NZ National Youth Pipe Band Give a Little Donation Site

The following is a link to the Give a Little donation site set up for the Foundation National Youth Pipe Band, if you would like to make a donation.

Give a Little


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Highland Piping Society of Canterbury AGM & Invitation Competition: 7.30pm 21 June

Camelot Room – Chateau on the Park 189 Deans Ave, Riccarton, Christchurch. Entry – $10.00. At the conclusion of the HPSC 2014 AGM, we have invited the following local emerging pipers to compete in this year’s 2014 Invitation event:

  • Harrison Allen
  • Josh Smith
  • James Wansink
  • Reuben McDonnell

Each competitor is asked to play a March, Strathspey and Reel, and then perform a 4 minute medley of their own choice of tunes. This program is a mix of the structure of an MSR and the freedom of an own choice medley to express their talent and importantly impress the judges.

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Murray Henderson & Greg Wilson to Conduct Seminar in NZ 2015

Piobaireachd Seminar 2011Comunn na Piobaireachd NZ is delighted to announce that following the Hastings Highland Games at Easter next year there will be a seminar conducted by Murray Henderson and Greg Wilson. It will be held at Makoura Lodge from the 6th to 9th of April 2015. This will be a wonderful opportunity for piobaireachd enthusiasts at all levels to learn new tunes, hone their skills, and be inspired by two of the worlds best exponents of of this art. Further details to follow.

Having been to these seminars before (see the above photograph of a previous seminar at Makoura Lodge) I can vouch for the benefits of a concentrated period of Piobaireachd learning from experts. Just as importantly; it was fun.

To help the organisers please indicate your tentative interest by filling out the following form:


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Stuart Easton Wins Celtic Inn Targe for Piobaireachd & Greg Wilson Wins Colin Craig Claidhmor

Stuart Easton & Greg Wilson

Click here for the full results.


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Draw for the Targe and Claidhmor: 24 May 2014: Celtic Inn Palmerston North

Targe (Piobaireachd)

9.10 – Stewart McKenzie
9.30 – Greg Wilson
9.50 – Richard Cox
10.10 – Marion Horsburgh
10.30 – Stuart Easton
10.50 – Iain Robertson
11.10 – Liam Kernaghan
11.30 – Willie Rowe
11.50 – Jamie Hawke


1.30 – Marian Horsburgh
1.45 – Jamie Hawke
2.00 – Stewart McKenzie
2.15 – Liam Kernaghan
2.30 – Greg Wilson
2.45 – Willie Rowe
3.00 – Stuart Easton
3.15 – Richard Cox
3.30 – Iain Robertson

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Wellington Pipers Club Emerging Players Competition: 28 June 2014

WgtnPipersClubThe Wellington Pipers Club will once again hold its annual competition for Emerging Players at Levin on Saturday 28 June 2014.

Click on the following to obtain an entry form for the event:

Levin 2014 Entry Form

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Wellington Pipers Club Brown Cup: 14 June 2014

WgtnPipersClubThe Wellington Pipers Club will once again host its annual Brown Cup and Everest Piobaireachd events on Saturday 14 June 2014 at the Royal New Zealand Police College. Entry is open to any current club member and new members are more then welcome to join and play in the event.

The College has great facilities for listening to piping. The canteen is open throughout the day and the College bar open at 4.00pm. Please mark your calendars as this is always a great days piping. Click on the following link to obtain the entry form.

Brown Cup Entry 2014

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Completed PhD on Piobaireachd in New Zealand Now Available

Daniel Milosavljevic

Daniel Milosavljevic has recently graduated with a PhD from the University of Otago as a result of his research on piobaireachd in New Zealand, undertaken from 2010 to 2013. Challenging existing research on Highland piping, his doctoral thesis explores whether piobaireachd reflects contemporary society – in this case, New Zealand.

Daniel also holds a Master of Arts, Postgraduate Diploma in Music, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Otago. Having been studying on and off for the past 10 years, and being somewhat absent from the piping community as a result, Daniel is overjoyed to have finally completed this project.

