NSW Pipe Band Championships

Pipe Bands NSW together with the City of Gosford Pipe Band are delighted to present the NSW Pipe Band Championships as part of the Central Coast Scottish Spectacular

The Central Coast Scottish Spectacular aims  to incorporate both competitive and display Pipe Band activities into a bustling family friendly format. We envisage the possibility of a number of small performance spaces interspersed with public areas away from the main contest circle area.  With this in mind, all bands PBA registered or otherwise, are invited to participate in the event, have a great day out, help make it memorable for members of the public and above all help raise public interest and participation in music and dance as expressed through Scottish Heritage and Culture. 
Pipe Band events will include:
  • The Scottish Spectacular Piping Solos
  • The Drum Major John McFarland Memorial Drumming Challenge
  • NSW Championship Band Contest (March, Strathspey & Reel, Musical Selection, Selection of Marches)
  • NSW Championship Juvenile Band Contest (Selection of Marches, Musical Selection)
  • Juvenile Drum Major Contest
  • Open Drum Major Contest
  • Best Dressed Band
  • Massed Bands

The Grade 4A Band Contest is sponsored by The Clan Donald Lands Trust. In addition to presenting the AWR MacDonald Memorial Targe to the Champion Band, The Clan Donald Lands Trust have also donated prize money of $1000 to the winning band, $500 for the band in second place, and $250 for third place.

In addition to the NSW Pipe Band Championships, a variety of opportunities also exist for bands, small groups (duo, trios, quartets, quintets and mini bands) to participate in busking, display, novelty, and traditional musical and drill activities on a non-competitive basis. Please contact us at if you would like to take part in the Spectacular but are not competing in the Pipe Band Championships or Solo Contests.

We hope we will see you there to help make it a great day!

The Central Coast Scottish Spectacular Solo Piping Contest and the Robert Worrall Cup

In 2018, we were honoured to have World renowned Piper and BBC Commentator Bob Worrall join us at the Central Coast Scottish Spectacular. Bob graciously agreed to allow us to present the trophy of A Grade Piping in his name. The inaugural recipient of the Cup was Jason Craig.

With thanks to City of Gosford Pipe Band, we are very proud to announce that in 2019, the aggregate winner of the A Grade Piping Challenge at Central Coast Scottish Spectacular 2019 will again be awarded the perpetual trophy the Robert Worrall Cup, plus $500 cash. 
Please note, the A Grade piping competition will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 2nd November. B, C, And D Grade contests will be on Sunday 3rd November.

The syllabus and entry conditions for the Central Coast Scottish Spectacular Solo Piping Contest are available at the link above.

The Drum Major John McFarland Memorial Drumming Challenge
First presented in 2012, the Drum Major John McFarland Drumming Challenge honours the memory of John McFarland whose career spanned over 60 years in which time he continuously served the Pipe Band movement as a Drummer, Drum Major, Adjudicator and Administrator.

John’s early playing career was with bands on the Central Coast these being Gosford Caledonian and Brisbane Waters Pipe Band which merged to become the Gosford Pipe Band. In 1959 John was asked to join the Grade 1 Northern Suburbs Pipe Band as their Drum Major and in 1967 became their Leading Drummer. During this time he was an active member of the Pipes & Drums of the 17th Btn. Royal New South Wales Regiment where he achieved the rank of Sergeant. From 1975 through to 1989 when it was disbanded John was a member of the Grade 1 NSW Police Pipe Band. After this John and his family moved back to the Central Coast, he then re-joined Northern Suburbs as Leading Drummer, then moving onto be a founding member of the Toukley RSL Pipe Band, then again moving to City of Gosford Pipe Band.

In an administrative capacity John had been the State Vice Principal of Dress & Drill for the Australian Pipe Band College as well as serving for 8 years as the National Principal of the College Dress & Drill Division. He was elected President of the NSW Pipe Band Association in 1998 and served in this capacity until 2002. John was awarded Life Membership of both the New South Wales Pipe Band Association Inc. and the Australian Pipe Band Association Inc. New South Wales Branch in August 2007 for his life long commitment to pipe bands.

John was actively involved in the teaching and adjudication of both Drumming and Dress & Drill right up to the time he lost his 11-year battle with cancer in 2011.

The Drum Major John McFarland Drumming Challenge is proudly presented by McFarland's Down Under the Kilt.

Syllabus and entry conditions for the Drum Major John McFarland Memorial Drumming Challenge are available at the link above.

All drumming contests will be on Sunday 3rd November.