January 20, 2020

Entries for 2020 NZ Championships shaping up

With a population of about 4.8-million and four Grade 1 bands, New Zealand as a country has almost as much top-tier pipe band excellence per capita as Scotland.

The 2020 Royal New Zealand Pipe Band Championships on March 13-14 at Queen’s Park in Invercargill will showcase all four bands, plus the full compliment of seven bands in Grade 2, each playing in both Medley and MSR events to determine overall winners.

Grade 1
Auckland & District
Canterbury Caledonian Society
Manawatu Scottish
New Zealand Police

Grade 2
Hamilton Caledonian
ILT City of Invercargill Highland
Northland Caledonian
Scottish Society of New Zealand
St. Andrew’s College
Wellington Red Hackle

There are five Grade 3 bands entered, nine in Grade 4A, 16 in Grade 4B, and, tellingly nine entered in the Juvenile grade, helping to safeguard the future of the New Zealand pipe band scene.

Canterbury Caledonian will defend the title, this time with new lead-drummer Michael Jenkins., who assumed the role in November 2019 from Brayden Drummond. The contest will be the first appearance for the band in the 2019-20 New Zealand competition season.

The entrance to Queen’s Park, Invercargill, site of the 2020 New Zealand Pipe Band Championships. [Photo Ben Robinson]
New Zealand’s 4.8-million population and four Grade 1 bands mean that there is a top band for every 1.2-million people, versus one Grade 1 band for every 600,000 people in Scotland, which has a population of 5.4-million.

Northern Ireland has two active Grade 1 bands and 1.9-million people, while Canada, with its three active Grade 1 bands and a population of 37.6-million has one band per every 12-million people. Canada boasted more than 10 Grade 1 bands as late as the early 1980s when its population was fewer than 25-million people.



Leadership changes for New Zealand’s Canterbury Caledonian
November 16, 2019


Canterbury Caledonian return as New Zealand Champions
March 30, 2019





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