The Southland Times
March 06, 2000
City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band set off for
yesterday morning to defend its national grade two title
unprecedented fourth consecutive year.
But before it competes at the national championships in
Masterton at the weekend, it has a busy week ahead rehearsing
for and performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in
the tattoo's first showing outside Scotland.
En route to Wellington yesterday, the band spent the day
in Christchurch where it competed in the Canterbury championships,
collecting a first in the display, second in the set and
third in the medley.
Southern City Highland Pipe Band also competed in Christchurch
yesterday, finishing third in the set and medley and fourth
in the street march in grade four.
The Mataura Kilties Pipe Band did not go to Christchurch
but will be the only other Southland representative at
the nationals. It will leave later this week for the grade
four competition after amassing an array of trophies from
various South Island competitions this season.
Invercargill Pipe Major David Pickett said his band faced
a hectic week.
Tattoo rehearsals in Wellington were scheduled to start
about 8am and the bands would not be back at their accommodation
until midnight most days.
Into that they had to squeeze fine tuning for their competition
"It's a big ask. At least one of our main competitors
turned down a chance to play in the tattoo so they could
concentrate on the nationals. I suppose that also shows
you how hard the other bands are going out to beat us
Defending the title would be harder than it had ever been
but after such an "amazing" experience at the
Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland two years ago, the band would
never have turned down the opportunity to partake again
regardless of the extra pressure it created, Mr Pickett
"We're happy to do what it takes. We know what hard
work's all about and we know how good it feels to win."