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Opportunity in Napier, New Zealand

Good morning Ken

Here in Napier (in Hawke's Bay wine country of New Zealand) our competing pipe band has done a nose dive and has merged with our non-competing band, Drones & Sticks.  The big challenge for us is to rejuvenate the pipe band movement in our city and this needs to start with an education program.  Our challenge is to find people who can help us do that.  I have started a trust (the Napier Piping and Drumming Education Trust) and am accessing a number of trust for funding.

We're in a position to offer assistance to someone to come to Napier and help us get things moving again.  We have a lot to offer, the possibilities include:

- assistance with travel;

- assistance with accommodation;

- assistance with tertiary study (at the Eastern Institute of Technology);

- access to schools in Napier, particularly Napier Boys High which has a long pipe band history;

- mentoring from a number of very experienced pipers and drummers;

- possible financial and other support from the Drones & Sticks Pipe Band.

Depending on how the arrangement worked it might be possible for the person to connect and play with a NZ grade 1 band while here but we would want that to enhance not to detract from the work they do here in Napier.

My query is whether you might share this information amongst your networks.  There may be some young people who have good piping or drumming skills, good abilities as tutors and good personalities who would enjoy an overseas experience rebuilding what was once a competitive grade 1 band.

Kind regards



Kerry Marshall

Drones & Sticks Pipe Band

Napier, New Zealand

Phone 06 833 7088 or 021 107 6428


G5 - The South American Pipe Band Championships

September 4 7, 2013

With the Cowal Gathering just over, Joe and Lynn Noble and myself were on planes headed for Buenos Aires, Argentina on Monday, September 2. Arriving by separate carriers, we were whisked away to our hotel for the week, the Ramada Inn in Vicente Lopez, a suburb of Buenos Aires. Ironically, as quickly as we were met at the arrivals, the trip to the hotel took in excess of 90 minutes traffic thicker than a herd of buffalo at a watering hole! Bumper to bumper and stopped all the way With close to 13 million residents in the area, this has to be one of the most congested urban centers in the world!

The arrival behind us, we were joined by our new friend, dancing instructor Tony Cargill and we settled in for a few days of Argentinean BBQs (asados), band workshops and judging of the G5 the fifth South American summit for pipe bands.

Ken Eller, Tony Cargill and Joe Noble

Ken Eller overseeing the parrilla at the asado hosted by George and his wife Yvonne

Our hosts for the G5 were the members of the Highland Thistle Pipe Band Ernesto (Lead Drummer) and his father Ralph Ayling, who took us all out for a fabulous luncheon, Paula Martin (dance coordinator), Oscar Llobenes (Pipe Major), and band members like Paula, Gus and Chus, who assisted with transportation every day.

Javier Olivera (Chus), Cyril and Ralph Ayling and grandson Pat Schmidt-Liermann

All work and no play is not a recipe for enjoying oneself. Needless to say, we toured this fabulous city, did some shopping and even managed at midday asado in Tigre, a resort area down the River Plate.

Joe sitting down to his noon feast in an outdoor cafe in Tigre

I cant believe he ate the whole thing!

Joe, his wife Lynn and Tony (back seat) on the open-air top of the yellow city tour bus

History is everywhere, as traditionally uniformed guards preside over church crypts, monuments, national banks and government buildings

The downtown of Buenos Aires boasts wide avenues and old and new architecture as many of the pre-revolutionary buildings have been preserved alongside modern high risers

Next up, the bands, the workshops and the G5 main event.






Special Presentations

2010 George Sherriff Memorial Contest


George Sherriff For the 15th year, the George Sherriff Memorial Competition was held yesterday in Hamilton, Ontario. This edition brought 12 of the best amateur players from all corners of North America to play in 3 contests - a morning (submit 2), 6-8 March - an afternoon (submit 3) Piobaireachd and an evening (submit 2) MSR event. This was a true marathon for the competitors as well as the distinguished panel of adjudicators - Murray Henderson (Scotland), Terry Lee (BC) and Peter Aumonier (ON). MC for the event was Ed Neigh, who often stole the show with so much history and serious or humorous anecdotes on the tunes and their composers. Truly this was a complete day! Emerging as the 2010 Sherriff overall winner was Andrew Laird from Winnipeg, MB. As Bob Worrall indicated in the prize presentation, it was certainly a "horse race" between Andrew and the runner-up, Glenn Walpole of Tiverton, ON with Andrew winning the Piobaireachd and Glenn taking top honors in the MSR. The 6-8 went to Bobby Durning (Milltown,NJ), the 2008 overall winner.Andrew Laird and the judges

Listen to  the winning performances:

Andrew Laird

Piobaireachd - The MacGregor's Salute 

MSR - The Abercairney Highlanders, Lady Louden, The Sheepwife 

6-8 March  - Dr. Ross's Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering, Cameron MacFadyen

