Wynberg’s Pipe Band: History & Next Event

Wynberg Boys' High School: Pipe Band Competition

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the Wynberg Pipe Band and others!

History of the Wynberg Boys’ High School Pipe Band – Mr Keith Richardson writes:

The idea of a Pipe Band was conceptualised in a restaurant in Knysna in March 2014.  I had been asked to give a presentation to the Knysna High School and decided to spend the weekend in Knysna.

On the Saturday evening, while having supper, we were introduced to Peter Mouton and in the course of the conversation discovered that he was a piper and a member of the Knysna Pipe Band.  After discussing the merits of piping, it did not take long for the light bulb to go on.

‘What about a pipe band at Wynberg?’ I asked and so the journey began.

With the 175 march through the streets of Wynberg due to take place in February 2016, there was no time to waste if we wanted a pipe band to lead it.  Gareth Rudolph, from Somerset West, was press ganged into teaching the boys while Kevin Levin was approached to be the drumming instructor. ‘Both world renown,’ I was assured.

The next step was to test the waters with the response from the boys.  Gareth came to an assembly and the boys loved him – especially when he played ‘Men of Wynberg’ which some folk from Scotland still –  quaintly – insist on being called ‘Flower of Scotland’.  64 boys signed up immediately but many dropped off when they found that they had to buy chanters and even worse, were expected to practice regularly. About twenty pipers and drummers spent the rest of the year practicing.

The intensity was increased in 2015, with the pipes being ordered from Scotland as well as the newly designed kilts.  The design was undertaken by Will Carter of Stagshorn Scottish Outfitters in Plumstead who based his ideas on the McNaughton tartan with the eight house colours sensitively and discreetly woven in.

In late August, the long awaited pipes arrived and about a month later the boys played for the first time in front of an appreciative audience in the school assembly.  It has been wonderful to hear the members of the band practicing on the fields in the early morning and evening.  There is something special about the sound of bagpipes echoing off the hills in the early morning.

All is well on course for the Wynberg Pipe Band to lead their schoolmates on the 175th Schools’ Celebration March around the suburb of Wynberg in February 2016.

John McNaughton who opened the school in 1841 fresh from Edinburgh, would surely approve.