Press Releases

Pipe band poised to take on the world

Kirsty Macnicol
The Southland Times
February 24, 1998

THE City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band will take on the world during its tour to Scotland for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August.
On top of a hectic 24-performance schedule, the band has decided to compete in the world pipe band championships in Glasgow on August 15.
Drum Major Neale Smith said it was a big ask to do both events.
On the day of the world championships, the band would have to travel an hour to Glasgow where it would play in a heat in the morning, hopefully make the finals in the afternoon, and return to Edinburgh in time for two tattoo performances at night.
"It's going to be a bit hectic but it's an incredible opportunity," he
said.
"I can imagine quite a bit of adrenalin being pumped around that particular day."
The decision to compete was not taken lightly. Pipe Major David Pickett had discussed the workload extensively with other bands who had performed at the tattoo in the past, looking at why they did or did not compete, Mr Smith said.
The demand on time and energy would be huge but the chance was too good to pass up, he said.
"To get a crack at doing them both in the one year _ this trip is a once in a lifetime."
The world championships last year attracted 212 bands. The Invercargill band, which will be defending its grade two New Zealand champion title at Rotorua next month, intends to enter the same grade at Glasgow.
There are about four heats of 16 bands in grade two, with the top six from each heat going on to compete for the championship title.
The band was positive about its ability and was ready for the challenge to test its competitiveness against the best in the world, Mr Smith said.
Competing would mean more pressure on the first few weeks of the tour, with daily contest rehearsals having to be scheduled around tattoo commitments.
The band would also try to fit in at least one other competition to
familiarise its members with the Scottish format and competing conditions.
The extra focus did nothing to diminish the primary aim of the trip, which was to represent Southland on the world stage, Mr Smith said.
"The goal at the tattoo is to perform in such a credible way that we get another invite."


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