The Jeppe pipe band will end its competitive season this weekend at the SA Championships at Benoni High School, although there are some individual competitions and the SA Drumming Championships still to go.
The SA Champs are the culmination of eight gatherings during the year and Jeppe’s master in charge, Mr Damien Pitman, is satisfied with how the season went. “This was a consolidation and rebuilding year after all the effort we put into going to the Basel Tattoo last year, and the focus has been on building for the future,” he said.
So, Jeppe fielded a very big band – 32 musicians – which was the biggest of all the schools, with lots of newcomers. “Our policy was that everyone should play, even in the competitions, so that they can build up experience,” Mr Pitman said. “Even so, we did well in the competitions, finishing in the top three most of the time.”
Pretoria Boys’ High are expected to win the SA title on Saturday, with Jeppe and KES fighting it out for second place.
Although the interschool season ends now, there is still a very busy time ahead for the pipe band. They have become very popular among events organisers in Joburg and are booked up for the rest of the year.
“We will be playing at fetes, fairs, openings, parades and other functions just about every weekend from now on,” Mr Pitman said. “It’s great for the image of the school, and it doubles up as fund-raising for new equipment and to cover our costs.”