Bands play same tune for the Bay
City of Hastings Pipe Band is used to making a noise — this time they’re playing a new tune.
President Ken Tobin — a foundation member, drum major for 55 years and now retired from uniformed duties — says the band has changed its name to the Hawke’s Bay Caledonian Pipe Band.
“The band boasts a proud tradition spanning more than six decades and over the years has nurtured some of New Zealand’s leading pipers and drummers and helped shape them into fine musicians,” Ken says.
The band was founded in 1951 and in addition to regular local public performances, has always competed with distinction in all four contest grades at both national and provincial level.
“Like all progressive groups, there was a feeling within the band that while preserving our long and rich history, we must embrace a more provincial mindset and open our doors to the young people of the greater Hawke’s Bay region, as well as drawing upon the strengths and experience of local talent.”
The new name was approved and registered at the AGM held in August. The term ‘Caledonian’ is an historical acknowledgment of an earlier band which existed in Hastings in the 1940s. The name is the only change that has been made — the band is still the same entity as before, Ken says.
The 2018-19 contest season began last Saturday in Palmerston North and continues with contests at the Turakina Highland Games in January, the Paeroa Highland Games and Tattoo in February, at the Napier Soundshell on Sunday, March 16, culminating with the New Zealand Championships in Dunedin at the end of March.
After decades of friendly rivalry, Hawke’s Bay Caledonian Pipe Band and Napier Pipe Band have also formalised their intention to work together by signing a Collaboration Agreement.
“The primary objective of this is to create a structure to recruit, teach and encourage youth in the art of piping and drumming and will be under the umbrella of the newly formed Youth Piping and Drumming Academy operating from either band hall as required.
“These are exciting times, not only for the two bands, but for piping and drumming in Hawke’s Bay. Both bands are committed to having the academy take shape and having many more young people join in the fun of Scottish culture,” Ken says. The Armistice Day Commemoration at Clive was the first time the two bands performed as one and the second was Napier’s Christmas Parade.
HB Caledonian Pipe Band competing in Palmerston North.