Glenn Walpole 

Glenn Walpole

Piobaireachd The Massacre of Glencoe

MSR - The Lochaber Gathering, The Shepherd's crook, The Sheepwife 

6-8 March  - Ballochyle, Dr. Ross's Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering



Winter Storm 2010
Gold Medal Champion

Andrew Lee receiving the Gold Medal from R.G.Hardie's Alastair Dunn
Andrew Lee(left), receiving Gold medal from R. G. Hardie's Alastair Dunn
Listen to Andrew playing The Big Spree

Silver Medal Champion

Brian MacKenzie of Seattle, Washington
Brian MacKenzie, Seattle, Washington
Playing The Lament for Mary MacLeod

Ceol Beag Champion

Jamie Troy receiving the Henderson Medal for Ceol Beag from the owner of Henderson Imports, Jim Moore
James P. Troy receiving the Henderson Medal from Jim Moore, owner of Henderson's Imports
Listen to Jamie's winning Light Music Performance


The 2009 George Sherriff Memorial Competition

The 14th annual George Sherriff Memorial was held in Hamilton, ON on Saturday, November 21, 2009. As always, the crew of volunteers spearheaded by event organizer Bob Worrall did a splendid job, bringing professionalism to this major amateur event - great ambience in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church - superb playing and listening conditions with a concert-like atmosphere  The enthusiastic audience was treated to light music and piobaireachd by 10 performers from as far away as Hong Kong, Oregon, Washington State, New Jersey, Maine and Texas. Ontario and Nova Scotia pipers represented Canada.

The panel of adjudicators represented the best in competitive and musical experience. Jack Lee from Surrey, BC; Reay MacKay from Orillia, ON; Stuart Liddell from Inverary, Scotland.

Jack Lee, Reay MacKay, Stuart Liddell - the bench for the Sherriff

With wins in the 6/8 March and Piobaireachd events, the overall winner went to Richard Gillies of Portland, Oregon. while winner of the MSR was Houston, Texas resident, Anthony Masterson.

Richard Gillies with the Sherriff Banner and Dunbar Trophy          Anthony Masterson with the MSR Trophy

                                Richard Gillies                             Anthony Masterson

Listen to Richard Gillies' winning Piobaireachd  The MacLeod's Salute

Listen to Richard Gillies' winning 6/8 marches Cameron MacFadyen and The Heights of Casino

Listen to Anthony Masterson's winning MSR  Pipe Major Willie MacLean, The Doune of Invernochty and The Blackberry Bush 

Liz Dunsire, Bellingham, WA at the 2009 George Sherriff Memorial


The day was filled with many other excellent performances. In my opinion, the standard was as high as ever, thus making the task of adjudicating quite daunting. I congratulate the judges on selecting Liz Dunsire's A Flame of Wrath for Squinting Patrick, second in the piobaireachd event.


Thomas Harrington, Glenholme, Nova Scotia


Perhaps the best sounding bagpipe of all belonged to Thomas Harrington of Glenholme, Nova Scotia. A rich harmonic blend of chanter and drones resonated throughout his MacKay's Banner and for this he was rewarded with third prize in the piobaireachd.


Bobby Durning, Milltown, NJ - 2008 Champion


The 2008 Champion, Bobby Durning from Milltown, NJ was not to be denied. A fourth in the piobaireachd, third in the 6/8 march and a second in the MSR secured him  second place overall. Listen to his MSR, The Knightswood Ceilidh, Caber Feidh and Broadford Bay.


One of the pleasant surprises of the evening was the presentation of the George Sherriff Memorial trophy and banner to Richard Gillies. The presenters were Jamie Sherriff, grandson of George and his son, Tyler (great grandson)

Jamie and Tyler Sherriff presenting trophy and banner to Richard Gillies

Pipes Donated by McCallum Bagpipes, Kilmarnock, Scotland

Glenn Walpole, Tiverton, Ontario

Drawing the unenviable position of playing first on in the first contest fell to Glenn Walpole of Tiverton, Ontario. For his initial performance in the Sherriff, he played an excellent selection of 6/8 marches early in the morning. His "John MacColl's Farewell to the Scottish Horse and Dr. Ross's 50th Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering"  gained him the fourth place nod in the 6/8 march contest.

Brendan Culver 

Fifth place in the piobaireachd went to Brendan Culver making his debut at the Sherriff. He acquitted himself well with the Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. If there was a prize for preparation in the tuning room for your performance on stage, Brendan would most assuredly take top honours. He presented himself to the judges with pipes in tune, a small play down and then right into the Viscount... most impressive. 

And finally, the Captain's Corner award for teacher of the year - unanimous selection by the committee!

It must go to Bruce Gandy with three students in the Sherriff - Richard Gillies (The Champion), Thomas Harrington and Chris Lee (Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong). Congratulations Bruce on setting high standards and to your students for attaining them!

Bruce Gandy and Andrew Berthoff, editor, PD Online 

Bruce Gandy and Andrew Berthoff, Editor, PD Online



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