WINNERS’ SHIELD: Former Scots PGC pipe band member Kirby Douglas with the trophy after his band claimed the World Pipeband Championships.
WINNERS’ SHIELD: Former Scots PGC pipe band member Kirby Douglas with the trophy after his band claimed the World Pipeband Championships. Contributed

Proud father sees son, band win world title

THERE are many things kids do to make their parents proud, but Warwick father Andrew Douglas said it would be hard to top watching his son take out a world title.

Mr Douglas's son Kirby and his school pipe band won the World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow last month.

Their band claimed the top prize after beating eight other world-class juvenile pipe bands.

Kirby, now a student at St Andrew's College in New Zealand, first picked up the bagpipes while a student at Scots PGC College.

Mr Douglas said it was the first time his son had ever played a musical instrument.

"It was a lot of hard work," he said.

"They are not just something you pick up and start playing.

"He spends three to four hours a week rehearsing.

"But he really enjoys it."

In fact Kirby enjoyed it so much he wanted to go to a bigger school and be part of a bigger band.

Kirby was given a pipe band scholarship with St Andrew's College, where he plans to finish out his schooling later this year.

Mr Douglas travelled to Scotland to be with his son and the band during their two weeks in the country and for the world championships.

The proud father said it had been amazing to watch his son perform.

"It was one of my proudest moments - it is a pretty rare thing for your son to win a world title," Mr Douglas said.

Mr Douglas said Kirby planned to do a gap year in Scotland next year learning to make bagpipes, before heading back to the Southern Downs to study at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.

Kirby was not the only former Scots PGC student at the world championships either.

Amelia and Edward Holmes and Matt Chalk travelled with their band, Emmanuel College (University of Queensland) Pipe Band, to compete.

Their band finished in ninth position in their qualifying heat in Grade 4A.

Past students Sarah Petersen, who is now teaching in Aberdeen, and Stephanie Peterson, who is working in London, also took the stage.



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