Pipe band going loud and strong

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The South Canterbury Highland Pipe Band is bucking the trend with strong membership, its drum major says.
Phil de Joux said the band was well into its practice sessions in preparation for a ‘‘busy contesting and band parade season’’.
‘‘While many other bands in the South Island are struggling for members and unable to parade, the South Canterbury Highland Pipe Band appears to be bucking that trend.’’
This coming year, the band would compete at the Hororata Highland Games, Victoria Square Day, the Canterbury Centre contest in Christchurch, the Ashburton Music Festival, at the Otago Centre contest and Octagonal Day in Dunedin, the local centre contest, and the nationals in Nelson in March, as well as many public parades in Timaru and around the district, Mr de Joux said.
He said the band had a team competing well in grade two in a competitive environment.
‘‘They hope to put 16 pipers on the field for the nationals next year.’’
They also had a grade four band ‘‘which is a solid performer and provides the opportunity for players to move through to grade two when ready’’, Mr de Joux said.
Their strong juvenile band was made up of players from local schools.
‘‘On a number of occasions, the three bands join forces and form a formidable sight when playing together.
‘‘The band plans a number of public parades this summer in Timaru and will go into camp at Raincliff prior to the nationals. It is a fun weekend of tuition and music, culminating in a public rehearsal for the national contest.’’
The band provided professional tuition in piping and drumming and learners could progress quickly through the various learning phases to become proficient players, he said.
Some of the players competed on the solo piping circuit and also were successful buskers.
The band was looking for new learners and also players who ‘‘would like to join a progressive team and further their knowledge of piping and drumming’’.
‘‘The band provides both uniforms and instruments and new learners are assured of a friendly and enjoyable environment in which to learn.’’ – Anyone wanting further information can contact Mr de Joux on (03) 688-1512 or Scott Shannon on 615-5788