Coffs Pipe and Drums band belt out their bonny beats at Maclean Highland Gathering

The Coffs Harbour Pipe and Drum Band team at Maclean Highland Gathering at Maclean over the Easter Weekend.

THE COFFS Coast Pipes and Drums band was amongst a huge crowd of musicians and spectators attending the Maclean Highland Gathering at Maclean over the Easter Weekend.

“The Scottish festival saw one of the biggest crowds for many years,” Dale Rodgers, spokesperson for the band, told News Of The Area.

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The street parade commenced promptly at 08.30am with all the participating bands marching and playing through the streets.

Highland dancers started the entertainment on the main site where many Scottish-style stores were set up selling their wares.

The pipe band competition attracted many local bands as well as Queensland in grades 4B, 4A, grade 3 and grade 2.

The NSW Highlanders, with players from Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Tamworth, Wingham, Port Macquarie, Grafton and the Central Coast, competed in grade 4B and 4A.

“Although not taking out a placement, the Highlanders drum core were best in grade 4B and 3rd in Grade 4A,” said Dale.

“Our youngest snare drummer, eight-year-old Caitlin took out first place in the novice solo drumming on Friday, with her fourteen-year-old brother, Lucas taking out first place in the novice piping, both received a small scholarship to continue with their tuition.”

The Coffs Coast Pipe and Drums members said the sights and sounds of the bands marching through the streets stirred the emotions of the huge crowd who gathered for the event on Saturday.

“The band was ecstatic with the results of its two young novice players, Lucas and Caitlin from Manning Valley Pipe Band, as they have both only recently taken up their instruments.

“The NSW Highlanders Band, under the guidance of Jamie Hunt, pipe major and Steve Rogers, drum sergeant, were extremely pleased with their three-competition playout as it is difficult to get the band together for practice due to the vast area they all come from.

“A lot of practice is done alone, with zoom meetings fortnightly and with group practice every second month,” said Dale.

The finale of the day was a culmination of what it’s all about.

“The mass band marching across the showground to sounds of pipes and drums playing Scotland the Brave and a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace played by the winner of the Grade 2 competition, Emmanuel College, Brisbane.”

The Coffs Coast band will now focus on some local competitions with the Glenn Innes Celtic Festival on 6 and 7 May and the Bonnie Wingham Festival on 3 June.

The band’s bigger international focus is on preparing for competing in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow 2024 with various fund-raising events throughout the year.

Anyone fancying getting involved with the Coffs Coast Pipes and Drums band is welcome to come along and try a practice night.

Enquiries to Geoff Rogers on 0416 233 882.


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