Emerging Composers is a fantastic professional development opportunity offering paid commissions for emerging composers creating exciting repertoire from new perspectives for Pipe Band. 

Now in our second year of the programme, Emerging Composers: 20 Years Young is a fantastic paid opportunity to write for Scotland’s only concert Pipe Band. We are calling for emerging composers aged 18-25  (or up to 30 if you identify as disabled) from both inside and out of the piping community to create new work celebrating 20 years of The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.


  • We particularly welcome applications from people of colour, disabled people, women and the LBGTQ+ community. 
  • Each composer will receive a bursary of £2,000 and support from NYPBS staff and industry topping mentors.
  • Applications extended closing date 8th May. We will write to applicants with the outcome of the selection process by 16th May.

More information:

We have five places available in total. Two places are aimed at experienced Piping artists and/or alumni of the NYPBS programme. The other three places are targeted towards currently under-represented groups within Piping including people of colour, disabled people, women and the LBGTQ+ community. 

The 5 applicants will collaborate throughout the project, supporting each other as writers alongside mentors and staff, and all playing to form the house band for the project. 

Each recipient would be expected to: 

  • attend and participate actively in 4 Creative Weekends;
  • participate in disability awareness training;
  • deliver a short informal presentation on writing for their instrument / their musical experience to the group;
  • agree on a bespoke training plan covering the full duration with the project lead;
  • keep some sort of reflective diary and provide updates to assist in the promotion of the project and their own work; 
  • work through at least 2 drafts to completion of a piece between 3-5mins celebrating the NYPBS’ 20th Anniversary; 
  • participate in the workshopping, recording and performance of the new works;
  • perform at Piping Live! Festival in August 2022 ; 
  • lead 2 large scale rehearsals of their piece with one of the NYPBS National Bands; 
  • participate in an evaluation session at the end of the project.

The project will run from May 2022- April 2023 with activity split between two phases. 

Phase One

Training and support will be structured across four training weekend events, delivered from May 2022-August 2022, where our five successful applicants will work together alongside mentors towards their first drafts. 

Each composer will also be expected to perform as part of the house band in workshopping each other’s pieces and a live performance at Piping Live! 

Each composer will be expected to attend all four weekends which are scheduled as follows: 

  • Training Weekend 1: 14th – 15th May
  • Training Weekend 2: 11th-12th June
  • Training Weekend 3: 25th-26th June
  • Training Weekend 4: 2nd-3rd July 

First drafts of each piece will be performed at this year’s Piping Live festival in August with a bespoke band featuring professional musicians alongside our emerging composers and a project band of NYPBS players! 

Phase Two

From September 2022 to February 2023, each emerging composer will be given a chance to gain experience in leading large-scale rehearsals of their work, supported by the NYPBS’ Director. One of our National Bands will perform a final draft of each piece at our end-of-year concert on 2nd April 2023.

One of our composers from last year’s programme, Kim MacLennan shares her thoughts on her experience: