Drum Major - Staff 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