Published: November 25, 2020

Live and in-person: a pipe band competition

Warriewood/North Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia – November 22, 2020 – It was a small competition, but in the grand scheme of things the 11 bands that competed in the 2020 North Beaches Competition was something of a breakthrough for the pipe band world, with groups playing live and in-person on a dry and dusty field at Pittwater Rugby Club that resonated with the sound of non-digitized ensemble music.

Apart from the Grade 2 Pipeband Club putting on a non-contested performance, the top winner was Scots College (NSW), taking the Grade 4A event.

Scots College No. 1 (NSW) competing in the flesh at the 2020 North Beaches Pipe Band Competition. [Photo: Kim Ticehurst]
Australia has been largely successful in containing the coronavirus, after significant challenges in the the state of Victoria. The event involved two months of planning and between the New South Wales and local government regulatory bodies, and Pipe Bands New South Wales.

“We started with a limit of no more than 30 people allowed at these gatherings,” said Peter Felton of PBNSW, “which was an almost impossible limitation to the viability of these contests. Fortunately, concerted lobbying of the NSW Governments by a combined working group of NSW musical organizations, including Pipe Bands NSW, bore fruit on October 12th when limits were raised to 500.

“It was a major turning point that saw over three hundred band members and their families at in Warriewood, and attendee feedback has been hugely supportive. PBNSW now sees the way clear to facilitate a full-blooded return to outdoor activities in the New Year.”

New Zealand, which is also dealing with COVID-19 well, is poised to resume live pipe band events on December 5th in Christchurch.

Grade 2 (one played)
Medley
1st Pipeband Club (1,1,1)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Joe Fleming (drumming)

Grade 4A (two competed)
Medley
1st Scots College No. 1 (NSW) (1,2,1)
2nd Knox Grammar School (2,1,2)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Joe Fleming (drumming)

MSR
1st Scots College No. 1 (NSW) (1,1,1)
2nd Knox Grammar School (2,2,2)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Greg Weber (drumming)

Grade 4B
Medley (two competed)
1st Knox Grammar School No.2 (2,1,1)
2nd Governor MacQuarrie Memorial No.2 (1,2,2)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Joe Fleming (drumming)

MSR (four competed)
1st Castle Hill RSL (1,1,3)
2nd Knox Grammar School No.2 (2,2,1)
3rd Governor MacQuarrie Memorial No.2 (3,3,2)
4th Governor MacQuarrie Memorial No. 2B (4,4,4)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Greg Weber (drumming)

Novice Juvenile A (two competed)
Medley
1st Scots College No.1 (NSW) (1,2,1)
2nd Knox Grammar School No.1 (2,1,2)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Joe Fleming (drumming)

Selection of Marches
1st Scots College No.1 (NSW) (1,1,1)
2nd Knox Grammar School No.1 (1,1,1)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Greg Weber (drumming)

Novice Juvenile B
Medley
(one played)
1st Knox Grammar School No.2 (1,1,1)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Joe Fleming (drumming)

Selection of Marches (two competed)
1st Knox Grammar School No.2 (1,1,1)
2nd Knox Grammar School No.3 (1,1,1)
Judges: Gary Barker, Adam Wishart (piping); Greg Weber (drumming)

 

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