While the Highland bagpipes are unarguably Scottish in origin, you don't have to be Scottish to join the Stratford Pipe Band.
The band, which is a regular feature at Christmas parades, Anzac Day parades, Whangamomona Republic Day, and many more local events, is on the hunt for new band members this year.
Marjorie Pedersen, who tutors beginner players as well as playing the pipes herself, says originally the group had planned to visit schools to encourage youngsters to consider getting involved.
"Unfortunately Covid-19 got in the way of those plans, as it did so many plans, and we weren't able to do that last year."
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Now with the new year, and a few band members having headed off to university, it's time to look for some new members, says Marjorie.
"All we ask is that people are enthusiastic and willing to join the band. We can offer tuition in bagpipes, side and tenor drums in a fun, friendly environment that will give you skills and friendships for life. We are a very social band with a focus on performing at events and having fun rather than entering competitions."
The Stratford Pipe Band receives bookings to perform at local events throughout the year and runs regular practices on Thursday nights at the Mary Alice Hall in Stratford each week. While band practice starts at 7pm on those nights, beginners have lessons from 6pm on the evening or at other times by arrangement.
Marjorie says anyone over the age of 10 is welcome to come along to one of the band nights to find out more or to give Pipe Major John Campbell a call on 027 288 1105.