Pipe band aiming for top three at nationals

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The kids are quite excited about getting away and competing.The skirl of the pipes rang out on Saturday at the Gore A&P Showgrounds as the Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band practised for the national competition in Rotorua.

The band also practised at the Gore Town and Country Club on Saturday and Sunday.

Band president Jeff Shanks said the band would be performing in the national competition in Rotorua.

“We hope to be in the top three [in the competition],” Mr Shanks said.

The competition would begin on Friday for the grade 4 band, with the set and the medley sections, he said.

“The Saturday morning is the street march.”

The band includes the father and daughter combination of Darren Taylor on bass drum and Chloe (12) on pipes.

Mr Taylor, a relative newcomer to the band, would be taking part in his first competition, as would Chloe, in the set and medley sections, Mr Shanks said.

addition to the competition scene, he said.

“The kids are quite excited about getting away and competing.”

In all, 24 band members and supporters would be travelling to the national competition, he said.

“It’s going to be about $5000 worth of travel costs.”

This year the band had the added advantage of being led by New Zealand Youth Pipe Band piper Sam Darling, from Ettrick, he said.

Mr Darling had an association with the former Mataura Kilties Pipe Band.

“He played his first national for Mataura Kilties.”

Mr Darling had new ideas which helped the band, Mr Shanks said.

The band’s lead drummer is Liam Fairburn, who played in the Invercargill grade 1 band, he said.

“He’s come up through our band as well.”