Celtic pipe band heads to Germany
The Celtic Pipe Band of Stoke Nelson will fly out next week on its first overseas tour.
The band has been invited to perform along with the New Zealand Highland Dance Company and six other international acts in the Musik Parade in Germany.
The show will be held in seven cities, starting in Koblenz and finishing in Oberhausen.
The pipe band, established in 2007, is led by Pipe Major Bryce Gilchrist.
Most of the 18 members on the tour have not been overseas before and the trip was exciting, said trip liaison officer Helen Gilchrist. Apart from funds raised from a quiz night they have each had to pay their own way.
The invitation came through the band's relationship with the dance company, which has 13 dancers on the tour.
The band members will travel to Christchurch on Monday for a final rehearsal with them, then fly to Frankfurt.
The visit will include four days in Berlin, and mixing with the other acts from countries such as China and Russia would add to the international cultural experience, said Mrs Gilchrist.
The band had also been invited to Shanghai but had been unable to accept because of the trip to Germany and had asked for the invitation to be left open, she said.