pipe Major Sheppard, along with long time Drum Sergeant Bob Cooper, returned to Maxville, where they were crowned Grade 3 North American Champions. The fall of 2005 saw the band make its move to Grade 2. Along with some changes in the music, Drum Sergeant Bob Cooper stepped down from his position and handed the reigns of the drum corps to Roland “Rolly” Reid (SFU, 78th Toronto). Under their leadership, the band continued their success at Maxville by placing 3rd at the North American Championships in their first year in the grade 2.
In 2009, lead drummer Roland Reid stepped away from the group to be replaced by Sean Johnston, lead drummer from the Grade 3 band. With a re-built core the band continued their success, highlighted by winning second place overall in Maxville and qualifying for the finals of the World Pipe Band Championships in 2010. Despite continued success in local competitions, the grade 2 band struggled to maintain a large enough size to compete in Maxville and Scotland, leading to the band taking a hiatus as of 2014.
In 2004, with the band beginning to move beyond grade 3, a Grade 4 feeder band was formed under the direction of Pipe Major Kirby McRae and Drum Sergeant James Hoel, and soon after, Drum Sergeant Sean Johnston. Soon, the band tasted success both in local contests, including consecutive PPBAM Champion Supreme awards from 2006 to 2008, as well as further awards across many competitions in Canada.
In 2008, the band made the trip to Scotland for the first time, making a memorable trip including successful competitions in Dundonald and Perth. At the World’s, the band placed 7th in Grade 4, including first place in the qualifier. The following season, the band moved to grade 3, where they continued their success on the local circuit. Mark Jorgensen moved into the role of Pipe Major in 2010 and continued the band’s successful tradition with trips to Minneapolis and Calgary in the following years, as well as three more PPBAM Champion Supreme awards in Grade 3.
Most recently in 2013, with the grade 2 band entering their hiatus, Pipe Major Alex Peden and Drum Sergeant Dave Chorney took over the leadership of the band and began rebuilding numbers within the band. In the following years the band earned success locally, winning events in Grade 3 at the Manitoba Indoor Games in 2014 and the Brandon Highland Festival in 2014, as well as traveling to Minneapolis, Pleasanton, CA and Maxville.