New Zealand continues opening up with in-person Brown Cup and Everest Memorial
New Zealand continues to set the pace among piping-rich countries for a return to normalcy with the announcement that the Wellington Pipers Club’s 68th annual Brown Cup light music and Everest Memorial Piobaireachd solo piping competitions and the New Zealand Solo Drumming Championships being held in-person on September 26th at the Scots College in Wellington.
The development follows the announcement that the Highland Society of Canterbury would also move ahead with in-the-flesh solo piping events in Christchurch throughout the New Zealand winter and spring.
New Zealand has coped with the coronavirus pandemic better than most countries. A few weeks ago, the country was declared virus-free and relaxed its lockdown, but recently a handful of cases have emerged.
The events usually take place in June. The club considered staying with the date with an online contest but elected instead to delay the event to stage it in-person before an audience.
“Our normal date is June, and we discussed whether we would go to online when we were still in Level 3 lockdown, but the consensus was that the event was much more than a mere competition,” said organizer Ross Hanning. “It was also all about the now limited opportunities we have in New Zealand for quality pipers to come together and socialize. It was felt this was as important as the actual competition, so hoped we would get to Level 1 as we have done and be able to run the competition as normal.”
The Brown Cup pays homage to Wellington Pipers Club patron W.G. Brown. Contestants have to play an MSR, a Jig & Hornpipe and a Slow Air of their own choice in any sequence with a maximum of two tuning breaks. Judges are still to be determined. The MSR will be judged separately also for the Neil and Alan McPhee Memorial Tray.
The Everest Memorial honours former Wellington Pipers Club President Bob Everest. Pipers have to submit three tunes of their own choice and play one. Judges will be Iain Hines and John Hanning.
Each event offers prizes of NZ$300 for 1st; $200 for 2nd; $100 3rd; and if there are at least eight competitors, $50 for 4th.
Competitors have to be paying members of the Wellington Pipers Club and pay an $8 entry fee.
The Highland Piping Society of Canterbury is reportedly also going ahead with the annual Silver chanter competitions in October. Manawatu Square Day in December will be in-person with a full slate of piping, drumming and pipe band events.
Brendan Eade was the winner of both the 2019 Brown Cup and Everest Memorial.
Eade on top of Everest, Brown at Wellington
July 14, 2019