The Edinburgh Academy.

The Edinburgh Academy is seeking a Pipe Major Instructor in charge of the school pipe band.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the coordination and oversight of all musical instruction relating to the pipe band and the teaching of bagpipes and drumming within the school. He/she will replace Pipe Major Michael Gray MBE who is taking up a teaching post with the Royal Air Force of Oman.

Full details and an application form can be found here.

Enquiries should be directed to (Tel: 0131 624 4920). The closing date is 12:00 noon on Friday, October 2.

The school is one of the city of Edinburgh’s leading independent schools and first opened its doors in 1824. Authors, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson were pupils at the school.

Self-employed musicians in the United Kingdom have reacted with disappointment at yesterday’s announcement that they will receive only 20% of their average monthly trading profits (from the three previous years) via a government grant.

The Peatbog Faeries.

This will replace the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that saw the government pay out 80% of average monthly profits from March to May of this year, and then 70% from June to August. Self-employed musicians will be able to apply for support in the form of two taxable grants, covering the periods of November-January and February-April respectively. The first grant will cover 20% of self-employed workers’ average monthly earnings, capped at £1,850. Only those who were eligible for the previous SEISS will be able to apply this time.

UK Government Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the move in his Winter Economy Plan with organisations and figures from across the industry condemning it as the potential death knell for the country’s live music and culture sector. No sector-specific support was announced for the arts, with Sunak declaring that help must now be targeted towards “viable jobs which provide genuine security”.

The majority of those working in the music industry are freelance or self-employed.

Rishi Sunak.

Amongst the plans announced was a Job Support Scheme to top up the wages of employees who are working at least a third of their normal hours, with employers required to pay the remaining 55%. This initiative will replace the current furlough scheme, that comes to an end on October 31. There are fears that many businesses will be forced to ‘let go’ of staff when the furlough scheme ends as they will not have the funds to cover 55% of wages.

A spokesman for the Incorporate Society of Musicians said the package is a “devastating blow” for self-employed musicians. A spokesman for the Musicians’ Union said: “This is a £5.2bn industry. The contribution to our economy through music is huge and needs supporting so it can continue when it is safe to do so.”

Mr Sunak said: “It is important now that support is focused on those companies that can provide viable jobs with genuinely viable, secure futures for their employees.” He said the Treasury’s approach revolves around “being generous with our support, but also making sure that support is targeted where it can do the most good”. Mr Sunak added that he hoped the plan would “benefit large numbers”, but he could not say what job is “viable or not”.

Rachel Lowry, the 17-year-old Drum Major of Ulster’s Armaghbreague Pipe Band, died yesterday in a vehicle crash.

The 2017 Junior World Champion Drum Major and runner-up at the 2019 World Pipe Band Championships (Juvenile grade), died in the one-vehicle crash in the Markethill area of Armagh in County Armagh.

Our sympathies go to Rachel’s family, the members of Armaghbreague Pipe Band and all who knew her.

Police officers investigating the crash are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dash-cam footage to contact them.