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Pipe Band (Pipes & Chanter)

Marion Horsburgh

Tutor: Marion Horsburgh

Marion was appointed as Musical Director of the Scots College Pipe Band in 1999 and has been tutoring bagpipes at the school since then. During this time, she has had the pleasure of sharing her love of bagpipes with a large number of students, and is delighted that many have continued playing beyond their school years.

Initially, students learn on a practice chanter, and once they have memorised 5 or 6 tunes, they are ready to progress to bagpipes and join the Development Band. There are opportunities for performances throughout the year, no matter what level a student is at. The ultimate challenge is for a student to develop their skill to the point where they are invited to join the Competition Band. This can take a few years, but is well worth the effort as the band travels to contests throughout New Zealand and sometimes to Scotland to compete and perform. 

While there is no restriction on what age students can begin learning the chanter, younger students can take several years to progress to the bagpipes. In contrast, from about Year 7, students with the right aptitude and dedication can do it in about 6 months.

Marion was fortunate to be brought up in a piping family and began tinkering on the practice chanter at age 5. She progressed to the pipes at age 10 and played in the North Otago Pipe Band with her father and sisters. A regular competitor in solo competitions, she has won several NZ championships, the Silver Chanter, the Gold Medal, and two Clasps. Marion has also met with success in Scotland, including winning the Silver Medal and placing several times in the Gold at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, and twice winning the Gold Medal at Braemar. As a member of the City of Wellington Pipe Band, Marion won 5 Grade 1 National titles from 1986 to 1990, competed at 4 World Pipe Band championships in Glasgow, and performed at the Edinburgh tattoo in 1987. She is currently a member of the Grade 1 Manawatu Pipe Band.

Marion has also performed on several occasions as a guest soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and has been a tutor at the National Pipe Band Summer Schools for many years.


Monday – Thursday