New Zealand Pipe Band Championships Attracts Record Entry – Juvenile Grade Largest in World

Current NZ Champions Canterbury Caledonia

Fifty-two bands will take part in next month’s New Zealand Pipe Band Championships making it the largest pipe band competition event outside of Europe.

‘Having so many bands attend the ‘Nationals’ is a testament to the hard work of teaching organisations and bands throughout the southern hemisphere,’ said RNZPBA President Iain Blakeley. 

Current New Zealand Pipe Band champions are: 

  • Grade 1 – Canterbury Caledonian Society’s Pipe Band  
  • Grade 2 – Hawthorn Pipe Band (Melbourne)
  • Grade 3 – City of Tauranga Pipe Band
  • Grade 4A – Scotch College Pipes and Drums (Melbourne)
  • Grade 4B – South Canterbury Highland Pipe Band
  • Juvenile – St Andrew’s College Pipe Band

Mr Blakeley went on: ‘Bands from across Australia and New Zealand will compete over two days in Auckland on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March 2024.


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‘With strong entries across all six grades, the quintessential trans-Tasman rivalry will be on full display. There can be no doubt that the pipe band community ‘Down Under’ is continuing to go from strength to strength.’

Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE, Brian Switalla, Martin Frewen, Stuart Easton, Liam Kernaghan (E), Ross Levy (E), Scott Mitchell (D), and Gordon Parkes (D) will form the various judging panels.


Have a listen to Canterbury Caledonia at last year’s Worlds:


Eleven bands are entered in the Juvenile grade, making it the biggest juvenile contest in the world.


’We are particularly proud of the fact our youth scene is growing right across the country. Having eleven juvenile bands compete at the ‘Nationals’ is hugely encouraging for our movement here in New Zealand,’ Mr Blakeley continued.

‘For the first time in NZ, because of the value we place on the juvenile contest, both music panels will adjudicate the event. That means our up-and-coming players will get the benefit of feedback from all our adjudicators, four piping, two ensemble and two drumming.’

 The final draw for the 2024 New Zealand Pipe Band Championships is available here. 


1 thought on “New Zealand Pipe Band Championships Attracts Record Entry – Juvenile Grade Largest in World

  1. A quality performance. However it is even more impressive to hear that much effort is being placed on the support of Juvenile bands.
    NI would do well to follow suit.

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