NZ, Oz Championships Brought To Within Two Weeks
The New Zealand and Australian pipe bands associations have collaborated and agreed to have, for the first time ever, their respective national championships only one week apart. The move is an attempt to make the events more convenient and accessible, especially for bands in the northern hemisphere considering the major trip.
The New Zealand Pipe Band Championships will be held March 12-14, 2004, in Taupo on the country’s North Island, near Auckland. The Australian Pipe Band Championships is scheduled for one week later, March 21, in Geelong, which is adjacent to Melbourne. Both Auckland and Melbourne are popular destinations for tourists.
Bands wishing more information on traveling to the championships should contact John Harrison, executive officer of the NZPBA, and Marg Johnstone, contest secretary for the Australian Championships.
Manawatu Scottish Society Pipe Band are the reigning champions of both the New Zealand and Australian championships.
Along similar lines, many top non-Scottish solo pipers have expressed the hope that the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering competitions will return to being one week apart, thus making them far more accessible to those making lengthy trips to reach Scotland.
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