16 Aug 2013

Seventeen members of the St John’s College Pipe Band, accompanied by teachers and a group leader, left Harare last weekend for Scotland, where they will compete in the 2013 World Pipe Band Championships.

The event, attended by several thousand other competitors from around the world and tens of thousands of spectators, is the biggest activity of its kind and is regarded as a prestigious platform for pipers and drummers to show off their talents. The St John’s College Pipe Band was formed in the 1990s and is today an important part of the life of the school, playing at sporting and cultural events, as well as at a wide range of other events within the school and across Harare. Trained by Jonathan Kalonga and Emmanuel Mabodo, the band consists of about 30 players, of whom the most senior have been selected to travel to the championships, being held in Glasgow on August 17 and 18. Both trainers will be with the band, as will deputy headmaster Corrado Trinci, who will be head of the tour group.

“While in Scotland, the St John’s group will compete in the championships and tour Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrew’s, meeting people from all over the world and flying the flag for the band, the school, for Harare and for Zimbabwe,” said a tour group spokesman.

The St John’s College Pipe Band has competed in several regional championships in South Africa, winning top awards for the whole band, for sections and for individual performers. Earlier this year the band appeared to wide acclaim in a fundraising show at Reps Theatre, called The Kilted Generation. At the pre-tour reception for the tour group, St John’s College headmaster Bill Annandale wished the band success and praised them for the reputation they had built up for professionalism, good manners and high standards of performance. The members of the group also received kit for the tour and thanked parents, teachers and others who had been involved in fundraising and preparations for the tour, the first to be undertaken by the school band to the World Pipe Band Championships.