Internationally renowned judge to attend Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo in Toti

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(Andrew Climpson)

The 52nd Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo – taking place at Hutchison Park fields, Amanzimtoti, on Saturday 30 April – is set to be an incredible family-fun event with organisers welcoming international judge, Bob Worrall, as one of this year’s highlights.

Organised by the Amanzimtoti Lions Club, the Highland Gathering – the biggest collection of pipe bands in South Africa – is a huge boost to the local economy, bringing all of South Africa’s 32 pipe bands together, as well as a 100 of the country’s dancers, for an incredible competition.

“Visitors to this year’s Highland Gathering will not only get the chance to hear some of the country’s best pipe music, but will get to watch judging by world renowned professional piping teacher, adjudicator and performer, Bob Worrall,” said Amanzimtoti Lions Club president, Carol Botha. “We expect everyone will put on a great performance considering the high standard Worrall will be bringing to the event.”

Worrall is a leading North American composer, having published two collections of bagpipe music with a third book set to be released during Piping Live in Glascow. Worrall has a number of solo accomplishments to his name, having won the North American Professional Championship seven times as well as the Ontario Professional Championship Supreme title 12 times.

A member of the North American and Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s judging panels, Worrall has been selected to judge the World Pipe Band Championships in Glascow 13 times. He is also a member of the Piobaireachd Society’s Senior Judges list and has adjudicated major competitions across the globe.

“There is so much on offer for visitors and the event brings employment and revenue to the local community while allowing the Lions Club to direct profits into worthy charities,” said Botha.

The 13-year-old singing sensations, Keely Crocker and Sornia Kanfer, will also be performing alongside the pipers.

Keely, who performed at last year’s Highland Gathering, has kept extremely busy this past year, having won the vocal, singer, songwriter division for her age group in New York at the Federation of Performing Arts, as well as taking first prize at the Scottburgh Beach Festival Talent Search. Keely also co-wrote and sang ‘Hope’ for a drug awareness documentary as well as a song for a children’s environmental show. She has performed at numerous events, while maintaining top academic results and practicing for her part in the school’s production of ‘Pitch Perfect’.

“I am so excited to be performing again at this year’s Highland Gathering,” said the talented teenager. “Singing with the pipers is just awesome and I really want to encourage the community to come out and support this worthwhile event.”

Sornia, who has been singing since the age of seven, can’t wait to perform ‘Flower of Scotland’ alongside the bagpipes at the Highland Gathering, as well as a ‘Hallelujah’ duet with Keely. After winning the East Coast’s Got Talent show at eight years old – and again twice thereafter – Sornia went on to perform in the Drug Abuse Awareness Show 2015, Kyknet’s Top 10 Schools as well as reaching the quarter finals of SA’s Got Talent. She also performed alongside local violinist, Marianna Erkisen and pianist, Rita de Klerk, at the Scottburgh Spring Concert.

“I absolutely love music and I love to touch people’s hearts with my voice,” said Sornia. “I thank God every day for the gift he has given me and, one day, I would like to become a professional singer.

“It’s a great honour for me to sing at the Highland Gathering and I hope to be invited back again next year!”

Further enhancing this one-day event is the Lifestyle Expo which is organised by Big Events 365 and was introduced to the festival in 2014.

“We are making sure there is something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Lifestyle Expo,” said event spokesman, Monique Botha. “There will be a House and Garden section, Outdoor and Leisure as well as Health and Beauty with all the top brands and services on display.”

In addition to this, visitors can look forward to seeing well-known organisations and corporations including the National Sea Rescue Institute, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Pink and Blue Car Drive, Virgin Active, as well as a number of car dealerships to name a few.

The Lifestyle Expo will also have a demo arena to keep audiences enthralled while children will be entertained at the secure Cooee Kids Zone. Flavas, from Not Sheep Boutique, will host a fantastic pop-up restaurant so that parents can enjoy a delicious meal while children have fun in the kids’ zone.

For the first time this year, the Lifestyle Expo is also offering a Tasting Area where visitors will get the chance to sample a variety of craft beer, wine, vodka and more.

And to ensure everyone’s safety, ET Rapid Response will be providing event security while ER24 paramedics will be on standby for any emergencies.

The cost for the 2016 Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo is R40 per adult, R20 for pensioners and students and R10 per child. Children under six years enter free. For more information, visit the Facebook page: the Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo Amanzimtoti or the website www.www.amanzimtoti-lions.org

To book a stand for the expo, contact Monique on 082 304 2803 or email admin@bigevents365.co.za and to book a stall for the Highland Gathering, call John on 082 771 1108.

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