His doctoral thesis reveals that piobaireachd in New Zealand offers clear indications of contemporary local influences. At the same time, however, the authentic qualities of piobaireachd in New Zealand were reinforced throughout Daniel’s research, defying geographic distance and differences between New Zealand and Scotland. Daniel suggests that these findings formalise much of what we (as practitioners of piobaireachd) already know – that there is a great complexity to piobaireachd beyond reading notes off a piece of paper and making sound. One of his conclusions is that this is what can make piobaireachd challenging to perform and appreciate, but also incredibly satisfying and rewarding when done right.

A full digital version of his doctoral thesis is available from the following link by clicking here.

Daniel hopes to gain an academic posting and to continue to conduct research on Highland piping in New Zealand. He can be contacted at if you have any questions or comments.

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Own Choice for CNP Clasp, Gold, Silver & Bronze in 2015


CNP’s Gold Medal Statue

The Secretary of the Music Committee, Greg Wilson, has announced that next year’s tunes will be all own choice. Competitors will be required to submit two tunes for the bronze medal; three for silver; four for gold; and six for clasp. See the following for details:

Clasp Competition

Competitors are to submit six tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be asked to play. The winner receives the First Prize, the Louis MacKinnon Challenge Cup and a Clasp for the Gold Medal.

The competition is confined to winners of the Society’s Gold Medal.

There must be a minimum of 3 competitors or the event will not be held.

Gold Medal Competition

Competitors are to submit four tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be asked to play.

The winner receives the First Prize, The Highland Society of London Trophy for one year, and the Comunn na Piobaireachd (New Zealand) Inc Gold Medal.

Former winners are not eligible to compete.

Entry to the Gold Medal competition is restricted to pipers who have not previously won the Gold Medal event and who are:

  1. Pipers with a P&D Assn ‘A’ Grade; or
  2. Pipers who have been awarded a prize (other than first prize) in a previous Comunn na Piobaireachd Gold Medal competition since 1990; or
  3. Pipers who have previously won the Comunn na Piobaireachd Silver Medal competition.

No medal will be awarded if the judges are of the opinion that the standard does not warrant the award.

Silver Medal Competition

Competitors are to submit three tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be asked to play.

The winner receives the First Prize and the Comunn na Piobaireachd (New Zealand) Inc Silver Medal.

Former winners are not eligible to compete.

Entry to the Silver Medal competition is restricted to pipers who have not previously won the Silver Medal event and who are Pipers with a P&D Assn ‘B’ Grade or lower.

No medal will be awarded if the judges are of the opinion that the standard does not warrant the award.

Bronze Medal Competition

The winner receives the First Prize and the Comunn na Piobaireachd (New Zealand) Inc Bronze Medal.

Former winners are not eligible to compete.

Competitors are to submit two tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be required to play.

Entry to the Bronze Medal competition is restricted to pipers with a Piping and Dancing Association ‘C’ Grade or lower. Note that a competitor entered for the Bronze Medal cannot play up in the Silver Medal.

No medal will be awarded if the judges are of the opinion that the standard does not warrant the award.

For the Music Committee

Greg Wilson

28 April 2014

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Obituary Rt Hon Sir Ian McKay: 1929-2014

The following obituary was written by John Hanning.

Ian_McKayThe Right Honourable Sir Ian McKay KNZM, BA, LLB, FCI Arb, FAMINZ (known as “Ian” to his piping friends) died at Wellington, New Zealand, on 20 February 2014.

Ian was taught originally by his brother Neville in the small rural township of Waipawa where he was born.  During the 60 years following his arrival in Wellington as a law student in 1946, Ian exerted a profound and enduring influence on the development of piping in New Zealand and especially of ceol mor.

His lifelong love was the playing of piobaireachd and as soon as he received his degree, he signed up to work his passage on one of the U.K. passenger/cargo liners plying between Britain and the Colonies to join his brother Neville in Inverness and continue his piping studies from the very best authorities in Scotland, namely Pipe Major Donald MacLeod of the Seaforth Highlanders and Pipe Majors Bob Brown and Bob Nicol of Balmoral Castle fame.

When he applied to the shipping company for a position, he was offered the job of “Stewards Boy” (principally washing dishes).  On arriving at the chief steward’s cabin to take up the position, he said he was “the new steward’s boy reporting for duty”.  The chief steward took one look at his long lanky form and exclaimed: “Good Heavens! Whatever would they send me if I asked for a man!”

