Pipe bands gather for competition

Queenstown got a taste of Scotland over the weekend, as 12 pipe bands gathered for the inaugural Queenstown Pipe Band Championships.

City of Dunedin Juvenile Pipe Band drummer Emily Franklin, 17, in action during her band’s...
City of Dunedin Juvenile Pipe Band drummer Emily Franklin, 17, in action during her band’s winning performance in the inaugural Queenstown Pipe Band Championships at the Queenstown Recreation Ground yesterday. PHOTOS: TRACEY ROXBURGH
Traditionally, the event is an Otago-Southland competition held in Dunedin, but former Royal NZ Pipe Bands’ Association president and Otago Centre president Allister Macgregor, who organised the event, said the resort could become a world-class pipe band competition venue.

Contest convener Geoff Davis, of Mosgiel, said the area had a "beautiful amphitheatre" for the bands — however, heavy rain on Saturday caused "an utter disaster" for the event held at the Queenstown Recreation Ground over two days.

The solo piping and drumming was held outside, but when the rain set in, bands that could decamped and set up in the Queenstown Memorial Centre, while some chose to leave early.

Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band drum major John Teviotdale said having the bands in Queenstown for the weekend was "phenomenal".

His identical 14-year-old twin sons, Aiden and Morgan, took first and second place, respectively, in the solo drumming, which was the icing on the cake.

He hoped the event might spark some interest from other young members of the community to join in, Mr Teviotdale said.

"We desperately need it ... We’re working hard to get new blood before the old blood dies off."

Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band drummer Aiden Teviotdale, who won his solo drumming category,...
Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band drummer Aiden Teviotdale, who won his solo drumming category, and his dad, drum major John.
Mr Macgregor said he was already planning a much bigger event next year, on March 1 and 2, just five days before the national championships, being held in Invercargill.

He expected there would be at least 25 bands next year, including some from Scotland, the United States and Australia.

Following yesterday’s events, the Grade 4 B champion was the City of Dunedin Pipe Band, while the Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band won the Grade 4 A championship and the City of Dunedin picked up the juvenile champion award.

 

 

Advertisement