Band History

Canberra City Pipes and Drums (CCPD) was the brainchild of four Canberra men (Bob McCaffrey, Rex French, Ted Howell & Angus Cattanach) who felt that the National Capital should have its own Pipe Band. These four set a clear goal for CCPD to become Canberra’s premier ceremonial Pipe and Drum Band. The band was formed to provide for non-competitive participation in the development, presentation and enjoyment of Scottish pipe and drum music in the Canberra region. CCPD officially came into existence in November 1991 when its constitution was ratified and registered.

In 1993, Canberra City Pipes and Drums was honoured and proud to be appointed the Honorary Pipe Band to the Australian Federal Police. The AFP has supported the Band over the years by providing uniform items and performance opportunities. The Band displays the Police insignia and black and white dicing on its glengarries and drums. Following an invitation to participate in the International Police Tattoo in Adelaide May 2006, CCPD was approached by the AFP and asked if, in addition to being known as Canberra City Pipes and Drums, the band could also be known as the AFP Pipes and Drums. In January 2006, a special general meeting of CCPD agreed to a motion that CCPD be also known as the AFP Pipes and Drums.

Although still non-competitive, the band strives to improve and maintain its performance standard through group and individual tuition, workshops and other strategies. The Band’s performance calendar has continued to grow as the performers have gained public recognition within the Canberra region. CCPD is regularly asked to play for the Canberra Multicultural Festival, community festivals, sporting events, weddings, funerals and other private functions.

Until 2016, the Band wore two tartans - the Ancient Caledonian and the Canberra Tartan. The Ancient Caledonian was chosen because it is distinctive and not clan-specific. The Canberra tartan was designed by two CCPD members and is a registered tartan. The Band’s Pipe Corps wore the Ancient Caledonian Tartan and the Drum Corps wore the Canberra Tartan. Since 2016, the entire Band has worn only the distinctive blue Canberra tartan.