Piping-hot bands to march in Napier

In just under a fortnight's time the streets of central Napier will come alive to the sound of music from 12 pipe bands gathering for a competition organised by their hosts, the Napier Drones and Sticks Pipe Band.

The event will not only give locals the opportunity the see and hear some of the best pipe bands in the land but will also give the bands a chance to prepare for the national championships in Timaru in early March.

The Napier event will be on February 9. While the usual venue for such a gathering would be a park, it was decided to stage it at the Sound Shell Colonnade to allow more people the chance to see it, as well as provide some stirring notes from the highlands for about 1700 passengers who will be in town off the cruise-ship Amsterdam.

"We had a trial run at the Sound Shell on the 20th this month and it's an ideal venue for bands, as the layout means the public will be able to experience the bands close up," Pipes and Drones president Harry Renfree said.

Contest organiser Kerry Marshall said locals, and especially those with Scottish heritage, would be in for a treat.

"One of the exciting things about having these bands in Napier is the opportunity to see and hear world-class piping and drumming," he said.

More than 300 pipers and drummers will be in town for the competition, which will conclude with a massed bands performance.

Among the visiting bands are two described as among the country's best - the New Zealand Police Pipe Band and the Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band.

The competition will begin at 8.40am with the bands' street march, on Hastings St, before they play for the judges and the public at the Sound Shell from 11am.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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