Another Quality Field Heading for the Pipe Band Competition at the 119th Maclean Highland Gathering

Maclean’s reputation as one of the premiere pipe band competitions in Australia will be further enhanced with another quality field heading for the Clarence Valley to compete in the 119th Maclean Highland Gathering on the Saturday of the Easter Long Weekend. Eighteen bands will compete across five grades on Saturday 30 March 2024.

All the bands set to compete on the day will begin the festivities with the Pipe Bands on Parade. The competing band will be joined for the Street March by four additional bands; Armidale Pipe Band, Coffs Harbour Pipes & Drums, Grafton & District Services Club Pipe Band and the Murrumba Pipes & Drums Society Inc.

The Pipe Band Competition will commence from 9.55 am at the Maclean Showgrounds as part of a full day of events. All events including the Highland Sports and Highland Dancing, along with the band competition are held in the main arena of the Showground ensuring that all the action can be viewed from the main grandstand and other vantage points around the picturesque grounds.

 Quality of pipe bands

Chief of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association, Peter Smith said “This year we were struck by the quality of bands joining us for the competition. We have three Grade 2 bands, St Andrews and The Emmanuelle College Highlanders from Queensland, as well as The Pipe Band Club from Sydney, which will make this the strongest Grade 2 competition in Australia this year. I’d particularly like to acknowledge The Pipe Band Club. It is a huge undertaking to bring the band up from Sydney and we a glad of their support.” The Grade 3 competition will also feature three high quality competitors, BBC Old Collegians, the City of Ipswich and BBC College No. 1. He also thanked the Queensland Pipe Band community for their continued strong support with 14 of the 18 competing bands travelling across the Queensland border to participate in the Easter Gathering.

“Bands will be judged by one of our strongest panels we’ve had at Maclean with three international judges Donald McPhee (USA/Scotland), Glenn Brown (Canada/ Scotland) and Brian Switalla (NZ). They will be joined by some of Australia’s finest adjudicators,” Mr Smith said.

Chief Peter Smith also praised the contribution of country bands like Warwick Thistle, Toowoomba, Moree Caledonian, the NSW Highlanders and the local favourites, the Maclean and District Pipe Band. “Our aim is to continue to nurture the Scottish culture and it is only with the great support we get from the bands that we can continue to do this.”

At 4.00 pm all 21 visiting bands join together at the Maclean Showground for the Massed Bands display, a not to be missed climax to an amazing day of events.

The 119th Maclean Highland Gathering will be held on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th March 2024. For more information check our website – or check the Lower Clarence Scottish Association Facebook and Instagram pages.


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