It's Canada callings for band
Three Southlanders will have to survive summer days in woolly kilts and sporrans as they represent their country on the world stage.
Waimatuku Pipe Band drummers Dawn Anderson, 16, and Olivia Faulkner, 17, have been named as members of the New Zealand Youth Pipe Band, along with Invercargill piper Malcolm McRae.
The trio will travel with the band to Vancouver, Canada, in July, taking part in a week-long pipe band summer school, competing in the Kamloops Highland Games and squeezing in a bit of sightseeing.
New Zealand youth band members are selected through an audition process or by talent scouts at band events.
Southland Girls' High School pupil Olivia, who also plays with the Mataura Kilties Pipe Band, said it felt "pretty cool" to represent New Zealand.
It will be her second time performing with the youth band, after first making the grade last year.
For Dawn, who also drums with the City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band, the selection means two trips abroad in four months.
The teenager will travel to the United States for highland dancing in April, returning to catch her breath before heading to Canada with the pipe band.
It had been suggested she hang around in North America for the few months between appointments but, unfortunately, school work meant that plan was not feasible, Dawn said.
However, the news of her jet- setting itinerary already has classmates requesting space in her suitcase.
"I just had a friend today ask if she could be my personal assistant," Dawn said.
"She said she might take a crash course in piping."
Dawn's father, Waimatuku Pipe Band president Owen Anderson, said he was very proud of the girls.
The selection was also good news for the Waimatuku band.
The Southland Times