Hundreds of young musicians piped up for Scotland’s musical heritage on Sunday when they went head-to-head in the world’s largest schools piping and drumming competition.
Youngsters from 152 schools around Scotland – including 72 pipe bands and freestyle ensembles – descended on Kilmarnock for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.
The competition was established by Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to not only showcase the talent of young musicians, but to encourage the formation of school pipe bands and to reignite the nation’s passion for the instrument.
Competition was fierce in the seven playing categories. There were also inspiring nominations for the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award which was named in tribute to the young piper from Barra who died in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 and that rewards wider achievements of community contribution, resilience, inclusion, camaraderie and innovation.
The main winners included schools from Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, Clackmannanshire, Renfrewshire, Moray, and South Ayrshire.
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of SSPDT, said: “It was just brilliant to see so many keen youngsters show their passion for the Scottish tradition of piping and drumming.
“We hope this will inspire other schools and students to get involved next year and keep our proud musical heritage growing.
“We’re also extremely grateful to the parents, schools and local authorities that are working closely with us to bring tuition opportunities to young people in Scotland, although there is still a long way to go until all pupils who would like to learn the pipes and drums have the chance to do so.”
The charity recognised that being part of a pipe band supports young people in developing crucial transferable skills for life, learning and work, but observed that opportunities to learn instruments in schools throughout the country was perhaps not widely accessible.
The Trust has helped 47 schools pipe bands to form so far, building on tuition provided in 265 schools. It is currently supporting projects in 22 local authority areas.
For more information and details on how to enter the Championships, please visit: https://thechampionships.org.uk/