Norton wins first-ever Robert Turner Drumming Championship at Waipu

Published: January 31, 2013
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Waipu, New Zealand – January 1, 2013 – New Year’s Day offers an opportunity for New Zealand’s pipers and drummers to compete at one of the country’s oldest Highland games. The sun was out with blue skies in the picturesque town of Waipu (a small town originally settled by Scottish settlers) situated in the countries upper North Island. A crowd of more than 8,000 attended.

The drumming competitions have grown in the past three years and this year offered 19 events across four grades. Twenty-seven drumming competitors and eight of New Zealand’s professional-grade drummers competed in for a total prize pool of NZ$3,500.

This year the solo-drumming event concluded with a twist, where the famed retired drummer Robert Turner was honoured with the unveiling of a trophy in his name. Turner, who now lives in New Zealand, was for many years the Leading-Drummer of five-time World Champions Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band of Grangemouth, Scotland.

“This new trophy gives this contest a certain prestige,” said event organizer Glen Rodgers. “Not only does it present to the overall winner of this contest, but is named in honour of a true champion and drumming legend.”

SFU Leading-Drummer Reid Maxwell, who judged the event, spoke to the crowd of drummers and spectators, saying that it was a great honor for him to be part of a contest now held in Turner’s name.

Bob Turner was then approached and it was announced that the new prize would be named for him: “We haven’t asked your permission because we wanted it to be a surprise, and we hope that you will accept our gesture in naming this Championship after you: ‘The Robert Turner Drumming Championship’ in recognition of your achievements and contribution to world pipe band drumming.”

The trophy was then presented by Turner to the winner of this year’s contest, 19 year-old Louis Norton of Auckland.

The overall winner of the B-Grade Drumming Championship was Ryan Marsich, Whangarei, New Zealand. Winner of the Clan Cameron Trophy for C-Grade drumming: Matthew Parkinson, Rotorua, New Zealand. Overall winner of the D-Grade drumming: Jack Stewart, Auckland.

Solo Snare Drumming
1st  Elliot Gardner, Wellington
2nd  Catherine Wall, Christchurch
3rd  Angus Crowe, Wellington
4th  Eoin Aitkin, Sydney

Hornpipe & Jig
1st  Louis Norton, Auckland
2nd  Angus Crowe
3rd  Elliot Gardner
4th  Glen Rodgers, Auckland

Compound Time Marches
1st  Louis Norton
2nd  Catherine Wall
3rd  Elliot Gardner
4th  Glen Rodgers

1st  Catherine Wall
2nd  Glen Rodgers
3rd  Louis Norton
4th  Angus Crowe

Reid Maxwell judged all events.

Professional Solo Piping
1st  Martin Frewen
2nd Stuart Easton
3rd Willie Rowe
4th Jamie Hawke

1st  William Rowe
2nd  Martin Frewen
3rd  Stuart Easton
4th  Jamie Hawke

1st  Stuart Easton
2nd  Martin Frewen
3rd  Jamie Hawke

2/4 March
1st  William Rowe
2nd  Martin Frewen
3rd  Stuart Easton
4th  Geoff Halberg

Strathspey & Reel
1st  Martin Frewen
2nd  Stuart Easton
3rd  Malcolm Galloway
4th  Liam Kernaghan

Hornpipe & Jig
1st  Martin Frewen
2nd  Stewart Easton
3rd  Jamie Hawke

Helen McGregor Memorial Medley
1st  Stuart Easton
2nd  Jamie Hawke
3rd  Liam Kernaghan
4th  Scott Armstrong

Stuart Finlayson and John Hanning judged all of the Professional piping events.

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Do not be afraid to recognize that you do not know as much as others. Even if you have played in non-competitive bands for your entire career, and have never had formal instruction, do not hesitate to try to ask others for help.
Lionel Tupman, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario