Pipe Bands Australia has today announced that the biennial Australian Solo Drumming Championships will be held in Canberra in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Canberra College of Piping and Drumming will host this year’s championships as part of its annual solos competition on Sunday 8 October following the 7th annual Canberra Highland Gathering the previous day.
The solos will be held in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial, one of Australia’s most popular and prestigious national institutions with a strong historic connection to piping and drumming. National management accepted the three-championship proposal from Athol Chalmers of the Canberra College following consultation with PBA Principal Drumming Dean Hall and other stakeholders.
In the proposal, Athol said: ‘We are seeking a commitment to three biennial events because our experience is that gaining sponsorship support can be easier if the potential sponsor can see a longer term commitment to growing the event and they can a partner in that growth.
‘Canberra College of Piping & Drumming believes that our event in October each presents Pipe Bands Australia with an excellent opportunity to stage an event of national importance in an environment that befits the nature of the event, is tried and tested and can secure internationally acclaimed judges.’
Dean provided supportive comments to national management committee, saying: ‘The Canberra solo event has been running successfully for a number of years and the Australian championships would bring stability to programming, something I am very supportive of and has been lacking in Australia on this topic.’
PBA president Chris Earl (left) congratulated Athol and his team at Canberra College of Piping and Drumming for the initiative in hosting the Australian Solo Drumming Championships: ‘Management committee is delighted that an existing event has articulated a vision to grow and showcase solo drumming in Australia.
‘The first Australian drumming titles in many years were held in Melbourne in 2015 and drummers have been enthusiastic in expressing the hope that this event continues to allow for the celebration of people, music and performance in the genre of pipe band drumming.’