Pipe band tunes up for Berlin performance

Last updated 08:17 19/02/2013
temuka pipe band
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
GOING INTERNATIONAL: The Temuka Pipe Band is performing at the Berlin Military Tattoo in Germany later this year, along with hundreds of other musicians from around the world.

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The Temuka Pipe Band is on a roll as invitations to perform flood in from the Berlin Military Tattoo at the end of October and then Switzerland in 2015.

One of the largest events of its kind in Europe, the tattoo held in Germany's capital will see the Temuka band among 700 of the world's best musicians perform in front of thousands of spectators.

The Berlin Tattoo takes place in front of an impressive illustration of the Brandenburg Gate which symbolically connects the former East Berlin to West Berlin at the Max-Schmeling Halle arena.

The 23 Temuka band members have yet to learn the 25 pieces of music as well as to fundraise for the $50,00 worth of airfares.

The word "tattoo" is derived from the 17th century when a piercing bugle or beating drum signalled soldiers to return to their quarters.

Band members practise together about three times a week leading up to a tattoo, as well as individually on a daily basis.

Their popularity grew since playing in Wellington in 2000 after which they were invited to Moscow, then Switzerland for the first time.

Tenor drummer Heather Elwood said she was fortunate to live in a rural area and have a neighbour four paddocks away who was a piper so there were no noise complaints. She also hones her flourishing skills while walking around the paddocks which involves demonstrative waving of arms in the air adding creative flair and drama to her performance.

Though it takes up a lot of spare time Mrs Elwood said it was all about a love of music and the opportunity to travel.

The Temuka band is considered the sixth best in New Zealand (grade 2).

Its rating may improve before the musicians travel overseas as they compete in the national championships in Timaru on March 2 and 3 at the Alpine Energy stadium.

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- The Timaru Herald

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