Steven Blake.

Steven Blake, pictured, has been appointed as the new Director of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBoS). Blake replaces Alisdair MacLaren who stepped down after a decade in the role to return to Australia. MacLaren was recently appointed the new Pipe Major of Western Australia Police Pipe Band.

Steven Blake is a multi instrumentalist who is well known in Scotland’s traditional music world. He is a member of the acclaimed folk band RURA and the Tryst piping ensemble.

A spokesman for the National Piping Centre said: “The Board of the National Piping Centre is delighted to announce that Steven Blake has been appointed to the role of Director for the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. As the new Director of the NYPBoS, Steven brings his wealth of performance, composition and recording experience to this challenging role.

“Steven, a graduate of our piping degree, is a hugely successful piper with RURA as well as a founding member of Tryst pipers. He has performed solo and with groups across the globe at festivals and events including HebCelt and Denmark’s Tønder Festival, as well as piping with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. He is also the current director of the Gordon Duncan Experience, which is a traditional big band project involving young people from various genres.”

Steven Blake.

Steven Blake said: “I’m delighted to be taking up this very exciting role. With my experience composing scores for large scale performances involving pipes and now many years of piping performance experience with RURA, I am looking forward to this new challenge and I’m ready to explore the creative potential of a concert piping and drumming ensemble with such a fantastic group of gifted players.”

Applications for this year’s NYPBoS auditions have closed. However, they will reopen towards the end of 2020, with auditions held in early 2021. Find out more here: scotland/overview

The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland is a programme with around 100 of the best pipers and drummers from across Scotland between the ages of 10-25. It has seen some of the brightest young playing talents come through its ranks since its inception in 2002. These include World Pipe Band Champions, juvenile World Solo Drumming Champions, top recording artists in the traditional music genre and top solo pipers including the 2019 Glenfiddich MSR winner. The band provides unique development opportunities for its young members and an exceptional musical experience for its audiences. The NYPBoS is a dynamic and modern spin on the traditional pipe band experience, and performs both at home and abroad.

The NYPBoS in 2017.