Press Releases

City pipe band wins competition

Members of the City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band (from left) Neil Mogey, Derek Ballantine and Trevor Morton return to the south victorious last night from the national grade two championships at Taupo

The Southland Times
March 16, 2004

Kirsty MacNicol

The City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band took out the national grade two championship 28 points clear of its next closest rival at the weekend.

The band convincingly shook off a frustrating four years as runner-up to win the street march, set, medley and dress at the national contest in Taupo. In addition the bass and tenor section finished third in New Zealand, while drum major Neale Smith ranked fifth overall.

Pipe major Derek Ballantine said the band, comprising 17 pipers and 11 drummers, commanded attention from the moment it arrived at the competition. "We had probably the biggest band in grade two and just about as big as grade one". The crowd clapped and cheered the band, which looked impressive in full military dress, along the entire street march course and accolades were just as strong in the musical events, Mr Ballantine said. "It's just been a weekend of huge crowd support".

The tangible measure of that was 75 sales of the band's latest Pipin' Hot CD.

Pipers and drummers were impressed with the bands teamwork and several approached him about the possibility of joining the band for its tour to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo later this year. Some of those offers might well be taken up as some band members were unable to take the necessary time off work to travel while others had to return early for study commitments, he said.

Following Scotland, the focus would be to repeat the championship win in front of a home crowd when the national contest is held in Invercargill next year.

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