CoW and Manchester getting together for 2015
It’s not a merger, but a “collaboration,” according to both the Grade 3 Manchester Pipe Band and the Grade 2 City of Washington pipe bands from the eastern United States, as they combine for the 2015 season.
The partnership will see the City of Washington Pipe-Major Dan Lyden and Pipe-Sergeant Ben McClamrock provide instruction to the Manchester group, and members of CoW competing with Manchester over the summer.
The move comes after the former Grade 1 CoW was on hiatus in 2014 due to a loss of personnel, following a gradual decline from the band’s stint in Grade 1 in the 2000s.
According to a statement from Manchester, “the collaboration will accelerate the pace of development within MPB, improving access to high-quality instruction for MPB pipers, and redoubling MPB’s efforts to field a pipe band at the forefront of the grade.”
Each band will continue to run on its own, with individual practice schedules, except for combined monthly weekend practices in alternating locations. Manchester is based in Connecticut, several hours from Washington, DC.
The combined competition group will operate under the Manchester Pipe Band name, in Grade 3, and will be led by Pipe-Major Jared Otto and Leading-Drummer Wes Cole. They predict a roster in 2015 of at least 25 pipers, eight snare drummers, two tenors and a bass.
A source within the band said that 10 to 12 pipers will come into Manchester from CoW, and that the band’s drum section has added former members of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Toronto Police, Oran Mor and the Stuart Highlanders, as well as a few Manchester alumni who have returned.