Australia Highlanders Pipe Band
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|City of Whitehorse Pipe Band|
|Pipe Major||George Shepherd|
|Drum Sergeant||Olav Goud|
Winner, Australian and South Pacific Pipe Band Championships: 2006;Finalist - World Pipe Band Championships: 2006, 2007 & 2009
The City of Whitehorse is a grade two pipe band, based in Nunawading, Victoria, Australia. The band has been successful in the Australian competition for numerous years, and was placed 11th in the final tables of the World Pipe Band Championships in 2006. The band is led by Pipe Major George Shepherd and Drum Sergeant Olav Goud, and is a member of the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association.
The Nunawading Pipe Band, as it was first known, formed in 1956. Three decades of local competition saw the band venture to New Zealand, in 1989, where they won the national championships in Grade Two. Under a year later, Nunawading also received first place in the Australian and South Pacific Championships, which earned their promotion to Grade One. After several years in this grade, the band took another overseas trip, this time to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. In the home of the Great Highland Bagpipe, the Australian contenders placed 18th. While this was a commendable effort, the band went into decline for much of the decade, until it was taken over by Danny and Alistair Boyle, the pipe major and drum major, in 2001. After this changeover, Nunawading went from Grade Three to Grade One in the space of a single season. To fill the void left by regrading, and make space for an influx of new members, a second band was created. Nunawading again travelled to New Zealand in 2003, and placed 2nd, closely following another Australian band. Not to be deterred, the band attained a 19th placing in the world championships in 2005.
In February 2006, the band changed its name to Australia Highlanders for marketing reasons. In August that year, the band returned to Scotland to place 4th at the Bridge of Allan competition, as well as compete at the World Championships. Here, they qualified for the Grade One final for the first time, finishing 11th. With an overall win at the Australian and South Pacific Championships later in the year, it was seen that the exceptional performances the band was already known for could still be expected under its new name. The 50th Anniversary of the band remains its most successful year to date.
In 2007 the band returned once more to Glasgow for the World Championships. Again, they qualified for the Grade One final and, this time, finished 13th.
The following year saw the band release their second album entitled 'Without Fear'. The band travelled to Northern Ireland, finishing 3rd in the Ulster Championships. The following week, the band failed to qualify for the final at the World Champsionships. And, later in the year, Australia Highlanders also lost to The Band Club (Sydney) at the Australian Championships, finishing 2nd.
In 2009, the band returned to Northern Ireland to again compete at the Ulster Championships. A week later the band again qualified for the final of the World Championships and finished 14th.
In 2010, Pipe Major Danny Boyle and Drum Sergeant Alistair Boyle resigned and the band dissolved.
In 2014, the band was reformed under the leadership of George Shepherd & Olav Goud. Under Shepherd, the band changed its name to City of Whitehorse Pipe Band and has competed since in Grade Two. In March 2015, the band placed first at the Victorian Championships.