New drums for local band
1 March 2013
New drums for local band
To be a drummer in a pipe band you need to be musical, coordinated and have a great memory. You also need drums which are in tune. Luckily, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT), the City of Nelson Highland Pipe Band drummers have all these things.
The grant has enabled the band to purchase three tenor drums and one base drum, replacing old drums which were unable to be tuned. The new drums have been delivered just in time to be used at the New Zealand National Pipe Band Championships, which take place in Timaru this weekend [editor’s note: 2 – 3 March 2013].
To the untrained ear, it’s not always obvious if drums are in tune or not, but for the City of Nelson band, which performs to a high level, well-tuned drums are critical to its success at pipe band competitions.
Club spokesperson Paul Giles says the band has done very well in recent competitions and, as a result, has been elevated to a higher grade. This means the band will face tougher competition in future and they’ll have to lift their performances even more.
“Last year we won the South Island Provincial Champs, and the ‘street march’ and ‘medley’ categories for Grade 4 at Nationals,” says Mr Giles. “We are really pleased with how our band is progressing, but with success, comes extra pressure to improve even more.
“While there is always more we can do with our routines, we quickly realised that we couldn’t perform at the level required unless we had the right equipment,” he says. “That’s why we needed to replace the tenor and bass drums. We are very pleased NZCT has been able to help us purchase these drums – it would have been a massive financial strain to raise the money needed for them on our own.”
As Mr Giles explains, it takes a lot of skill and commitment to be part of a highland pipe band. As well as being proficient with their instrument, each member of the band must memorise all the music they play and learn complex marching routines.
The City of Nelson Pipe Band performs at local public events like the ANZAC and Christmas parades, but it also competes in two or three major pipe band competitions each year. The training and preparation required for these performances is considerable.
“In competitions, depending on the event, we’re marked on our dress, our drill and our musicality,” says Mr Giles. “Every individual is different, but it can take years before a band member reaches competition standard.
“The good news is that being in the band is great fun, so all that training is quite enjoyable,” he says. “We have a mixture of ages and abilities in our club, and we always welcome new members. Bands are a great way for different generations to spend time together.”
Paul Matheson, NZCT’s Top of the South Regional Advisory Committee chairman, says the trust was very pleased to be able to help the band purchase its new drums.
“We know how difficult it is to raise funds for expensive specialty equipment,” says Mr Matheson. “Our community funding model helps organisations like the pipe band, by raising funds locally and then returning them to worthwhile causes in the area.
“Every year NZCT distributes around $40 million in grant funds to more than 2000 worthwhile causes throughout the country,” he says. “We’re proud of this and the positive outcomes achieved with our assistance.”
Last year alone NZCT distributed $37.4m in grants to sports, community and cultural events and clubs throughout the country. NZCT is one of the largest funders of amateur sport in New Zealand, and we’re proud of it. This is why we’re known as the backbone of amateur sports in New Zealand.
We can only achieve this thanks to the hard work of our local venue operators who operate safe, controlled gaming environments, where responsible and legitimate gambling takes place.
For further information visit www.nzct.org.nz