Beating Their Own Drum

NEWS 29 Mar 2022

Hot sun, heavy uniforms and a two-year hiatus since their last major championship didn’t dull the performance or enthusiasm of Haileybury students who recently triumphed in the Victorian Pipe Band Championships in Melbourne.

Around 50 students from the school drummed and piped their way to success during the event at the Melbourne Highland Games and Celtic Festival in Croydon on Sunday, 20 March.

The students’ achievements are all the more impressive considering that, for the past two years, rehearsals mostly took place via Zoom with each student practising at home.

Haileybury Pipes & Drums won the Novice Juvenile A (under 18) event and the Grade 4A (open) competition. They were also runners-up in the Juvenile Novice B (under 18) section.

“It was challenging to keep rehearsals going and most competitions and gigs were cancelled during the past couple of years, but the show had to go on”
Lincoln Hilton, Director of Haileybury Pipes & Drums

“When we couldn’t organise face-to-face lessons, we held individual lessons over Zoom. After the lesson, we sent each student a unique video recording, sheet music and a list of things to work on that were reviewed each week.

“Ironically, the lockdowns and lack of performances meant we had a chance to take students back through the fundamentals and improve their technique and musical theory knowledge and that has definitely paid off.”

Brodie Nash, one of the Pipes & Drums Captains, says he was overcome with emotion by the championship achievements.

“After the awards were handed out, I was in utter disbelief. After we finished our performance our coach, Tom, told us it had been amazing and everyone was so happy to hear such high praise from him,” says Brodie.

“I think our success boils down to the individual effort that every single band member has put in with our directors.”

Lincoln agrees that the commitment of the students and staff is a key factor in the latest success.

“The students are incredibly talented, 100 percent invested and know this is a team effort. They constantly strive towards improving and contributing to the team. The expert guidance of the Pipes & Drums staff has also been critical,” says Lincoln.

The State Champions have little time to bask in their latest success. Rehearsals are already underway for competitions in August and the National Championships in October.

“We haven’t won the national title since 2006 but we’re already working on lifting our game even higher. I think we’re in a very good position for national success in October,” says Lincoln.