About the band

The bagpipers and drummers Nelson Mandela Artillery are multi-instrumentalists and enjoy creating all sorts of new facets to their Afro-Celtic sounds. The band members are all civilian or volunteer musicians in the SANDF Reserve Force and come from all walks of life. We have a few students, a few pensioners, banking officials, a travel agent, various big business representatives and even a winemaker amongst our members. The band performs under Pipe Major Scheffel and Drum Major Bill White. It can now boast firm ranks of 20 members with a full learner group coming up through the ranks and practices at the historic Castle of Good Hope. Whether on the concert platform or on parade Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes & Drums is proud to a part of the Cape Town Pipe Band Fraternity. The Pipes Band is available for hire for any event and function. Hire the Band and enjoy the bagpipes for your functions.

The bagpipers and drummers of the Nelson Mandela Artillery wear the Royal Stewart tartan
Our base drummer surround by bagpipers with Table Mountain as a backdrop
Albion school of Highland Dancing accompanied by Nelson Mandela Artillery bagpipes and drums

our tartan

The Royal Stewart tartan is the best-known tartan of the royal House of Stewart and is also the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth II. Theoretically, this tartan cannot be worn without the express permission of the Queen. However, the Scottish Register of Tartans observes that in practice, due to its popularity, it has become a universal tartan, which can be worn by anyone who doesn’t have their own clan tartan. In 1952, Corporal Piper Ken Langlands applied for the band to wear this tartan from the Royal Caledonian Schools as an affiliate member and was thereby also granted permission.  You may notice that some wear their kilts at weddings, important ceremonies, and funerals. Why not spread some tartan at your occasion? Contact us.

HISTORY of the band

Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipe Band is based in Cape Town, South Africa and historically dates back to 1952 when Corporal Piper Ken Langlands decided to form the Cape Town Stewarts School of Piping. In 1973 with the band’s practice venue lease in Woodstock was due to expire, Ken Langland’s decided to seek an alternate venue for practising. The Cape Field Artillery Band was approached and the Officer Commanding Lt-Col Lionel Crook who was an ardent admirer of the bagpipe agreed that in exchange for the use of the facilities the band would perform when required as the Cape Field Artillery and after a lengthy consultation, the band gained official military recognition.

The band is now into its 40th year of tenure under the leadership of it’s 5th Pipe-Major Grant Scheffel who is taking the band into its next dimension. The band is led onto parade by Drum-Major Bill White. The band has shared the parade grounds and concert platforms with the likes of the internationally acclaimed SA Navy Band and frequently appears with the SA Army Band Cape Town. It also has been invited to play at festivals, weddings, funerals, and special occasions.

In August 2019, the regiment’s name was officially changed to the Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment as set out by the SANDF. In line with the changes made at the SANDF, the band was renamed. Henceforth, the band is known as the Nelson Mandela Artillery.

Albion School of highland dancing

Albion School of Highland Dancing has been promoting the Scottish culture of dancing for many years in Cape Town. We are really proud to be associated with this school in our concerts and having the chance for them to rehearse in our rooms at the Castle of Good Hope provided by the Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes and Drums. The bagpipes are proud to share the stage at events with these talented dancers.