With his acute retentive memory and musical appreciation, he was able to memorise a vast repertoire of piobaireachd without the benefit of tape recorders and modern technology.  Ian, together with his brother Neville, was responsible for bringing the playing of ceol mor in New Zealand to a very high standard through both his playing and the winter classes he ran gratis for years at McPhees shop in central Wellington, and where he taught many N.Z. pipers, some of whom won very high honours in Scotland, including gold medals at Oban, Inverness and Braemar.  At this time Neville and Ian started the New Zealand Piobaireachd Society, the first and only society to be affiliated to the Piobaireachd Society in Scotland.

He was an active competitor winning the NZ Gold Medal for piobaireachd in 1959 and 4 clasps. As president of Comunn na Piobaireachd NZ, Ian was instrumental in bringing to New Zealand, leading Scottish soloists including Donald MacPherson, Donald McLeod, Bob Brown, Donald Morrison and Roddy MacLeod for recital tours.  These players were inspirational and the recordings and radio broadcasts made by them in New Zealand were done at a time when each was playing at the very top of his form.  Bob Brown’s live radio broadcasts of the Earl of Seaforth, Patrick Og, Glengarry’s and his introductions  to the tunes were outstanding performances as was his account, given to one lady interviewer, of his personal bag dressing recipe!

Ian was able to use his legal and commercial networks to obtain sponsorship for these tours in addition to prize money for the New Zealand medal competitions conducted by the Piobaireachd Society.  Ian was also a sought after judge at piping competitions often with his lifelong friend the late Angus MacAulay of the Lovat Scouts.

In addition to his piping interests, Ian was active in many Scottish cultural organisations including the Piping & Dancing Association of NZ, The City of Wellington Pipe Band, the Wellington Gaelic Club, in all of which he held office and was relied upon for advice in governance issues.

His great contribution to piping was recognized at the very highest level in Scotland when he was awarded the prestigious “Balvenie Medal” for services to piping in 2006.

He managed to carry out all of this while developing his stellar legal career as a staff solicitor and later senior partner in the Wellington law firm of Swan Davies & McKay, and later as senior partner of the leading national firm of Kensington Swan.  His career as a barrister involved high profile, complex, High Court and Court of Appeal work and several appearances before the Privy Council in London.  No case was too big or difficult for Ian to take on.  In 1991 he was appointed direct from the bar as a judge of the Court of Appeal.  Committee meetings for piping organisations were usually held in the convivial atmosphere of the Judge’s Chambers where Ian’s hospitality was legendary!

He was also a very active participant in the affairs of the legal profession.  He was a Council member of the Wellington District Law Society, and Vice President of the New Zealand Law Society.  He served on numerous Law Society committees involved in law reform.

Former Court of Appeal President Sir Ivor Richardson says Sir Ian made a major and distinctive contribution to the work of the court.

“The number of cases on which he sat and the 403 judgments which he delivered demonstrate his workload at the court,” Sir Ivor said in a Tribute at Sir Ian’s funeral:

“He was a prodigious worker with a particular capacity for analysing complex facts and identifying and applying legal principles with a healthy pragmatism.  Ian also brought to the court his knowledge or organisations and the commercial world.  Barristers tend to deal with situations which have gone sour.  But, it is also very useful in judicial work to know how organisations normally tick, how management and boards relate, what they see as issues, and how they are inclined to deal with issues.  And the Court certainly benefited from his wide experience.”

On retirement from the Court of Appeal in 1997, he continued to serve the community as President of the Electoral Commission and of the Surveillance Panel of the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and was also appointed to the Court of Appeal of Samoa.  Sir Ian became a member of the Privy Council on 8 April 1992.  He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1998.

Ian’s sporting interests included tennis and tramping, and he and Ruth were enthusiasts for orchestral and classical music.

Ian’s wife Ruth, who supported him faithfully in his piping interests, predeceased him.  They are survived by daughters Mary and Claire, and sons Donald, Duncan, Allan and John.  His funeral service began with a recording of Ian playing “The Wee Spree” and following the service, he was piped from the church by his grandson Hamish playing “The Old Sword”.  At the graveside, his close friend, piper Roy Gunn, played “The Lament for MacSwan of Roag” in full.

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