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Smokin' pipes a hit

Tina Nixon
The Southland Times
July 07, 1997

THE concert was billed as "Pipin Hot" but the City Of Invercargill
Caledonian Pipe Band was smokin' last night.
Now I admit to being biased, my maiden name was Campbell, but Invercargill has always produced good pipe band music and last night's concert was no exception.
By the last set the audience was all but doing the highland fling in the
aisles.
The organisers offered up a varied programme from the lilting voices of Julie Smith and Elizabeth Gunn to the crashing beat of the drummers.
Southland is lucky to have some top class pipers and none more so than Pipe Major David Pickett.
Sparks were literally flying from his fingers as he duelled with Neil
McMillan and Warren Haggerty for musical supremacy in Hell Bound Train.
Julie Smith has a magic voice and she had the great aunties reaching for their hankies when she sung Belfast Child.
Her duet with Elizabeth Gunn, Fare Thee Well stirred just as many emotions.
The drummers seemed to stitch the show together and it was a delight to see so many young faces in the band.
Guest artists Shannon Cooper-Garland and Jason Schmidt were very polished but a little bit incongruous with the rest of the concert.
The Caberfeidh Dancers sent the dust flying and with the rise of Celtic dancing some could have careers on the horizon.
But it was senior piper Neil McMillan who stole the show with his rendition of Highland Cathedral. He played with such deep feeling for a song which pays tribute to the gallant men whose bravery shaped a nation, that even the world weary reviewer had a lump in her throat.
The concert was a real winner and the band will make admirable ambassadors for Southland when the travel to Kumaguya next year.


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