Entries for 2020 Junior contests / Down Academy fundraiser

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Prize winners from the NPC's 2019 Junior competition.
Prize winners from the NPC’s 2019 Junior competition.

Entries are now open for two Junior solo piping and drumming competitions that take place early in 2020.

The National Piping Centre’s (NPC) Junior Competition will be held on Saturday, February 15 at the NPC building in MacPhater Street, Glasgow.

Entries close on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Full details and an entry form can be found on the NPC’s website.

Prior to that, another Junior contest is taking entries now. The Vale of Atholl’s annual Junior solo piping and drumming competition takes place on Saturday, January 18 at Pitlochry High School in Perthshire.

This competition is restricted to pipers and drummers in the RSPBA’s Dundee, Perth and Angus branch area.

Entries close on January 10. Download an entry form.

Meanwhile, a youth pipe band that was formed in Northern Ireland less than a year ago has launched a fund-raising initiative for uniforms.

Down Academy Pipes and Drums is a ‘cross community’ band based in the village of Spa near Ballynahinch in County Down. It practices in the local primary school.

William Wallace, a piper with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Pipe Band (PSNI) and Brendan Megoran (PSNI Leading Drummer) teach the youngsters. The tuition receives some support from the Ulster-Scots Agency.

The band hopes to compete in Grade 4b next season.

Chanter practice at Down Academy. Children as young as six are learning pipes and drums through the initiative. The band receives no public funding.

In June, some of the youngsters received Foundation Certificates in Piping and Drumming at the Ulster-Scots Agency’s Celebrating Achievement event held at Stormont.

The band has just launched an easyfundraising page where donations can be made.