Drum Major - Staff Sergeant Patrick McCarthy

Drum Major - Sergeant Patrick McCarthy

Staff Sergeant Patrick McCarthy was destined for a military band career when his father, at the completion of World War Two, transferred from the Field Engineers to the Artillery solely to join the NZ Artillery Band.

Brought up in a musical family Patrick learnt Euphonium at the age of ten and subsequently auditioned for the NZ Army Band in 1989. Although successful, a position wasn’t immediately available so Patrick spent the next 16 years in the logging industry, farming and travelling some of the wilder parts of the world.

Staff Sergeant McCarthy finally enlisted into the New Zealand Army Band in 2005, and over the following 12 months performed with the band at four international marching events. One of these, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, remains a career highlight, as there he met a young Scottish Officer Cadet playing the bagpipes. Elizabeth McTaggart is now Elizabeth McCarthy.

After a number of appointments within the unit, including Euphonium Section Commander and unit Physical Training Instructor,  Patrick transferred to the Reserve Forces in June 2013 and returned to dairy farming in his home valley of Galatea to spend precious time with his aging parents.

Staff Sergeant McCarthy remained active as a Reservist, deploying with the New Zealand Army Band to the 2015 Bremen Tattoo in Germany, Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Windsor in May 2016 and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2016.

In 2017, Staff Sergeant McCarthy returned full time to the New Zealand Army Band as Deputy Drum Major, and in 2018 was appointed Drum Major.

Five months later he led the New Zealand Army Band at the World Music Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, continuing the tradition of marching versatility and innovation the unit is renowned for.

This page was last amended on 02 September 2019