30 Mar Pipe band championship a resounding success 

On the weekend of 10th-11th March Nayland College students Tiffany Gilchrist and Caitlin Reid (Year 13), and Elise and Evie Reid (Year 10), competed at the Royal New Zealand Pipe Band Association National and South Pacific Championships. 

39 bands from across New Zealand and Australia converged on Nelson for the event.

Evie and Elise, as part of the Celtic Development Pipe Band, were judged Runners Up in their grade overall. Elise plays the side drum and Evie plays the bagpipes. Motivated by the musical hobbies of her two sisters, Evie joined the band two years ago. Though she says she sounded “horrible – like a dying cat” when she started, the instrument is now going well for her.

Tiffany and Caitlin are members of the Celtic Pipe Band. Tiffany plays bass and tenor drum and and Caitlin plays tenor drum. At the championship they competed in Grade Two where they came first in Dress, first in Bass and Tenor, and Runner Up overall in their grade.

Involvement in pipe band has led to multiple OE opportunities for the pair. Both girls are members of the Foundation New Zealand Youth Pipe Band who were the winners of the juvenile grade at the Australian National Championships held in Sydney in 2016.

Last year Tiffany travelled to Canada and then on to Glasgow to compete with the Canadian Simon Fraser University Pipe Band at the World Pipe Band Championships. From a family of pipe band musicians, Tiffany said the experience was “thrilling”.  

An aspect of the band she particularly enjoys is the opportunity to mix with such a range of people of all ages, from 8 years old to elderly people. “Everyone’s equal,” she said. “Normally a kid would be inferior to an adult but (in the band) everyone’s the same.”

Both Tiffany and Caitlin will travel to Glasgow for the World Champs this year. Tiffany will compete with the same band as last year, while Caitlin will play with the Auckland and Districts Pipe Band.

By Sera King