Manhattan College Pipes and Drums take 1st Place at NYC Parade

Manhattan College Pipes and Drums at at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. FLIKR/COURTESY

By Andrew Mannion, Asst. Sports Editor

After marching in the 2023 New York City St. Patrick’s day parade, the Manhattan College Pipes and Drums took first place for best high school and college band in the parade. 

This was the first awards ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic, and MC gladly claimed the achievement.

             The award meant a lot to the band given its history. With it being the first chance in 3 years, the band felt seen and was proud of their work. John Howard, senior accounting major in the band, talked about what the surprise award meant.

“(Winning the award) felt great, it really felt great,” Howard said. “I believe we have won it a couple of times in the past, but this is the first time since 2018 that we have won the award. I wasn’t expecting to win it either. So it felt really good to accept first place.”

The band proved themselves to be deserving of the award. The Manhattan College Pipes and Drums beat out a long list of other schools that have their own band and participated in the parade.

“(The awards) included a first, second and third place. There are many schools that are accounted for. We beat out West Point and St. Anthony’s. So coming out first place is great,” explained Howard. 

It’s almost impossible, however, to become a great group or band without a tight-knit practice routine. Brendan Keane, a junior civil engineering major, noted the band’s practice regime.

“We practice drums and bagpipes for about three hours on Thursdays,” Keane said. We pretty much just prepare for the parade season in March. Then we attend at least 10 parades on the weekends in March, and then the city one which can fall on any kind of day, usually March 17.”

The club is made up of both MC alumni and current students. Keane shared with The Quadrangle that there are networking opportunities as well as a chance to just have fun. 

“Actually two of my uncles are in the band and they are alumni. They encouraged me to join and it’s been fun,” said Keane. “The dynamic between students and alumni is very good, there’s a lot of networking possibilities. A lot of people in the fields of engineering, education, business etc. [John and I] serve as the student representatives in the group and it’s just been a great time.” 

Alumni member of the band, Colleen Corrigan remarked on her years of experience in marching band, and has found a tight family within the Manhattan College Pipes and Drums.

“I recently joined the Manhattan College Pipe band in January 2023. I am a graduate of Mount St. Vincent. Back when I attended college, I took classes on Manhattan College’s campus since the schools were affiliated,” Corrigan said. “I joined the bagpipe world in 1992 when my best friend and her brother joined County Tyrone’s pipe band. I was originally a snare drummer and played the drum for 8 years before transitioning over to the bagpipes.  I was just getting back into piping again after raising a family and reached out to the band and was welcomed with open arms.”

Howard encourages both students and alumni to join Pipes and Drums, no matter their level of experience or lack of equipment. 

“Everything is paid for, like the instruments, uniforms and kilts. It’s all expenses paid and we’re always looking for new members,” said Howard.  

If you or anybody you know is interested in joining the band, you can reach out to with any questions.