The Grade 1 New Zealand Police Pipe Band have appointed Adam Michie pipe-sergeant, replacing Vaughan Wheeler after 10 years in the role.
The 27-year-old Michie comes fresh from being a member of the Grade 1 ScottishPower, and previously played with Grade 1 bands Vale of Atholl and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia. He is immigrating from his native Scotland to live permanently in New Zealand.
Wheeler is stepping aside amicably, saying, “I am honoured to have served over 10 years as pipe-sergeant and now believe it time for the next generation to take on the role especially looking around the circle and seeing so many youngsters playing. I think [Pipe-Major Emmett Conway] needs another talented young guy in there that is going to help keep pushing the band forward.”
Conway, from Northern Ireland, took over the band in 2014-5, also immigrating to New Zealand. His background includes six years with Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery.
Adam Michie played with the New Zealand Police last spring as a guest member.
“I am absolutely thrilled to bits that Emmett and Vaughan thought I was capable of filling the pipe-sergeant role in the New Zealand Police. This was an opportunity I was not going to refuse. After playing with the band for a short period at the Nationals I was blown away by the talent and potential the band has to offer.”
He went on to thank Wheeler and ScottishPower Pipe-Major Chris Armstrong.
“Vaughan Wheeler . . . has been a huge rock for me over my past two-and-a-half years,” Conway said. “He has more than succeeded the role of a pipe-sergeant and a friend. Adam will have big brogues to fill, though I have no doubt he will.”
The New Zealand Police have made several appearances at the World Pipe Band Championships, the last time in 2016 when the band made it through the qualifying round to finish eleventh overall. The band’s first event of the new season will be at the Jenny Mair Highland Square Day in Palmerston North, New Zealand, on December 9th.
Conway said that the band plans to return to the World’s in 2018.