121 Scottish school pipe bands go head-to-head at coveted event
Young musicians from a Skye schools pipe band have won gold at one of the nation’s biggest piping and drumming events.
Skye Youth Pipe Band hit the right note with the judges at this year’s annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship (SSPBC), bagging wins in the highly-contested Novice Juvenile B category.
In what was one of the most anticipated dates in the piping calendar, more than 120 schools went head-to-head across 81 performances, vying for success across The Championships’ eight categories.
The Championships was launched in 2013, as part of a nationwide drive by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to revive dwindling access to the instruments across schools – despite evidence of multiple positive benefits.
Iain Ruairi Finlayson, Tutor with Skye Youth Pipe Band:
“We are absolutely overjoyed with receiving this award.
“We went down with a very young band for experience hoping to have a good performance.
“To win this is just unbelievable.
“I am so proud of every band member and all the parents that came down to support the band.
“We all really enjoyed the competition and thought it was extremely well organised.”
The array of talented pipe bands, quartets and freestyles showcased their skills on Sunday (March 12) at Kilmarnock’s William McIlvanney Campus.
Lochgilphead Joint Campus A, Hutchesons’ Grammar School, The High School of Glasgow, Fettes College, Dollar Academy and Skye Youth Pipe Band were all on tune and picked up awards on the day across various categories from Debut to Freestyle.
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of SSPDT, said:
“The day itself lived up to all the expectations and we were lucky to witness some incredible performances across the board from the pipe bands.
“The category winners and all the bands who performed were absolutely brilliant on the day, demonstrating real teamwork and putting on a serious show – making it very hard for our judging panel to pick a winner.”
SSPDT was formed with the belief that pipe bands are much more than a musical pastime; they develop life and employability skills and attributes such as teamwork, shared and individual achievement, resilience and perseverance, self-confidence, camaraderie and a sense of discipline and dress.
Alexandra Duncan added:
“It was inspiring to see the sheer number of school pipe bands turning out and giving their all on the day too.
“We’d like to say a huge thanks to the schools, tutors and parents who continue to show such commitment to supporting these pupils in learning what is an invaluable skill for so many reasons.
“We hope to see all of the excellent school pipe bands return next year for what I’m sure will be another excellent celebration of Scottish traditional music and talent.”
The Championship is independently organised by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT).
It carries the support of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) but is not a RSPBA competition.
SSPDT believes that every pupil should have the chance to learn the pipes and drums on the same basis as other school instrument tuition.
For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, visit http://www.thechampionships.org.uk/
For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, visit www.sspdt.org.uk