The Southland Times
February 24, 1998
City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band will take on
the world during its tour to Scotland for the Edinburgh
Military Tattoo in August.
On top of a hectic 24-performance schedule, the band has
decided to compete in the world pipe band championships
in Glasgow on August 15.
Drum Major Neale Smith said it was a big ask to do both
On the day of the world championships, the band would
have to travel an hour to Glasgow where it would play
in a heat in the morning, hopefully make the finals in
the afternoon, and return to Edinburgh in time for two
tattoo performances at night.
"It's going to be a bit hectic but it's an incredible
"I can imagine quite a bit of adrenalin being pumped
around that particular day."
The decision to compete was not taken lightly. Pipe Major
David Pickett had discussed the workload extensively with
other bands who had performed at the tattoo in the past,
looking at why they did or did not compete, Mr Smith said.
The demand on time and energy would be huge but the chance
was too good to pass up, he said.
"To get a crack at doing them both in the one year
_ this trip is a once in a lifetime."
The world championships last year attracted 212 bands.
The Invercargill band, which will be defending its grade
two New Zealand champion title at Rotorua next month,
intends to enter the same grade at Glasgow.
There are about four heats of 16 bands in grade two, with
the top six from each heat going on to compete for the
The band was positive about its ability and was ready
for the challenge to test its competitiveness against
the best in the world, Mr Smith said.
Competing would mean more pressure on the first few weeks
of the tour, with daily contest rehearsals having to be
scheduled around tattoo commitments.
The band would also try to fit in at least one other competition
familiarise its members with the Scottish format and competing
The extra focus did nothing to diminish the primary aim
of the trip, which was to represent Southland on the world
stage, Mr Smith said.
"The goal at the tattoo is to perform in such a credible
way that we get another invite."