Founded in 1995 the Northwest Junior Pipe Band has
seen remarkable change.
The NWJPB was founded by Charlie McNeill, a Scottish emigrant
with a deep love for the bagpipes and for teaching kids. Starting
a youth pipe band was a lifelong dream for Charlie and before
he passed away he saw that dream realized. The Northwest Junior
Pipe Band completed a very successful 1999 year, competing
at several area highland games.
The band wears the MacKenzie tartan (plaid). By chance, this
happens to be the same tartan as the Highland Light Infantry
where Charlie spent time as a military piper, and also the
Seattle Pipe Band of which Charlie was the Pipe Major many
After the 1999 season, the Northwest Junior Pipe Band experienced
a 'slump'. Many of the pipers and drummers had graduated from
high school, effectively ageing out of the band, with several
going away to college. Still others carried their piping and
drumming to other area bands.
"It takes three years
to build a band."
the last few years, parents, instructors and kids have been
working hard to build the band back up. The summer of 2004
saw the NWJPB back on the competition field for a very successful
season in Grade 5. The band took home prizes every time they
competed, sometimes against bands much older and more experienced.
Over the 2005 contest season the kids really hit their stride,
taking first place in nearly every contest they entered! As
a result of this success, the band was moved up to the Grade
2006 -our first season in Grade 4 couldn't have been better.
As the season progressed the band continued to improve, climbing
the rankings to finish the summer with a solid standing.
In 2007, the band finished 4th overall of 18 bands who
competed and introduced a new Grade 5 band who won every event
they entered. 2008 was the best year yet for NWJPB Grade
4, with a 2nd place overall in Grade 4, and winning the
Washington State Grade 4 Pipe Band Championships before
heading to Scotland, ultimately placing 5th in the world. See
page for more information.
But competition isn't everything
Aside from competition, the band has truly matured as a musical
ensemble, performing a wide variety of music, both traditional
and contemporary - impressing audiences both small and large,
from elementary schools and community parades to our annual
The NWJPB organization itself is really making strides.
We have grown from around 6 playing members to nearly 50. Our volunteer base is bringing great experience
and lots of energy to the group - helping us meet (and exceed)
our financial and organizational goals.
This past few years we have seen a much wider age range becoming
active in the band. This gives us a wonderfully diverse membership.
Brothers and sisters are jumping in, involving entire families
in the NWJPB.
We are very excited about the direction the NWJPB is headed
and very proud of the band's two first place wins on an
international stage at Perth and Crieff, Scotland, as well as
third place in the qualifier and 5th in the world at the World
Pipe Band Championships 2008, the highest placing youth band
from North America.
Things are on a roll...
Kevin Auld - Band Director and Piping Instruction
began his piping career as a student at Shorecrest High School,
where he has since returned to teach the piping program. Kevin
played with the Washington Scottish Pipe Band for 14 years,
serving as Pipe Sergeant as well as Pipe Major.
He is a full-time bagpipe instructor and plays with the Celtic
music ensemble 'Piper's Creek'. www.seattlepiper.com
Marcie MacRae - Tenor and Bass Drum
has been playing the tenor drum since she was 7, having been
raised in one of the most active and influential piping families
in the Northwest.
She has played both tenor and bass drum with the Washington
Scottish Pipe Band as well as teaching private lessons and
instructing local pipe bands.
You can contact Marcie at (206) 850-6822 or www.macraedrumming.com
Scott Parker - Snare Drum
A drum teacher by trade, Scott has been an active member of the Pacific NW pipe band community since 2002. He teaches high school drum line, drum set and Scottish snare drumming to a wide variety of ages and ability levels.
For the past few years he has been instrumental in building the Pacific Northwest's growing Fire Department pipe band association, teaching no less than 5 drum corps.
His passion for teaching and his positive attitude with kids makes him a natural fit with NWJPB.
Contact Scott at (206) 898-2331 or
In addition to these senior instructors, graduates and advanced
members of the band also help instruct beginning players.
This builds patience, teaches leadership and helps kids connect.
All beginning instruction is overseen by the senior instructors.