Seumas Eade (Year 10) had no expectations when competing in the World Online Piping and Drumming Championships except to gain experience of competing at that level.
Participation in the competition would see Seumas continue his rise through the solo grades. However, he more than participated, with the quality of his performances earning him an astounding third overall.
“For the competition I got a first, second, third and fifth which placed me second overall in my grade, and third overall in the entire competition,” he says.
The competition was held on 1 May, where competitors had to video their entries and send them to a world-class judging panel. Seumas spent half an hour every day practising to prepare his pieces to perfection.
The bagpipes are not a commonly played instrument, but for Seumas it seemed natural to learn given his Dad and Mum play at a very high level.
“I got into piping because of my parents. They are both in the Hamilton Caledonian Society pipe band. My dad is the leader of the development band and mum is the leader of the #1 band,” he says.
The competition was made a family affair when his father placed first overall, and Seumas has the natural ambition to follow in his parent’s footsteps.
Seumas shows no signs of slowing down, with goals to reach the highest standard possible, though he is starting with small steps.
“My first goal is to get to the top of C grade, which has some of the more decent players and to get there you need to compete in nearly every competition in New Zealand,” he says.
Solo piping features five grades: Novice, D grade, C grade, B grade and A grade.
St Paul’s Director of Music, Mr Timothy Carpenter, says Seumas’ result is exciting for the future of pipes at the school.
“Seumas’ Mum has been teaching the pipes at school since the start of the year with a lot of interest from students and staff. It is great to see the school culture being enhanced to offer the learning of unique instruments like this.”