Band players head to titles

Andy Matthews, Jacob Chalk, Rylie Douglas, Malcolm Mackellar and Dominic Andersen-Strudwick will travel to Ballarat this weekend to compete in the Australian Pipe Band Championships.
Andy Matthews, Jacob Chalk, Rylie Douglas, Malcolm Mackellar and Dominic Andersen-Strudwick will travel to Ballarat this weekend to compete in the Australian Pipe Band Championships. Kerri Burns-Taylor

MUSICALLY-gifted locals will be lugging their bagpipes, drums and kilts all the way to Ballarat this weekend to compete in a national competition.

Pipe band talents Jacob Chalk, Rylie Douglas, Malcolm Mackellar and Dominic Strudwick will make some noise at the Australian Pipe Band Championships.

Scotland national and 12-month honorary local Andy Matthews will also compete at the weekend.

The committed teens juggle school and sporting commitments with their intense music schedules but they say mastering a performance makes it all worthwhile.

"When you learn a routine and you know it perfectly, it's just a feeling you can't beat," Dominic said.

Technology has allowed the teen's to tap into tutorials from some of the best teachers in the world.

Skype sessions are becoming a normal training tool and have allowed kids from smaller areas like Warwick to access mentors they would otherwise be unable to.

Jacob's mother Carole said there was a diverse range of people in her son's team, which also increased his ability to learn and perfect routines.

"Jacob has a 70-year-old in his team and (Jacob) is probably the youngest member out of them all," she said.

"It's great because it is such a vast group, the younger kids learn so much and the older ones really do take care of the younger ones."

The competition kicks off on Friday and is set to run until Sunday.

Topics:  bagpipes music

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