The 42nd edition of the Geddes Cup took place in the Payne Hall last Friday.
The Geddes Cup is an internal drumming and piping solo competition which is hosted by the Jeppe Pipe Band. It’s one of a kind in South Africa and it has a rich history.
In 1949 Bobby Geddes, a piper in the Jeppe Pipe Band, won two prizes at the Royal Scottish Gathering – the first champion of a number to come out of the school in years to come. Les Waskis, who was later to become Pipe Major of the Witwatersrand Rifles Pipe Band, took over the reigns as Pipe Tutor of the Jeppe Pipe Band in 1965.
In an attempt to improve the standard of playing among the individual members of the Band and, to allow them to get the feeling of playing alone in front of an audience and a judge, Waskis, together with Bobby Geddes, created the Geddes Cup evening in 1968. Geddes donated the Geddes Cup, to be presented to the best piper on the night.
This year’s competition was made all the more exciting by the presence of an international adjudicator, Donald MacPhee, arguably the best solos adjudicator in the world, as well as an extremely accomplished piper himself. It was a tremendous privilege for the Jeppe Pipe Band to secure Donald’s services for the evening. Mr MacPhee treated the audience to a solo piping exhibition.
The evening was very well attended by the band’s supporters as well as a number of guests from the South African piping and drumming fraternity.
The competition is about more than just winning the prize, it aims to build character and band morale. The band members are incredibly supportive towards one another on the evening and they look forward to the Geddes Cup with much excitement every year.
The Geddes Cup evening is also used to announce the band leadership for 2019. They are: Pipe Major – Matthew Leishman; Leading Drummer – Connor Holz.